Should I workout when I am sick?

Should you workout when you are sick?
Should you workout when you are sick?

Last night before I went to bed, I felt a cold coming on. I was sneezing, my throat was scratchy and I was downright tired with very little energy. When I woke up in the morning to get ready for the gym, my throat was very painful, and I generally felt like crap. As I was mixing up my pre-workout shake, I thought to myself “Should I even go to the gym, or skip it and sleep in longer?”  I thought that maybe if I slept another couple hours, I would feel better for my Friday night.

So my decision was to go the gym. After all, it was back day, one of my weakest bodyparts.  I did not want to skip working my back for two weeks. I got in a pretty darn good workout including a little cardio. My strength was there and my endurance was at around 90%. When I finished, I felt more energized than when I started. My sore throat went from being pretty severe, to just scratchy. My aches and pains were gone, and I have not sneezed since.

Now I am not saying that working out cured my sickness by any means, but I believe it certainly helped.   I truly believe working out when you are sick usually helps your symptoms as well as the length of time you are sick. Trust me, I have been working out for nearly 25 years, and have worked out dozens of times sick. 9 times out of 10 I have felt better afterward. I also believe that if you work out regularly, it strengthens your immune system as I rarely get sick.

There are definite times where you should never work out when you are sick. For instance, if you are nauseous and feel like you are going to barf, don’t work out. If you have a fever of 100 or higher, you may not want to work out. If you have something known to be very contagious, don’t work out, at least not in a public gym! 🙂

Truth be told, I will almost always go to the gym when I’m sick, and I almost always feel better. I firmly believe that it can help not only with the sickness that you have, but getting sick in the future as well. Of course, it will vary with the person, but unless you are feeling absolutely miserable, I highly recommend a light to moderate workout, and you might just feel better!

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