People like to exercise to stay in shape and stay fit and healthy. Some people adhere to a stricter exercise schedule than others. But for even the most dedicated, sometimes life throws a curve ball into the best laid plans to exercise. A good example of this is sickness. Some people will push through their illness and attempt to tough it out and continue to exercise. But is that a good idea? Should you continue to exercise when you’re sick?
If you are running a fever, it’s usually best not to exercise. Hard physical exercise can temporarily suppress immune function which in turn makes it more difficult to fight off a flu virus or cold. It is common knowledge that when you have a fever, you need to drink plenty of fluids to keep hydrated. Exercise causes fluid loss through sweating and can therefore be harmful if you’re running a fever. It’s best to rest and stay hydrated.
It’s also best to refrain from exercise if you have diarrhea and/or vomiting. Exercising when you have a gastrointestinal illness can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Rule of thumb, if you are spending more time in the bathroom than usual, take a break from exercise.
And don’t forget that if you go to the gym to exercise while you are sick, you will be exposing other people at the gym to your illness. How often have you been exercising when someone on a piece of exercise equipment next to you is coughing or sneezing? People don’t want to have illnesses spread to them by those who are sick but refuse to stay away from the gym until they feel better. Spreading germs to others is certainly not advisable.
Sometimes giving your body time to rest and recover from an illness is best. Then when you are able to return to exercising, you will be revitalized and stronger than ever!