Cold and flu season is here. If you aren’t lucky enough to be able to avoid getting sick, here’s what you need to know if you’re debating whether to work out or not.
If you’re feeling absolutely horrible, don’t work out. If you’re already struggling with everyday tasks, you aren’t going to be able to do much of a workout. Some research has also found that strenuous activity while sick may delay recovery and lead ot post recovery fatigue. Generally most doctors don’t recommend anyone workout with a fever, stomach complications, or a deep cough.
When it comes to a stuffy nose, sore throat or other symptoms, a light or moderate workout isn’t going to affect your immune response and some light activity may make you feel better. It’s important to monitor how you feel and stay hydrated. If your body starts feeling worse after the first 15 minutes it’s probably better to stop. While you may be tempted to try and push your body through a normal workout, there’s evidence that pushing your body could lead to a decreased immune response leaving you sick for longer.
Another factor to consider when you’re working out is whether you’ll make other people sick. If you know that you are contagious stay away from the gym or studio. Generally people are contagious a day or two before symptoms start and for as long as your symptoms are present, so even if you are on the mend or feel like you are just on the cusp of getting sick, you can make other people sick. While it may seem like it’s easy to avoid coughing or sniffling on people, it’s a lot harder when you’re moving and both gyms and studios are rife with germs. If you want to get some exercise while you still have symptoms consider walking or jogging outside or doing an online class if you don’t have a home gym.
While a hot yoga class may be tempting to help you get rid of the last of your cold or flu, heated classes aren’t recommended immediately after a fever or stomach bug. Also while you may be recovered from your cold or flu, your body may still be feeling the affects of fighting it off so start off with a light or medium workout and progress slowly.
Overall, it’s important to remember to listen to your body. While it can be tough to miss a workout if you’re working to achieve a goal, you’ll probably be better off in your general health and with your workout goals.