Exercising When Sick

It's that time of year again - time for colds, flu, sniffles, and other illnesses. If you're sick, you may not feel like getting up and exercising. But should you?

It depends.

For otherwise healthy people, if your symptoms are above the neck (stuffy nose, sore throat, runny nose, headache, etc.), go ahead and work out. Just be sure to limit what you do. When you're sick, you won't be able to perform at the level you do when healthy.

Avoid working out if your symptoms are below the neck (chest congestion, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.). Also skip the workout if you have a fever, or feel lightheaded when you stand up.

If you have a pre-exising health condition such as heart disease, diabetes, etc., the answer is always no. The body is already working hard to keep you healthy and the extra stress from exercise can end up making you feel worse.

If you do decide to head off the gym, remember that sharing isn't caring in this case! Be considerate of your fellow gym goers. Skip the group fitness class. Be sure to wipe down the equipment when you're done.

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