Itâs that time of the year againâthe gyms are still packed with those who made exercising their New Yearâs resolution (or at least those who have stuck it out so far) and the cold virus is making its rounds.
While itâs no surprise that exercise is healthy, is it healthy to exercise when youâre not feeling well?
Health Before Fitness: Rest Most Important When Youâre Sick
A good workout gets your blood flowing, your heart racing, and the sweat pouring. It can make you feel great, even offering euphoric sensations as your body releases neurotransmitters and hormones in response to training. But sometimes, itâs best to stay away from the gym if youâre not feeling your best, even if the workout itself makes you feel better.
I know weâre only a couple of weeks into the New Year and youâre probably sticking to your new exercise routine like itâs a matter of life or death, but you could be hurting yourself and others if youâre in the gym while youâre under the weather. Fitness should never come before health, so if youâre ill, you should take some time away from the gym and recover. This way youâll lower your risk of further illness, speed up your recovery time, and keep others safe from catching whatever you had.
Exercising Good If Youâre Sick? That Dependsâ¦
If youâve got a common cold, you can work out without putting yourself in too much danger. Breathing may be slightly more difficult and you might tire a little faster, but there is nothing serious to worry about. Of course, the other people using the free weights or attending yoga class might feel a little differently.
If youâre sick and use the gym, you need to keep other people in mind. Generally speaking, youâre contagious for up to five days and germs can spread very easily in gyms, being left behind on dumbbells, machines, and other equipment. Remember to always clean off the equipment youâve used and, at the very least, avoid the gym during those first five days youâre contagious.
If youâve got a stomach bug, youâre going to want to stay out of the gym altogether. Working out can be quite dangerous if youâre experiencing vomiting or diarrhea because youâll be low on fluids already; if youâre sweating at the gym, youâll be even more dehydrated and it can result in potential injury or severe dehydration. The best thing to do with this type of illness is to stay home, rest, and drink as many fluids as possible. Donât work out under any circumstances!
The same goes for the flu. If you have a fever, exercise can be dangerous because your temperature is already elevated. Exercise will only contribute to higher temperatures and more severe dehydration. The flu can take you out of the gym for three to five days, but waiting until youâre fully recovered is the best idea for a faster recovery and your overall health. A simple rule to go by is to avoid the gym until youâve been able to go 24 hours without having to take any medication.
To get the most from your exercise planâand promote your heath as best you canâstay away from the gym when youâre ill. But donât let any minor sneeze, sniffle, or cough keep you back, either. Remember, you shouldnât be searching for excuses to cut back!