Should You Work Out When Sick: Yay Or Nay?

With the new fitness routine, you’ve outdone yourself this time. Further, you have followed up on your days well and finally got on track with time and effort. When everything does seem to be terrific and well, what happens when you unexpectedly feel under the weather? Rather than the body, it starts off with the mind. You start to doubt yourself. 

You do not want to miss out on your workout because if you do this time, you might take a break that is doomed to put you in the center of a circle that never ends. But the question arises: should you work out when sick?

This much-deserved query needs a much-needed solution. Many articles give their readers a good perception of starting a good workout routine with steps and tricks to motivate yourself into those shoes. But a few talk about when to give yourself the rest that is deserved and rather much needed. We are here to help you through this. 

Regular exercises can keep you healthy and in shape, but there cannot be a more significant indication to pause for a while when you are unwell. We are not blind to the benefits of workouts, and we try hard to keep up with them. With the world around us engulfed in a Pandemic, we have learnt to adapt to the environment and build our schedule around this mishap.

Our bodies are built to adapt. And this is something that we need to remember. Regardless of the climate, diet, and geography, the human body has always managed to survive the worst. It is only plausible when we get ample rest after tiring our bodies. 

The body needs to heal to take on more challenges; otherwise, it will give up on you. Everyone, once in a while, needs to rest. Resting between workouts, taking a few cheat days from the diet is all the fun in our little routines. Talking about rest, is it good to work out when sick?

Should you work out when sick? Yes or No?

There is a simple rule to answer this question. You are allowed your daily workout when the symptoms of your sickness are ‘above the neck’ and need absolute rest when the symptoms are ‘below the neck. 

  • What classifies as above the neck- sneezing, coughing, earache, stuffy nose. 
  • What classifies as below the neck- body ache, fever, chest congestion, and diarrhea. 

Despite this trick, it can still be hard to figure out when you shouldn’t be working out exactly. To keep it simple, when you are visiting your doctor for a check-up, ask him if the symptoms seem severe, and your body needs rest or not. 

Workouts can be detrimental if you are faced with serious symptoms. Your body is in a state of recovery when sick. That means that it is continuously fighting out whatever has caused the sickness. For the same, it needs to build immune cells, which simply means that a lot of chaos is going around inside the body. In such a hotchpotch situation, it doesn’t need anything extra to focus on. If you keep your workout intense at this time, your cells will have to follow your command, and recovery reluctantly becomes less focussed. 

In cases of fever, it is not advisable to work out. As your body temperature is already high, you do not want to raise it further. It can end up in body ache and exhaustion. Avoid going to the gym or doing any high-impact workouts. 

During diarrhea, you lose a lot of body fluids. Although it doesn’t lead to high fever most of the time, loss of electrolytes is seen. Exercising can lead to more loss of water and electrolytes, completely disrupting your fluid balance in the body. So, sit this one out. 

Flu- it can be serious or may not, depending on the severity. Two weeks is the time limit it takes for recovery. In this time, make sure you focus solely on your recovery and not on stressing out about your workouts. You have the flu. You are sick. A workout when sick? No, thank you.

In cases of injury, you should first consult a doctor and proceed very carefully. Do not harm your body with an intense workout. Specific injuries require you to do small movements to recovery. It is important to take extensive care at such times. 

Does this mean that it is bad to work out when sick? 

Absolutely not! If you have something like a mild cold, cough, or other above the neck symptoms and feel good enough, stick to your home gym. Keep your exercises mild and maybe skip out of excessive hard workouts if you are not so energized. Do remember to have proper hygiene, so you don’t let others be affected by the germs. 

Sometimes exercising can be good to lift your mood and to take time off from feeling lethargic. Do some small movements or low-impact workouts to keep you feeling fresh and rejuvenated. Take a walk around the block or a park or cycle. Some yoga workouts can also help your body to heal faster. This is essential to keep your body on its toes, and you won’t have to start from zero when you actually get to work out. 

It is a good habit to keep fit. Staying fit and healthy also means having good diet control. When you are sick, having more greens and fruits is absolutely important. It gives you the speedy recovery you would be looking forward to. Have antioxidant and fibre rich foods like honey, garlic, tea, banana, and oatmeals. Calming and less complex foods like soups, juices, and other liquids are always preferred to give your body less work in digesting. 

How to work out when sick and when to return to your routine? 

It has been seen that your muscle strength deteriorates after ten days of no workout, and your stamina comes down after 21 days of non-movement. Keeping this in mind, you can work a little on the days you feel energized and just rest when you are too sick. After all, you do work out to be healthy and not the other way round. 

After recovery:

  1. Don’t expect yourself to start from where you left off.
  2. Take a few days to test out your stamina.
  3. Do some low-intensity workout or just some light cardio.

Once you are confident that you can take it a little further, then jump back to your fitness routine and continue. If you do it without testing yourself, your body might end up in sickness again. 

Should you work out when sick : Verdict

Workout, routine, fitness, health! All of this sounds great! If you have built yourself to do it all, don’t worry about skipping back to your old self and trust in yourself. Should you work out when sick? We hope that we have answered it for you. To finally wrap it up, try not to force a workout on yourself. It is vital to examine yourself first and make decisions accordingly. Incorporate things in your own ways and be you and be at its best.

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