Only show gyms with:

Within miles from me
1 mile 20 miles

Sign up for 3 months for the price of 2. Get unlimited access to thousands of gyms !

Find Out More

SHOULD YOU EXERCISE WHEN YOU ARE ILL?

SHOULD YOU EXERCISE WHEN YOU ARE ILL?

You’re not feeling great and know you’ve got a cold coming. Do you skip the workout or sweat the illness out at the gym? The answer depends on several factors. Ask yourself the following to help make your decision.

1. WHAT ARE YOUR SYMPTOMS?

If you’ve got a raging temperature then hitting the gym is a big no-no. Anything over 101 degrees is asking for rest. The danger is that if you already have a fever then exercising will raise your internal body temperature even further and make you even sicker.

If you have any bronchial tightness, it’s also not advisable to workout. Some experts say if the symptoms are above the neck (sore throat, sneezing, blocked nose) it’s okay to workout. But if you are coughing, have aches, pains, fever and tiredness then put your gym bag away for a few days.

But on the other hand, there’s actually no reason why you should lie around on the sofa at the first cough or sniffle. Non-strenuous exercise has actually been shown to boost the body’s ability to fight illness.

A session of moderate exercise appears to boost the adaptive immune system, and regular resistance training is believed to stimulate our innate immunity.

2. WHAT SORT OF EXERCISE ARE YOU DOING?

Firstly, there is a big difference between gentle exercise and ‘working out’. An intense exercise routine – when we’re breathing hard and sweating – stimulates a stress reaction in the body. This is usually fine, and is precisely what builds fitness.

But when we’re unwell, a tough workout can be too much for our immune systems to cope with. This is because our adaptive immune system can be depressed for hours after, making us more susceptible to infections.

Instead, take the intensity down and do some low-key activity such as yoga, pilates, gentle biking, swimming or walking. These workouts aren’t intense enough to stress our body’s immunity body, but may boost the body’s ability to fight illness. Perhaps avoid spreading your germs in the gym if you’re Mr. Sneezy though!

3. WHAT ARE YOUR OTHER STRESSORS?

There’s plenty of stressors in our daily lives sleep (e.g. cold weather, being unfit, career and relationship pressures) which, when combined with exercise may make you even more vulnerable to illness.  Considering how much other stress you have to cope with can help your decision of whether to exercise or not.

Finally, well done for wanting to remain fit whilst feeling rough. We salute you all (with a hot lemsip and dose of aspirin!) 

the author

Kath Webb

Kath is a contributing writer for Hussle. Football, running, weight training, yoga and walking are her forte, along with cooking tasty, nutritious food - with a regular batch of cake chucked in.

Comments