Should you exercise while you are sick? Here is what is ok when sickness hits and at what times you better give your body some rest.
Woe Is Me!
About two weeks ago, I had a pretty bad cold, one I haven’t had in nine years. I pretty much kidded myself that I never ever again get colds that bad, and, boom, all of a sudden there it was. I didn’t have a high fever, but beside the usual symptoms my body felt like I had been beaten with a wooden stick.
While I was lamenting my own fate, all of a sudden it seemed everyone else started getting sick as well, and my inbox became flooded with the one question on every fitness freak’s mind in the situation: Should I still work out if I’m sick?
Fever = No Exercise
There are definitely a few different ways to answer this question. It all depends on how sick you are, what you’re sick with and what symptoms you experience.
If you just have a slightly runny nose and no fever, you can of course still work out. But if you feel tired, drained, have a fever, hallucinations (!) and the room is spinning, it’s best that you take some days off from intense training or exercise of any kind altogether.
The reason is that when we get sick, it’s our body’s way to communicate with us, telling us that our immune system has weakened. When that happens, all of our bodily functions are slightly off and don’t work the same, as the body needs all its energy for recovery.
Listening to your body is therefore the best advice I can give you, because If you push yourself to work out at the same intensity that you normally do, then most likely you will get more sick the next day, and will be forced to take even more time off.
A Few Tips On How To Cope With It
But, on the other side of the coin, just because you are sick, doesn’t mean you can’t do anything at all. You can still do activities (if you are able to get out of bed that is) that don’t require too much strength which can actually help you recover faster.
When I got sick, I walked daily for an hour and after I got home stretched for 15 minutes, the latter also what I did every morning, right after getting out of bed.
Another thing you can try is a bit of daily light yoga. If you feel guilty about not exercising, it can help. and the calming effect may also aid your recovery.
Food, Drink And My Secret Remedy
If you have fever and sweat profusely, it’s also usually a good idea to drink a bit more, as it helps replace lost liquids. As far as food goes, most people don’t get very hungry when they’re sick so if you aren’t hungry, don’t force yourself into eating. But when you do eat, make sure to make it something light, that won’t give your body too much trouble digesting (remember, it already is working hard!). Red meat, for example, wouldn’t be that good an idea.
These are all the tips that I followed myself, but there also is one final top secret remedy I swear by and not so long ago discovered myself: raw honey and cinnamon. Take a teaspoon of raw honey and mix it with teaspoon of cinnamon and have that three times per day.
Hope you will be to working out in no time, just like a fresh cucumber ( that’s what we say in Russia)!