Mild sickness, when must you rest and when is it okay to maintain normal activity?
October 30, 2009 8:33 PM   Subscribe

Recovering from lingering sinus infection, when can I work out again?

I am a teacher exposed to tons of germs on a regular basis, but I am pretty healthy. I get sick maybe once a year, and I am having it now. I had a small cold a few weeks ago, it seemed to clear up for a day or two, then it came back and my ears felt like they were under water. A few days later they started hurting. I went to a walk-in clinic and was diagnosed with a sinus infection. That was two weeks ago. I feel mostly okay, but my throat is still scratchy and my neck is still a little sore.

I am itching to get back to my fitness routine (I was rocking a Tae Bo rotation) but don't want to make things worse. I think the reason the cold escalated in the first place was because I didn't slow down and take proper care of myself. But it has been going on three weeks already, and I feel like if I wait until I am 100%, I will be waiting forever because I have asthma and these things tend to linger in me. And due to my job, I am just exposed to so much stuff. Surely, since I feel mostly okay, it's safe to start it up again? How do I know when I should be taking it easy so I don't make things worse and when it's okay to just carry on?
posted by JoannaC to Health & Fitness (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
The only authoritative answer you'll get on this question is from your physician. That said, how does your asthma respond to exercise? Is this a situation where you could ease back into things and stop if you start to feel ill? In my experience, exercise never makes a mild illness worse - and seems to clear out my sinuses when I have a cold.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 8:36 PM on October 30, 2009

you will just end up giving yourself splitting headaches. take it easy
posted by moorooka at 10:58 PM on October 30, 2009

Sorry to hear you've been ill. I, too, have asthma that complicates any respiratory illnesses I crop up with. I just got over a 3-week-long bronchial infection. Whenever I've been sick and am itching to get started on my workout, which involves a lot of cardio, I ease into it by doing STRETCHING. If after 10-15 minutes of various stretches I feel like my body and lungs can take a little more, I incorporate the lightest stuff of my routine--about 3-5 minutes' worth. If not, at least I feel like I did something. So this may be an option for you, and it may help your neck feel better. I would think that the worst case would be taxing your system further. So simply put, start light, and stop when you feel yourself starting to fatigue any--don't push past it to the point you feel wiped afterward.
posted by LillyBird at 12:15 AM on October 31, 2009

Neti pot? and yeah, proper warm up, cool down, and take it easy, are the best ways to ease back into exercise.
posted by titanium_geek at 1:23 AM on October 31, 2009

The rule I live by is if it is above the neck, I don't stop working out; at most I give myself permission to take it a little easier. You'll be fine. Go back.
posted by dame at 9:19 AM on October 31, 2009

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