Should I work out when I’m sick?

By Terri Ross

It’s that time of year again. The kids are in school, the weather is changing and you have a cold. Your head is stuffy, you’re coughing, and you have a session scheduled with your personal trainer. What do you do?

The general rule I tell my clients is to do a neck check; if your symptoms are above the neck; stuffy nose, maybe a little headache, go ahead and get in a light workout. Often times, when you get to the gym you will find that you feel better by the time you get through your warmup and end up crushing the rest of your exercise session.

But if your symptoms are below the neck; such as body aches, deep coughing, and fever, give your body time to recover. Exercising with a fever can cause your internal body temperature to rise to an unsafe level and cause real damage. When you get back to it, ease into it. If you are out sick for 3 days, give yourself grace for 3 or 4 days and don’t expect your body to perform at the same intensity right off the bat.

If you do decide that an exercise session will serve you, do your best to not spread germs to those around you by washing your hands often and sneeze or cough into your elbow, away from others exercising nearby. And please clean all your equipment before you leave.

Also be sure to drink plenty of fluids, eat whole foods, and get fresh air. These things will ease your symptoms and also fight off future bugs that may try to keep you down.

In the end, listening to your body is the best advice. You know you better than anyone else and if you think you can sweat it out, go for it! If you think a workout will keep you sick longer, then find your cozy blanket, your favorite warm drink and give yourself permission to binge watch your favorite Netflix series. And always know that MJ Fit will be here for you when you are well, ready to help you stay strong.

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