Should I Exercise When I’m Sick?

Should I exercise when I’m sick?

With the dip in the weather last week and the impending cold and flu season approaching, I felt it was time to tackle the great debate. Should you exercise when you are sick? Some think it’s a great way to fight off the sickness, while others feel that you should rest up with chicken soup. I’m here to put an end to the debate…sort of. Both are right.

If you have the flu, you should definitely avoid the gym at all costs. Not only will it prolong the illness and make you feel worst but you also risk starting a pandemic by infecting anyone who comes in contact with you or any of the equipment you have used.

If you have a cold, it gets a little trickier. It depends on where the cold is. If you have a chest cold and are coughing, stay away from exercise. Your immune system is working to fight off the cold from your lungs and if you introduce exercise, your immune system has to fight off both the cold, and the stress you are going to be putting your body under to help you recover from your workout. That means it has less reserves to help you recover from the cold and that means you will be sick for longer and it also puts you at risk of developing pneumonia.

With a head cold, you are fine to workout. The exercise and the sweating can actually help flush out the cold and acts as a mini detox. If I have a head cold, I always workout and then follow the workout with some time in the steam room. I find that combination works the best to flush the cold out of your system.

Sign up now for the Best Body Bootcamp four-week program. At Best Body Bootcamp, we only use yoga mats, resistance bands and your own body weight to create workouts that are all based on interval training and include some sort of energy-creating exercises. Next Bootcamp starts November 16th. Check out one of our 10 locations at to sign up now.

Image courtesy of foshydog on Flickr.

This is a test