Cold and flu season is here, not only is getting sick annoying to daily life, but it can also put a hold on your workout routine. Many people will cancel a workout session with the excuse of having a cold, but is it better to sweat it out or stay home a rest?
Dr. Edward Laksowski from the Mayo Clinic reports that it is OK and even a good idea to do some mild to moderate exercise when you are sick. Exercise has been shown to open nasal passages and improve cold symptoms.
On the other hand, if the illness that you are experiencing goes beyond a simple head cold then it would be a good idea to skip the gym for a few days and wait until you feel a little better.
Here are a few guidelines from Dr. Laksowski:
1. If symptoms are only from the neck and up, including nasal congestion, running nose and a slight sore throat, then hitting the gym is a go just make sure to decrease the intensity just a little.
2. If symptoms of illness are below the neck, such as, chest congestion, body aches and nausea, then it is not a good idea to go to the gym, allow yourself the time to stay home and rest.
3. If you have a fever and/or feel very tired and sore, do not go to the gym.
The most important thing to remember when you feel sick is to listen to your body. If you feel that some exercise will be OK then go ahead and try, but go easy on yourself. If you get to the gym and feel that it is just too much, then don’t feel any shame in leaving early. You know what you are feeling better than anyone else so do what you think is best and don’t let anyone else tell you differently.