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Can I work out when I'm sick?
September 18, 2006 3:07 PM   Subscribe

Can I still work out when I've got a cold? How much exercise is too much when you're sick?
posted by BuddhaInABucket to Health & Fitness (9 answers total)
 
this has definitely been asked at least twice (http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/35767 and http://ask.metafilter.com/mefi/15564). i think the gist was that if you feel well enough while you're working out to work out, then you're fine.
posted by ZackTM at 3:17 PM on September 18, 2006


It all depends on how much energy you have and what you're doing. Listen to your body. If you feel like resting, do that. Otherwise, be prepared to scale back if you find yourself tiring.

If your breathing is affected, aerobic exercise might represent a challenge. Weightlifting should be okay, but if you workout in a club or other place, you will probably get nasty looks if you're sneezing or hacking so that might be a consideration. Good hygiene, like the use of hand sanitizer, is definitely in order here.

I've seen reports saying that exercise both weakens and strengthens the immune system so I just do what feels right.
posted by tommasz at 3:22 PM on September 18, 2006


Ahh, wow, I would have searched but my brain's not really working... cause I'm sick. Thanks.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 3:22 PM on September 18, 2006


And what ZackTM said.
posted by tommasz at 3:23 PM on September 18, 2006


and... as a cycling coach I'll add an old saw that we use with aerobic athletes: above the neck, what the heck, below the chin, stay in.

Head cold / congestion with no fever? you're good to work out, though I'd recommend sticking to about 80% of your usual intensity volume until the congestion clears.

If you're coughing, running a fever, fatigued, or have chest congestion, you are strongly encouraged to give the workouts a pass, at least until you stop coughing. Particularly if you plan to be exercising in a cold environment - this is an almost guaranteed recipe for a long bout of bronchitis.
posted by lonefrontranger at 3:50 PM on September 18, 2006


You can almost always do light to moderate Cardio work outs unless you have a fever. Often times it helps clear your sinus.

But I would never strength-train when feeling sick. It's too easy to get distracted and then you risk injury. Sub your strength training with light cardio. Something you can do without your needing to mind form all the time.
posted by tkchrist at 4:24 PM on September 18, 2006


I've always gone by lonefrontranger's old saw.
posted by OmieWise at 5:03 PM on September 18, 2006


Make sure it’s not a symptom of something bigger. I hit the gym when I had mono (caffene, it’s a wonder drug). Big, big mistake. And take your time and stretch extra.
posted by Smedleyman at 6:47 PM on September 18, 2006


Yeah, if you have a light cold then it's fine. Anything worse I reallty wouldn't push it you could make youself worse.
posted by ob at 2:12 PM on September 19, 2006


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