Can I exercise when I'm sick?

There's nothing like a bout of illness to throw your exercising routine out of balance.

If you're training for a particular sporting event or have dedicated yourself to a strict exercising routine for a particular reason, this can be particularly frustrating.

While mild-to-moderate exercise is usually fine in certain situations, it can very literally be life-threatening in others.

Medical doctor Edward Laskowski from the Mayo Clinic offers some guidelines for those who wish to continue exercising while they are sick.

Exercise is generally acceptable if:

Your symptoms are above the neck - meaning if you have symptoms associated with a common cold such as a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing and a mild sore throat.

But, you might consider reducing the length and intensity of your workout by, for example, going for a walk instead of a run.

Avoid exercising if:

Your symptoms are below the neck, meaning you have a chest infection, a cough or an upset stomach.

Never exercise if you are fatigued from being sick, have muscle aches or are running a fever.

Listen to your body

Apart from these general guidelines, listen to your body.

If you feel rotten, take a break so as to not overexert your body which might make you sicker, prolonging your healing period and keeping you from exercising for a longer period of time.

As you begin feeling better, you can start exercising again gradually, but if in doubt, check with your doctor.

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