Should You Work Out When You're Under the Weather?

Dec 21, 2023

It's an age-old question for fitness enthusiasts - is it okay to exercise when I'm not completely healthy or am I better off resting? There's no one-size-fits-all answer, but here are some guidelines on deciding whether to push through or take a break:

Listen To Your Body

Pay close attention to the signals your body is sending. Are your symptoms above the neck like a stuffy nose? Or are they systemic, like fever, body aches or fatigue? Minor sniffles mean a workout is probably fine, but widespread symptoms are a sign to sit it out.

Assess Symptom Severity

Mild congestion or seasonal allergies usually don't necessitate skipping your sweat session. But anything that's moderate to severe in nature - coughing, wheezing, head fogginess - typically warrants more rest. Same goes for gastrointestinal distress like vomiting or diarrhea which can lead to dehydration and electrolyte loss. Let symptoms fully clear rather than attempting exercise.

Consider Your Risk Tolerance

Sometimes an illness is ambiguous, and you feel decent enough to keep your training schedule. In those borderline cases, also factor in your personal health history and risk profile. People battling chronic conditions or immunosuppression should exercise extra caution not to trigger illness progression by pushing overly hard.

In essence - listen to your body above all else. Let mild symptoms be your green light to carefully press onward if you desire but don't override obvious signs of distress. And when in doubt, side with rest rather than risking your long term health and fitness. Check with your doctor for guidance in specific cases.

Stay tuned for more tips on training strong even through cold season!