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Working out When Sick 
Will it make you sicker or help you get well quicker?
By Courtney Krueger / www.TrainEatLive.com

We have all been welcomed to a new day by a tickle in our throat, alerting us that something is not quite right.  The question is, is this abnormal scratch forecasting we’ll be a little under the weather or that a major storm is about to blow through our body?  And the even bigger question is, should we forgo our routine gym visit or get in there and brave the potential hurricane?  After all, isn’t there some myth that we can actually sweat out our sickness?  Can a work out really liberate these toxins, or will it simply release needed energy and a chance to quickly heal?  Unfortunately, there is no universal answer to this widespread question.  Listen to your body, evaluate your symptoms, tap into your energy level, and empathize with your immune system; together you can predict the weather and plan your activities accordingly.

 

If the weather is slightly overcast and you have a simple head cold, a light to moderate work out can provide some sunshine.  A slight increase in endorphins can make a sad immune system smile.  But remember, these clouds can also eventually produce rain, so don’t overwork a body that’s functioning under par.  If you hear your immune system cry, then slow down or stop all together and prevent a natural disaster!

 

If the storm is definitely coming and the winds have begun to blow, keep the damage to a minimum and steer clear of all aerobic activity.  If you have a fever, any chest congestion, a cough, shortness of breath, or nausea, the only movement your body should make is to walk from your bedroom to the couch.  In this case, heat is not a result of sunny skies, and a fever means your heart is beating faster and working harder.  If you choose to a chance a work out in this dangerous condition, a further increase in body temperature and heart rate will add stress to an already taxing situation.  This trauma will not only add to the intensity and longevity of an illness, but in extreme cases the virus can cause damage to the heart muscle.  If the tornado is right outside your home, STAY PUT!

 

Another important thing to keep in mind is that the gym is one of the germiest indoor facilities around; how sick is that!  If you feel up for some mild exercise, think twice about hitting the gym with an immune system that’s down.  You don’t want to invite new germs to enter your body while trying to get rid of these evil creatures.  Nor do you want to spread this evilness and allow their dark army to grow.   Consider a home work out, or an outdoor activity such as a brisk walk. (provided the weather obeys of course)

 

Illness is your body’s way of telling you it needs a vacation from everyday life.  If you’re too sick to work, you’re too sick to work out.  Don’t feel guilty for skipping your fitness regimen; that will only add to your headache!  Look at it as justification to relax and an opportunity to catch up on your growing tivo list.  If you have any doubt in your congested head, then take the safe route and forgo a sweat session.  Just think, if you follow the road to recovery, the quicker it will lead you back to the gym.  And be sure to ease back into your exercise schedule.  Slowly the sun will come out from under that cloud, and before you know it you’ll see nothing but blue skies!

Train Well, Eat Well and Live Well with www.TrainEatLive.com

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