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Sweat It Out: Should You Work Out When You’re Sick?

Undoubtedly, engaging in regular physical activity is a fantastic way to maintain health and wellness. While frequent exercise can decrease the risk of developing chronic illnesses and boost your immune system, some beginners ponder its efficiency when recovering from a current illness.

Unfortunately, the answer isn’t cut and dry. In this blog, you’ll discover whether you should work out when you’re sick and when you shouldn’t sweat it out.

When Exercise Is OK

Generally, performing physical activity while recovering from illnesses with minor symptoms is acceptable! For example, if you’re battling a head cold with a runny nose and nasal congestion, you can perform a brisk walk outdoors to expose your airways to fresh air.

Every time you sneeze or cough in your home, there’s a chance infected droplets linger in the air, hindering your chances of recovery.

However, if walking outdoors isn’t an option and you have a personal workout area separate from your common living space, consider walking on a treadmill.

If you’re unfamiliar with the machine, consider these essential treadmill tips for beginners to help you!

When You Need Rest

While exercise can help alleviate some aches and pains, there comes a time when you can exercise your right to rest! For starters, it’s best to avoid long, intense runs and weightlifting sessions when you have a fever.

With fevers being the body’s natural indication of fighting off an infection, performing physical activity raises the body’s temperature and can make you feel worse.


Can You “Sweat Out” an Illness?

Surprisingly, sweating out an illness is a myth many don’t realize isn’t true! Moderate exercise can reduce some risk of developing respiratory illnesses and shorten the period in which you experience symptoms.

However, engaging in more intense activities when you have more than a common cold can actually leave you vulnerable to developing more severe illnesses.

So should you work out when you’re sick? Mild to moderate physical activity is acceptable to perform if you’re showing symptoms of a common cold without a fever. However, upset stomachs, hacking coughs, and instances of chest congestion are all red flags that should keep you away from your regular exercise routine. Also, you should avoid working out when you have a contagious illness.

As a general rule of thumb, remember to consult your physician before starting any exercise regimen to determine whether working out is a smart choice.

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Written by Logan Voss

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