Remember; please consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.
Should you workout when you’re sick? That’s a tough question many people ask, especially this time of year. The answer is, like many things in life, it depends. It’s best to check with your doctor first, however, it’s generally OK to go by the “neck rule”.
If your symptoms are below the neck, including a persistent cough, chest congestion, muscle aches, chills, stomach distress, or a fever; skip your workout and allow your body the rest it needs to fight off the illness. Attempting exercise could prolong your sickness and make you feel even worse.
If your symptoms are from the neck and above, such as; runny nose, watery eyes, scratchy throat, or a headache, it’s OK to exercise. A moderate or low intensity is best during these situations, so try to refrain from taxing workouts that leave you exhausted. Research from Appalachian State University even shows that moderate exercise during a bout with the cold can help boost your immune system and cut the number of days you’re sick by 25-50%. It can also help you maintain a regular exercise routine, as opposed to skipping workouts altogether, then finding it difficult to begin again once feeling better.
For those that want to be proactive; regular physical activity, healthy foods, stress relief, and plenty of rest will help you fight off illness this winter!