Being sick sucks. I’m currently just getting over another cold. So what do you do when you are sick? Can you work out? Will you lose your fitness if you don’t workout? Well let me answer those questions!
Can you work out?
It depends. The general consensus is that if your symptoms are ‘above the neck’, so runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing and a mild sore throat, you can workout. If you have below the neck symptoms like chest congestion, bad cough, upset stomach, fever, fatigue or muscle aches then give it a rest until you feel better.
Exercise can actually be beneficial when you only have a mild cold. It can help to open your nasal passages to ease nasal congestion, as well as making your feel better by getting your endorphins going! As long as you aren’t too sick, exercise can be very beneficial and can actually help you develop a stronger immune system.
What exercise should I do when sick?
If you do workout when you are sick, reduce the intensity and length of your session. If you are doing cardio consider reducing the intensity, instead of going for a run or doing a HIIT session, go for a walk or light cardio session. Maybe even do some yoga or a Pilates session. If you are weight training, reduce the amount of weight you are lifting and consider replacing some exercises with bodyweight exercises.
Will I lose my fitness if I don’t workout?
A break for a week or so won’t hurt your progress. If you are sick, you need time to rest and your body needs to recover. Having a break can help your body repair and you may feel stronger after a break.
In saying all of this, the most important thing is to listen to your body. If you only have a mild cold, but feel like you can’t manage a workout, don’t do it. There is no harm is taking a break if you feel like you need it. Once you are feeling up to it, get back into it!