Should you work out when sick? Let your clavicle be your guide

I’m sick.

And tired.

I’m sick and tired. But not of working out and eating healthy. After a quick overseas trip, I returned home with a heavy cold.

I want to work out. I even tried to play some tennis. But, I’m both physically and mentally fatigued. That’s generally a good sign (oxymoron?) that your body is diverting all available resources to fight the illness. Your body needs to focus its energy on fighting the virus, so don’t divert your body’s limited resources to cardio and weight training.

Should you always give up exercise when you’re sick?

Not always. The Doctors share this important reminder: if your symptoms are above your neck (yeah, I teased you with the clavicle reference), you should be able to continue with moderate exercise–it may even help–but if it is below your neck (as mine is) then it’s time to rest:

But, don’t fret. Resting is all part of improving your health and sometimes we spend more time exercising than actually resting. If you want to go into more detail about the importance of resting when you are ill check out this advice from Athlean-X.

If working out is not something that makes sense during your illness, what does?

Whether you have a cold, the flu, or some kind of infection, it’s a good idea to watch your heart rate, check your blood pressure, know your body’s current limitations, and then ease back into exercising when symptoms improve. A week away* from workouts won’t hurt your progress but trying to push through while sick could cause a lot of new risks, symptoms, or injuries.


*if your symptoms continue or worsen after one week, see your doctor.



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