Should you train while sick?
A stronger immune system is one of the many health benefits to regular exercise, but when your immune system is impaired and you do get sick should you continue to exercise? Most literature suggests that if symptoms are from the neck up (ie. Common cold), moderate exercise is okay. Recent studies show that moderate exercise can actually help create positive immune system responses to help fight bacteria. As always, however, you should still listen to your body. If you start to feel worse, reduce you’re the intensity of your training by half or take a few days off and reassess. Prolonged intense exercise can compromise your immune system even further.
If your symptoms are systemic such as having a respiratory infection, fever, chronic fatigue, body aches, the flu, or other stomach symptoms …. stay home! Allow yourself time to rest and recover. By going to the gym you will only be doing yourself and those who could potentially catch what you have a disservice.
What you should do…
Eat a well-balanced diet
Drink plenty of fluids
Get adequate sleep
Avoid overtraining and excessive weight loss
Wipe down equipment before and after using
1. Nieman, D.C. Curr Sports Med Rep (2003) 2: 239. doi:10.1007/s11932-003-0053-y
2. Can Exercise Reduce Your Risk of Catching a Cold? (n.d.). Retrieved January 01, 2017, from https://www.acefitness.org/acefit/fitness-fact-article/2613/can-exercise- reduce-your- risk-of/
3. ACSM | ACSM in the News. (n.d.). Retrieved January 01, 2017, from http://www.acsm.org/about-acsm/media- room/acsm-in- the-news/2011/08/01/clearing-the- air-on- exercise-and- the-common- cold