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Should You Work Out When You Are Sick?

Should You Work Out When You Are Sick?

You are sneezing and coughing, but you do not want to skip your workout in the gym.  You are doing your best to exercise regularly, so why should a little hitch drag you away from it? When you keep all hygiene safety rules for your health and the health of others, then excercising in the gym while you are ill can even benefit you. So, should you workout when you are sick?

Most doctors agree that it’s actually good to work out when you have the flu – if you use common sense of course. In fact, a simple exercise routine can keep you healthy, as research has shown that light but frequent exercise boosts T cell levels, which are at the forefront of the immune system, and so people who work out tend to get less sick than those who are constantly on the couch watching TV. However, exaggeration, especially when someone does not feel very well, can boomerang right back at you, and instead of helping your body recover, it simply prolongs the illness. Here are some basic guidelines whether or not you should workout when you are sick.

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Fever as an indicator

Fever is a typical symptom that should keep you in bed. If you’re experiencing a fever over 38.3 ° C, do not move from home. According to Lewis G. Maharam: “When someone has a fever and attempts to exercise, exercise may cause an increase in internal body temperature if it is already high due to fever, which means that human health will worsen.”

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Check your symptoms

If your symptoms are over the neck line, i.e. congestion, coughing and wheezing, then exercise is allowed, says Lewis G. Maharam, author of the Running Doc’s Guide to Healthy Running. If you have fever and body aches or heavy coughing that causes chest pain, it is better to stay at home. If your symptoms are over the neck, but you feel exhausted and weak, it is better not to go to the gym until your symptoms improve, says Jeffrey Woods, Ph.D., a professor of kinesiology at the University of Illinois.

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Be considerate of other people at the gym

If you decide to go to the gym despite your discomfort, then take some precautions to contain the germs and to protect other people from contracting a virus. First of all, you should wipe each machine you use before letting go and going to the next one, and it would be a good idea to avoid group activities at the gym at this stage because nobody is in the mood to see you coughing frantically in the middle of a zumba workout session. Also, make sure to visit the gym at a time when it is mostly empty and do not forget to take tissues with you because exercise often opens the nasal cavities and produces nasal congestion.

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Take it easy

Now is not the time, being sick, to add something more to your fitness program and push yourself to endure a few more repetitions in the exercise or to run just a few more minutes on the treadmill. Instead of running or doing many reps, you could walk or do some yoga and pilates exercises as suggested by Geralyn Coopersmith, author of Fit and Female: The Perfect Fitness and Nutrition Game Plan for Your Unique Body Type.

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Water is your best friend

It’s always a good idea to take sips of water during exercise, let alone now that you are ill. Nasal congestion, along with the use of antihistamines, may cause dehydration, says Daryl Rosenbaum, director of the Sports Medicine Fellowship at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, as the body needs fluids to recover and eliminate toxins. So remember to always have a bottle of water near you and do not forget to drink regularly.

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It is not easy to remain patient and optimistic when we are forced to go out of the program, and not entirely by our fault, but health must always be a priority. It’s not wise to beat a tired horse, because it’s not going to perform or improve. The correct judgment of our illness and its symptoms helps us cleverly surpass our illnesses and return to our normal routine sooner.

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