Too Sick to Exercise?

March 4, 2015

Cold Winter = Lots of Colds

When to Skip the Gym


Offices, libraries, kids play places, subways/trains, etc. are homes to lots and lots of germs as you know and I feel like this winter has been one of the worst for getting sick (stomach bug twice in 2 months!?  Really?)  While your body does in fact need fluid and lots of rest when you feel like you are coming down with something, skipping your workouts might actually make you feel worse.  A workout helps me, and lots of other folks out there, wake up.  It starts our busy day ahead.  I don’t know about you but when I don’t exercise, I feel tired.  And blah.  Also, for a lot of people, skipping those few days of exercise makes it hard to get back into the groove – we have all been there.


If you wake up with a little sniffle but overall feel alright, do your workout.  Sweating will actually help you feel better, in my opinion.  Make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day and of course getting a good night’s sleep.  Even if you need to pull pack a little from your routine (going lighter with weights, walking and not running, etc.), it’s a workout and it sure does count!  If you wake up with a fever, it’s best to stay in bed.  Your body temperature rises when you exercise and therefore it can be dangerous with an already high temperature. 


According to WebMD, “a ‘neck check’ is a good way determine your level of activity during a respiratory illness.”  “If your symptoms are above the neck, including sore throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, and tearing eyes, then it’s OK to exercise.”  Symptoms that are below the neck, such as coughing, body aches, fever, and fatigue should not be ignored and a rest day is in order!


There is no reason to get super stressed about missing a few workouts.  But, let’s say you have a light cold for a few days and then get hit with a high fever for a few days.  You would have wished you went to the gym when you had a little sniffle.  Listen to your body but don’t use a little cold as an excuse to completely write off a routine.  


Now that March has finally arrived, hopefully some of these germs will disappear.  I am itching to take my workouts outside and get some fresh air!  Three weeks until spring…but who is counting? J


The Author

Karen Bobos, MSed

Karen M. Bobos, MSed, has been in the fitness industry since 1996 and feels her highest accomplishments are those results achieved by her clients through her guidance. She educates clients that there is no trick to being healthy, no magic pills, but rather optimal health is achieved through eating right and moving your body.

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