Do you get sicker or healthier if you work up a sweat? Read on to find out when it's best to hit the gym and when to stay in bed, drink water, and watch Netflix.
Have Good Gym Etiquette
Our general sickness policy has always been as follows: if going to the gym can make other people sick, then don't go. That includes colds, flu, allergies, earaches, fevers, and any other ailment that isn't just exhaustion. One day at a time, okay?
You can still exercise at home if you're sick (more on that below), but it's essential to keep others in mind as you deal with your symptoms.
What About Home Workouts?
Because of the spread of COVID, most of us have had to conduct our workouts in the comfort of our homes in recent years. The temptation to work out when you're sick is more significant because the risk of infecting others is low (unlike at your toddler's daycare). The issue is as follows: Regular exercise, where you get out of breath and push yourself, causes your body to go into a stress response. In a healthy person, the body will respond to this stress by adapting and becoming more resilient.
On the other hand, when you're sick, your immune system is already working overtime. Overloading the system with a strenuous workout (or a long, challenging run) is possible. In other words, your illness may worsen as a result.
Generally, If you're sick and worried that working out will make you feel worse, it's best to skip your usual routine. Training at Born Fitness is based on a philosophy that prioritizes high-intensity levels. I'd instead you feel great for part of your workout than suffer through it feeling like crap the whole time.
How To Workout When You're Sick
The first rule of thumb is to follow your doctor's orders when feeling under the weather. If they advise against physical activity, it's probably for a good reason. Assuming you have been given the all-clear to exercise, however, even light activity can speed up your recovery and improve your mood.
When it comes to physical activity, what exactly constitutes "low intensity?" Walking or a slow pace on your preferred home cardio machine would be good examples. In addition, you could try a mobility circuit. Extensive periods outside are my go-to. The goal is a resting heart rate of 50 to 60 beats per minute throughout the workout. Neither gasping for air nor any other signs of difficulty are acceptable. And remember that "low intensity" can mean different things to different people. Pay attention to your body and pick an activity you can do at a relaxed pace. Compare these exercises to a relaxing day at the spa. You shouldn't feel depleted when you leave but refreshed and revitalized.