Should you workout when sick with a cold? What if it’s the flu? It really depends on how you feel. It also depends on when you got sick. Day 1 versus day 3 are two different times and should be approached differently.
The best way to prevent illness in the first place is to stay active daily and to workout at least 3-4 times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes. There are other things to consider, like stress, sleep, and hygiene. Be sure to wash your hands often!
But if you find yourself coming down with a cold just when you’re about to do your workout, keep in mind the following before deciding what type of exercise to do and if you should exercise at all. Listen to your body and monitor the symptoms closely. In general, if you don’t feel like a train-wreck, light to moderate intensity workouts are beneficial. I.e. jogging, walking, yoga, swimming, Qi Gong, Tai Chi, and biking. Activities to avoid when sick include heavy strength training, endurance training, HIIT, sprinting, team sports and activities in high temperatures. Sorry, no Bikram Yoga when you’re sick. But you could do Zumba, or just caper about, as long as you don’t overdo it.
As far as your illness goes, if you feel better over time it’s ok to continue working out. But if your symptoms worsen, definitely stop working out and consult a physician.
Do you work out while sick? If so, what activities do you do? How do you prevent getting sick in the first place? Leave a comment with your thoughts below. Thanks!