Home Culture Ask Science: Should I Work Out When I'm Feeling Sick?

Ask Science: Should I Work Out When I’m Feeling Sick?

It’s hard to think of something that can’t be made better with the help of a good work out. Cramps, headaches and body pains are just a few of the issues that exercise can fix for us, or at least provide a good amount of relief. When you’re sick things might be different though, and working out might just make you feel worse than before while slowing your healing process.

According to Popular Science, it all depends on the severity of your symptoms. The site claims that if you’re a person who works out regularly, then you probably have already worked out while sick; you just didn’t know about it.

According to Michael Gleeson, professor of exercise biochemestry, it’s important to follow the “above the neck” rule, which means that it’s okay to train moderately if you’re symptoms are above the neck, such as having a runny nose and sneezing. If you have symptoms such as coughing, tight chest and joint aches then it’s best to stay at home, giving your body at least 2 days of rest, allowing it to heal and fight off symptoms.

Gleeson claims that while you can still workout with above the neck symptoms, you should still lower the intensity of your workouts. While no studies have shown results that suggest that working out while sick does anything bad for your health, there have been studies that suggest that intense exercise when healthy can increase the chances of getting sick.

There’s something about overworking the body that can dampen the immune system and increase the chance of getting a bug.”

While you should be wary of workouts while sick it’s very important that you try to workout regularly when you’re healthy, since this can help prevent illnesses in the future and help you get back from colds in shorter periods of time.

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