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How to Know if You Should Work Out when You’re Sick

Updated: Nov 13, 2019

Have you ever felt a sniffle coming on or a tingle in your throat...and wondered whether you should work out?

It can be so confusing to know if you should exercise if you’re feeling a bit under the weather.

I’m going to explain a few rules of thumb, plus outline some easy things you can do to avoid spreading or catching any “bugs or cooties".

First of all:

1. If you have a fever, your body is fighting off an illness so you definitely DO NOT want to work out … you want your resources to go to battle the virus!

Your body is already getting a workout, so let it do its job.

2. If you do NOT have a fever, the general rule of thumb is if your symptoms are above your neck (i.e., nasal congestion and a non-productive cough), you are safe to work out.

3. If you have symptoms below the neck – productive cough, body aches, upset stomach, etc. – take a day or two off to get better.

Also, no matter where your symptoms are, here’s something to keep in mind: you don’t want to spread your germs with others, so when it doubt, take a day or two off.

4. If you feel like you absolutely must workout, go for a walk and do some light stretches.

Another important part of this equation has to do with the spread of germs. These tips from the Centers for Disease Control can help you avoid picking up germs as well as not spreading them.

● Whenever possible, keep your distance from people you know are sick.