How sick is too sick?

With the cold and flu season underway, there’s one question left on the avid gym-goer’s mind: Should I still work out if I’m sick? While digging for the undiscovered answer, helpful guidelines were found…

The most common– know by the neck. If symptoms are being harbored below the neck, stay on the couch. Do not push your body if you have an upset or achy stomach, muscle tension or pains, and cough or congestion in the chest. Those running shoes won’t do your body any good; stick to the slippers in this instance. Experiencing a runny nose, sore throat, or sinus pressure? These symptoms, above the neck, can actually be reduced through physical activity; lace up the tennies!

Tailor the workout for your body’s condition. While fighting off bugs, viruses, and bacteria, you don’t want to overwork your body. Health.com suggests walking or lightly jogging for twenty-odd minutes to break up head congestion. Low intensity yoga, dancing,  biking and swimming are also considered to be good exercises to resort to while sick. Things to avoid? Working out close to others, in cold temperatures outdoors, or in a team sport. Lifting weight and utilizing gym equipment are also suggested to avoid- even if the equipment is wiped down.

Stay hydrated. By drinking plenty of water, you can help flush your system and give your body the extra energy it needs.

Your body is the boss. Listen to it. While you’re working out, if your symptoms aren’t improving or are becoming worse, stop! Your body is telling you that you are pushing it too hard and to rest. If you need it, sleep. If you’re hungry, eat healthily. Give your body what it needs to get you back to feeling like yourself again.

So, who wins? Slippers or the tennis shoes? It’s up to you!

For more information on working out while you’re sick, please visit the following websites that were utilized to create this post:

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20719696,00.html

http://www.prevention.com/health/health-concerns/exercise-while-sick-expert-advice-preventioncom

http://news.menshealth.com/are-you-too-sick-to-work-out/2012/01/17/

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