Sick? To workout or not?
Alright, I’m going to start off by saying, I am not a doctor nor do I play one on TV. The information below is what I have gathered from years of working in a medical setting, the research I have found and personal experience. As always, you should consult a medical profession when ill. Now with that said, let me discuss what I have learned and observed when it comes to getting sick and physical fitness.
When most people fall ill, they automatically assume the have a “get out of exercise free” card. Yes, there are times when you will need to take a break from exercising but there are other times when it is completely okay to keep doing some physical activities. Now, to know which is the right one for you is not cut and dry, there are a few factors that will play into the right decision.
First, if you are seeing a doctor, their answer will depend on the reason you are sick and their core belief when it comes to fitness. For several years, I worked in a medical setting with many doctors and their views different. So having a physician that aligns with your beliefs is good to have here. Second, it depends on what area of your body you are sick. Most will say, if the illness is neck and above, then you’re good to go, just don’t push yourself super hard, exercise within reason. If it’s below the neck, then take a break. Good example here is either a head cold or sinus infection versus a chest cold, bronchitis or stomach flu. Third, listen to your body, not your head, it will usually tell you what to do. Our minds may already decide what to do, whether to get out and do something or to rest, but our bodies may be saying the opposite. For me, when I get a sinus infection, my body is usually good to go and I have learned light exercise actually helps loosen up my sinuses and nasal passages. However, this past summer, I had bronchitis and my body was definitely saying “put your butt in that couch and stay!”, so I listened.
In the end, if you are not sure, consult your physician and play on the side of caution.