I see you! I know you are so proud of yourself and your new workout routine. You have been eating right and doing all of the right things. You have even lost a few pounds and BAMM, you get a cold, the flu, sinus infection or you are having allergy issues! What is a girl to do? Stop exercising and take a nap? Or push through and hope for the best? And, if you choose the nap, will it be hard to get back into a routine?
Exercising When Sick: Should You or Shouldn’t You?
These are age-old questions and rightfully so! You have worked hard and you are doing so well. You have the right attitude and things are great. No one wants your efforts to take a back seat for sickness. I get it! I do!
Here’s the answer to the age-old question. Are you ready for it?
The Neck Check
I have heard several people refer to the “neck check” and it is a good reference to go by still until this day. You can exercise while sick if your symptoms are all above the neck, like a runny nose or a sore throat. However, if you have any symptoms below the neck, such as body aches, chills, stomach problems or diarrhea, then I advise you to take it easy until you’re feeling better. And if you’re running a fever, no matter where your symptoms are, put off exercising until your temperature returns to normal. Fever is the limiting factor. The danger in exercising with a fever is raising your body temperature internally if you already have a fever, because that can make you even sicker.
If you’re suffering from congestion or low energy, exercise often helps you feel better. A brisk walk can unclog your sinuses better than an afternoon on the couch. And gentle exercise will rev up your circulation, to counteract that sluggish, rundown feeling. But this is definitely a personal decision. You’re the best judge of how you feel and what your body can handle when you’re sick.
Maintaining Healthy Habits
Maintaining healthy habits may keep you from getting sick in the first place. So wash your hands frequently, eat a balanced diet, drink plenty of water and get adequate sleep. Yes, I know adequate sleep, is stretching it with little kids BUT, try! That’s all we can do…. And if at all possible, schedule some “me time”. Getting personal time to yourself helps with maintaining adequate mental health, as well as help in overall health and wellness.
Make sure if you decide to keep exercising while sick you take into consideration your fellow gym mates, if you go to a gym. If you are contagious PLEASE, for the love of all that is holy, STAY HOME. Don’t pass around the illness to innocent bystanders. Nothing sets me off more than someone spreading germs and illnesses knowingly, because of their own selfish reasons. Don’t get crazy now people! If you must exercise with a contagious illness, at least stay home and exercise.
Now that the public service announcement is over we can move on……
So bottom line….
Listen to your body. Only you know what is best for you and your body. Hey, but don’t get crazy, okay?!
If you don’t feel right exercising and you just don’t think you should, DON’T! You can easily get back into your routine. It may set you back a few days and you may even lose some endurance but, you will get it back. I promise! No fitness routine is worth jeopardizing your health.
I know this from my own personal experience. Last week I came down with my own sinus infection and pushed through and kept exercising. But, as soon as I had fever and chills the exercising stopped for 5 days. My body was telling me to slow down and to take a break. So what did I do? I did just that! I stopped!
As I got back into my workout routine I was a little shaky but, in all, I feel better than I have in a long time. Sometimes your body takes on infections when you are tired and over worked. I had been burning the midnight oil a lot with work and my sleeping habits were taking a back seat. In return my body was telling me to slow-down!
If you take any thing away from this article please take this away…..
Listen to your body! Learn to hear what your body is telling you and trust it!
Until next time…
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