To Train or Not to Train? The Low Down on Training While Sick
Updated: Feb 28
Cold and Flu season is right around the corner! While we all hope we are all able to dodge whatever nasty bug starts going around this year, that’s not always how things play out. When this happens, the question to whether or not to go to the gym is bound to come up.
Our short answer? Get your ass to the gym, but take it easy! (Also be sure to take precautions that will minimize the chance of spreading your bug.)
How should you workout while sick? No, “sweating it out” is NOT the way to go about doing it. This is a myth. In fact, going to the gym and killing yourself could actually make an illness worse.
If your symptoms are above your neck (head cold, sinuses, etc.), you can do some intense training, but keep the overall volume low.
If your symptoms are below your neck, skip the intensity and opt for some easier cardio work, which could be something as simple as a walk around the block based on your symptoms.
Of course, this does vary based on the circumstance and the severity of the illness, but in general moving as much as possible is going to help with recovering from an illness.
How is it possible?
Movement helps you get over a cold faster! Yes, you read that right. By moving, you are essentially flushing lymph and nutrients throughout your body at a faster pace than what your body could do on its own.
You may actually feel stronger training while sick! This is due to your body releasing antibodies to help your cells combat the sickness. These antibodies actually act as strength enhancers, especially at the initial onset of a cold.
Your body is going to react based on your mindset. Think of all the negative effects stress has on the body. Self pity and playing victim to a cold can actually prolong your sickness.
So while it is going to be best to listen to your body and not push it too hard, make sure you are not getting caught in a loop of feeling sorry for yourself either. Keep a positive, optimistic mindset (as hard as it may be) and stay focused on recovering!
Disclamer: We are not doctors nor do we pretend to be. Always consult your physician if you are unsure about the severity of your illness.