Working out when sick

Exercise When Sick: Should You Sweat It Out?

Should you exercise when sick?

Is there anything more annoying than getting sick when you just got started or made progress in your training? It is very frustrating to be forced to take a break from your fitness routine. But working out when sick can actually be very dangerous for your health. IAMRUNBOX shows you how to work out when you are sick.


1. Exercise when sick: One key rule

In the worst case, working out when sick can lead to serious long-term health damages. Training with a cold or throat infection can for example result in a heart muscle inflammation. The key rule is to not exercise when you have sore throat, fever or any other bacterial infection. It is absolutely important to take it easy during the whole course of the infection.


2. Pay attention to your general condition

The first thing to keep in mind is your general condition. Listen to your body since it is telling you a lot about your physical condition and gives you signs when there is something wrong. The first symptoms can be tiredness, joint pains or physical uneasiness. You should definitely take those signs seriously and take a rest. A good rule of thumb is that if you suffer from pain in the neck and shoulder region, it is time to cancel your training. In contrast, it is okay to train -  less intense than usual - if you have "above-the-neck symptoms". This means, provided that your general condition is otherwise top-notch, training with a bit of lameness, a slight headache or are a little bit of cough is not too bad.


3. Check your resting pulse

Another good way to find out if you should workout when sick is to check your resting pulse rate. It gives you an idea on how you feel, how well your heart can pump blood through your body and how hard your body has to work to keep up the oxygen transport. You check your resting heart rate by measuring the number of heartbeats per minute while resting. Of course, it differs from person to person, but the normal resting pulse is 60 - 100 beats per minute. If your resting pulse is normal, you can try a calmer training session, but remember that it is important that stop if you are not feeling well!


4. The onset of a disease

If you do get sick, you should skip your exercise throughout the whole course of the disease, and even a few days after until you really feel healthy again. Afterwards, start slowly with your normal fitness routine. Be careful - if you start exercising immediately after you are free of fever, the virus or infection can easily break out again.


5. Working out when sick can also make you healthy!

Activity and training in all forms are the best medicine for headaches, tension, menstrual pain, and when you feel a bit tired and hung. Exercise can even prevent and reduce the risk of possible colds and other ailments. If you start feeling sick, take a walk or exercise a little, but always listen to your body!

Let's sum it up? Things to consider when deciding if you should exercise when sick

  • It should be ok to exercise if you are free of fever, the virus or infection  
  • Your resting pulse should be between 60 and 100 beats per minute
  • If you decide to go for it, take it easy and maintain a healthy diet

In a nutshell, exercising sick can on the one hand be fatal, but on the other hand it can also be the best medicine. If you should train or not depends on your pain, the course of the disease, and your general condition. Take care of your health!

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