By Faith Ellis
It’s that time of year again: cold and flu season.
You have spent all year eating right and exercising regularly so your immune system is ready for the worst. Bring. It. On.
Inevitably, even the healthiest of us get sick at some point. Before you know what hit you, you wake up one morning with a foggy mind and limbs that just ache.
Now the question that comes to your mind is, “Should I exercise when I am sick?”
Could exercising while you are feeling under the weather worsen your symptoms or promote a quicker recovery? Let’s find out.
To exercise or not to exercise…that is the question.
Are you contagious?
The first thing to do is to decide whether or not you have a fever. The majority of people who workout do so in a public space such as their local gym. If this is you and you are running a fever, you are most likely contagious and spreading your germs to everybody who comes into contact with you risking their health as well. Common courtesy would be to stay home if you do have a fever.
Opt for movement versus sweat
Maybe you have more than just a simple cold or a runny nose and “sweating it out” could do more harm than good. That doesn’t mean you have to stay rooted to the couch watching old reruns of Suits on Netflix. Do some light cleaning or take the dog for a walk to get your joints moving and your blood pumping. The fresh air will do you some good and make you feel a little better.
How do you feel?
Sometimes it will come down to simply how you are feeling. Maybe you think you feel okay and you try to do some of your workout and find that you begin feeling worse. Or maybe your body aches. You might feel better as you begin to sweat. Remember, each body is different. If you feel okay to move but not necessarily to sweat or do anything of high intensity, opt for some yoga instead.
Exercise suggestions for when you are sick:
If you have decided that you feel okay and you want to try to workout, consider doing one of these exercises:
- Ta’ Chi
Try to avoid the following:
- High Intensity Training
- Team Sports (Basketball, Soccer, ect)
- Endurance Training
- Heavy Weight Lifting
How can I improve my immune system?
It’s great that you are striving to be healthier in all aspects of your life. Eating the right foods and exercising regularly are sure ways to build a healthy immune system, but these are only partial improvements. Other ways to improve your immune system is by lowering your stress, getting more sleep, and being careful not to exercise in extreme conditions such as a hot or cold environment.
How can I prevent getting sick?
In order to help prevent getting sick, you want to exercise regularly, get your rest, and wash your hands regularly. You cannot prevent every sickness and at some point you may find yourself feeling icky, but you can build a strong body to help ward off most colds and other illnesses
Do you exercise when you are sick? What are your go-to exercises?
FAITH ENGEN ELLIS
Faith is a southern girl, born and raised in North Carolina. She enjoys spending time with her husband and fur-baby.
Faith is living a healthy lifestyle and her ultimate passion is to inspire others to do the same.
She decided to change the way she was living 4 years ago, but she wasn’t expecting to actually fall in love with it!
Now she enjoys experimenting with different kinds of fitness and challenging her body to new heights whether it be pilates, plyometric training, or weight training, and she aims to inspire others to realize the strength within themselves as well.
Faith’s favorite product for pre-workout is the Optimum Nutrition Essential Amino Energy line. Her favorite flavor so far has been the peach lemonade, but next on her list is Mocha Cappuccino, yum! The use of natural caffeine sources is a real win for this product and it mixes easily, so there is no grainy texture.
For protein sources, she enjoys Oh Yeah! One Bars for a quick and filling snack on-the-go, of which she has many favorite flavors! Or Gaspari Precision Protein to mix up a shake. Faith’s favorite recipe uses 1 scoop of the Cinnamon Cereal Crunch flavor, mixed with 1/2 a banana, 1/4 a cup of vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 tsp cinnamon, 8 ounces of unsweetened almond milk, and 1 cup of ice.
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