Exercising When Sick

Hi everyone!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the man candy I provided your eyes with yesterday :). Not gonna lie, I looked at my own post several times yesterday to view the lovely images hehe.

Zoey has been so stinkin’ cute. She loves to sit with me when I’m working on my computer-

Of course she would pick the spots to sleep where she blends in.

In the mornings if Zoey wants me to give her some loving, she pats my face with her paw until I respond. Even though it is kind of annoying because I want to be sleeping, it’s still really adorable and I can’t get upset with her cute little face :).

She also has a new favorite spot to relax- the hutch in our dining room.

I’m totally in kitten love.

Anyhoo….I definitely have realized that my body needed several days off from exercising. Even though after one day of rest I was itching to MOVE at a higher intensity, I’m glad I didn’t. Especially since I now seem to have been graced with a cold :(.

On Thursday I woke up with a really sore throat. Yesterday the sore throat continued, I felt exhausted, and I started becoming very congested. Today, the sore throat is leaving but I’m still congested and I’m not as tired because I got a lot of sleep.

I had said that I was going to workout again on Saturday- which is today (in case you weren’t sure ;)), and I still think I’m going to. I need to do some form of activity…I can’t sit around all day again. I just definitely will not be going full intensity.

I usually listen to the “rule” that if your symptoms are above the neck then it’s okay to do a light workout. If my symptoms are below the neck you better believe that I am laying in bed or plopping my butt on the couch.

These are the things I usually use as guidelines to determine whether or not I should exercise when I’m sick with a cold:

  • If I have chest congestion and am likely to cough up a lung during a workout, then I’m not going to do it.

  • If I’m feeling aches and pains, I’m staying away from the gym.
  • If I’m at all nauseous I won’t be forcing myself to workout…I don’t need to exacerbate that symptom, no thank you.

  • If I have a fever, even a really slight one, I am not going to exercise. It would be stupid to raise my body temp even more.

I don’t have any of the above symptoms, so I am going to go to the gym today. That being said, I don’t want to overdo it and cause myself to feel any worse. A really hard or intense workout would probably stress my body out too much. Usually, a lower intensity and shorter workout than normal will actually help me feel a little better. Doing this can help clear up my congestion for a little while and actually relieve some of the sluggishness that I feel.

As I said earlier this week, it’s really important to listen to your body. If it’s screaming at me for trying to workout, I’m not going to punish it and keep going. It’s not worth it!

Hope you guys have a good Saturday!!



Do you exercise when you’re sick with a cold?

What are your guidelines to determine if you should workout or not?





About In Sweetness and In Health

I'm Lindsay! I'm a 23 year-old graduate student in occupational therapy. I love all things health and fitness related and this blog will document my life as I learn to really love myself, try to stop worrying so much about my body, and truly take advantage of all the sweet things that life offers us.

Posted on October 1, 2011, in Health, Life, Pets. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Ah bummer, I’m sorry you’re not feeling well. When I was feeling drained during my workouts last week, I ended up getting sick for a couple days too. My guidelines to working out when sick are pretty similar to your’s. I get antsy if I sit still for too many days in a row, so if it’s mostly congestion, I’ll do SOMETHING. Hope your workout goes well!

  2. Oh nooo i am so sorry to hear you are feeling nasty 😦 I used to never take a day off from exercising…I could be on death’s door step and still force a workout. But now I am much better about resting and only would exercise when I am sick if I am positive it would not make me feel worse!

  3. Hope you’re feeling better soon! I take the day off if I feel awful. I also consider other people at the gym. They probably don’t want what I have!

  4. I hope you are feeling better. I am a big believer in taking a break and listening to your body. I rarely workout when I am sick because I am afraid it will make me worse and keep me sick longer.

  5. I’ve been avoiding the gym lately because I’m sick… but I finally forced myself to go this morning! I’m still a little stuffy so it was kinda tough, but I felt way better after!

  6. Hope you feel better! If I have a fever or headache, I will just skip my workout, but if it’s just a cough or sniffles, I usually feel fine to hit the gym.

  7. For colds, I was always taught what you said … about above the neck vs. below the neck. But you also just need to listen to your body. Even if it’s “just” a head cold but you really aren’t feeling great, don’t push yourself! It’s SO not worth it! A few rest days are not going to impact your overall physical health or your muscle strength! 🙂

    Also, if I’m feeling even slightly sick, I’ll pop a vitamin C pill (in addition to my normal vitamins). And I’ve found it really helps to keep me from becoming “full blown” sick. I work with kids, so I’m around a lot of germs, so I need tricks like this! 😉

  8. Oh no! I’m sorry to hear you haven’t been feeling great!!

    As for working out when I’m not feeling 100% — I do it. I probably shouldn’t, but I do, mostly because I try to trick my body that it’s not actually sick (sometimes this does more harm than good! but other times, i really do just get over it).

    Feel 110% better soon!

  1. Pingback: Your Questions About Exercising While Sick | imstayinghealthy.com

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