Should You Skip the Gym When You are Sick?

sick at the gym

It isn’t always a bad thing to work out when you are sick.

sick at the gym

Since I live my life by a pretty stringent schedule, I don’t generally take too many sick days, especially in terms of my fitness. That being said, there is a huge difference between a slight cold, and a full-on sinus infection.

In general, I think it’s best to take a short break from working out when you are sick, because the best thing you can do for your body is rest.

That being said, there are some benefits to exercising when you are under the weather, since it helps to boost your immune system. The key is to know the difference between a tiny bug, and a more serious illness that will only get worse with bodily strain.

The best rule to go with, is if your symptoms are bodily, skip the gym. If they are all contained above the neck, it’s okay to work out.

For instance, you are clear to exercise if you have a runny nose, congestion, or a sore throat. If you have a hacking cough, muscle aches, congestions of the chest, or shortness of breath, you should skip the gym and get some rest.

READ MORE: Five Ways to Motivate Your Friend to Hit the Gym

Fevers, fatigue, and nausea are all general red flags when it comes to working out (and if you are experiencing any of these, chances are you won’t want to work out, anyway).

My motto is, if I am capable of doing it, I am at least going to try. That means that when I have a slight cold, I will still work out, but may do a super easy, quick work out that will still keep me on the right fitness path.

I may do a small workout at home, but if I do go to the gym I take special care to make sure all my equipment is wiped down so I don’t infect anyone else.

All in all, I listen to my body when I am sick, and you should too. Don’t overwork yourself, especially when you aren’t feeling 100%.

I can’t stress enough that in this instance, you should listen to your body. Working out too hard when you are sick can actually prolong your illness and derail your fitness goals even more. So be realistic, be reasonable, and above all be kind to your body.

Published by karenmsutton

HSS Orthopaedic surgeon in sports medicine | Mother of 4 amazing children | Team physician for USA Women's Lacrosse | ACL injury expert

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