When you feel sick, the last thing on your mind is to go to the gym. If you can exercise, however, the boost your immune system receives might help you start feeling better faster than if you didn’t exercise at all.
There are times when rest is more important than exercise when you feel sick. How can you know if you’ll feel better if you choose to get up and start moving?
In general terms, you can exercise safely if you have these symptoms when you are feeling under the weather.
Sinus Pressure: Even if the pressure in your sinuses wraps around your eye socket and causes a headache, exercising may help to reduce the inflammation that is causing the issue.
Sneezing: A sneeze is your body’s way to expelling potential germs before they enter the body. Many sneezing incidents are related to allergies, which receive help with a regular regimen of exercise.
Runny Nose: This symptom is similar to a sneeze. If you do exercise, make sure to bring some tissues along.
Sore Throat: If you have a sore throat with white spots, that could be a bacterial infection, so go to the doctor first. For a throat that is inflamed or sore, some exercise might help you start to feel better.
Ear Ache: Most ear aches for adults occur because of sinus pressure or fluid buildup related to the sinuses. Exercising will help to start draining that fluid away.
There are times when it is not practical to exercise because of how you feel. If your body feels like it needs rest, then give it rest. You can always get some exercise the next day. When you experience these symptoms, exercise is not usually recommended.
Fever: If you have a fever that is 2 degrees above your normal temperature, then you should be resting. The presence of the fever indicates that your immune system is already trying to fight off the invaders.
Muscle Aches: When you feel achy because of an illness, rest is a better option because exercise increases the risk of an injury occurring. If your muscles feel achy because you went through a tough workout a couple of days ago, that is a different situation.
Wheezing: Any type of chest tightness, coughing, or difficulty breathing means rest should be in order. If you are unable to suck in enough air when breathing, you won’t be able to provide oxygenated blood to your muscles.
Vomiting: If you’re experiencing this symptom, then resting is a practical exercise. You don’t want to be out somewhere working out, then get stuck throwing up somewhere.
Diarrhea: Same situation. If you’re going for a walk, and then get the urge to run to the toilet when you’re a mile from home, then you’ll find yourself in an unpleasant circumstance.
If you’re unsure if you should exercise, think about it this way: when your illness is causing symptoms that could lead to dehydration, avoid exercise until you feel better. If not, then you should be able to exercise safely.