Working out When Sick, Yay or Nay?

Working out When Sick, Yay or Nay?

kelowna gym and personal trainer working out when sick

Tips & Advice from the professional personal trainers at OneLife training gym in Kelowna.

Are you feeling pumped up, but your body is feeling run down? Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Getting sick happens to everyone, but for some… it might seem like the end of the world! Who really wants to miss out on a killer ab workout before that big vacation thanks to a stomach bug? Absolutely no one. Luckily, we’ve got some good news for you; doctors are saying that it’s ok to workout when sick, in fact, it might be healthy for you.

First things first. Take a look at your symptoms.

Typically, the rule of thumb is anything above the neck means you’re a-okay to exercise. However, if you’re experiencing a stomach bug, respiratory problem, etc… it might be a good idea to hit the pillow instead of the barbells. Look at what your symptoms are and assess if a workout out will worsen them, or just hinder your workout. For example, if you choose to exercise when you are running a fever, you risk the chance of raising your internal body temperature even more so which will cause you to feel sicker. However, if you’ve got the sniffles and it’s nothing that a cold medication can’t fix? Then the doc says it’s ok.

Secondly. Practice good gym etiquette.

Remember when you were a kid and your desk buddy came to school coughing all over you and sneezing on your pencil case? Yeah… No one likes that, at any age. Your best bet for working out when sick, while trying not to infect anyone (or gross them out), is to confine your workout to your home. Typically, the contagious period lasts around five days; so, tough it out because your germy-germs can live on surfaces in the gym for hours. Trust us, everyone will thank you for being courteous.

Thirdly. Assess how different levels of stress affect you personally.

When you are sick your immune system is under stress meaning, you do not want to add more stress to it. So, if you’re someone who gets sick after a stressful fight with a friend… then working out while your immune system is already down is not a good idea. Of course, you can build up your resistance to stress, but this should be done when your body is in top shape to handle the added intensity. Our advice would be to look at your workout and then be honest with yourself about how exercising under the weather will affect you. If you think your regular weight set will send you to the ER, then try sticking to walking and light, free body movements.

Fourthly. Choose lower intensity workouts.

The easiest way to squeeze in that workout when you’re feeling crummy? Exercise at a lower intensity than you’re used too. Standard exercises that are recommended for sweating it out, while still staying in the safe zone are low-intensity cycling, walking, moderate yoga or pilates, etc. Basically, you want to avoid the workouts where you feel impeccably energized and ready to crush it. As Lewis G. Maharam, MD and sports medicine expert says “Do what you can do, and if you can’t do it, then don’t.”

Lastly, our fifth piece of advice. Try cutting back so as to spare your immunity.

At OneLife, we understand the addiction of feeling good, healthy, and energized; however, if you keep getting sick, those feelings will not be able to sustain themselves. According to Precision Nutrition’s article on immunity and exercise, people who never workout got sick fairly often, those who workout between once a month to three times a week managed their immunity the best, and those who workout more than four times a week got the sickest. They also stated in their article that after vigorous exercise we are more susceptible to infection, up to 72 hours worth. So, if you’re constantly getting sick… take it easy, it won’t kill you.

Therefore, our question to you is… how are you feeling today? Are you under the weather, or are you ready for a beastly workout at OneLife?

Contact us today for a free consultation and let us find a workout method that will fare well with you. Our personal trainers are not only there to get your blood pumping, but they’re there to ensure your health and well-being come first.