Please note, workouts suggested on this website are not to be interpreted as treatment plans or substitutes for medical consultation. Before undertaking any exercise program, please consult a physician or healthcare provider for appropriate safety precautions. If at any point during a workout you start to feel dizzy, faint, short of breath, or experience physical discomfort, discontinue your exercise immediately and consult a physician.
Regular exercise is a proven way to prevent illness. But with cold and flu season fast-approaching, odds are strong that sickness will strike. What then? Should you power through the plague and maintain your workout routine?
Always consult your doctor first, but the right answer depends on several important factors. See these five tips to determine if it’s better to exercise—or to give your body a much-needed break.
- Be mindful of medications. As with exercise, some cold medicines (like decongestants) increase your heart rate. Working out while medicated can cause your heart to pump extra-hard. Even robust individuals may experience shortness of breath—so anyone with a heart condition should absolutely sit out when sick.
- Consider your other conditions. Battling illness takes energy, and the extra physical stress of a workout can be dangerous. Monitor yourself, particularly if find yourself mixing medications for chronic conditions with over-the-counter cold remedies. And if you have diabetes, monitor your blood glucose levels more frequently, since glucose levels increase with illness and decrease with exercise.
- Lower your expectations. Pushing yourself to increase your number of reps—or run that extra mile—should wait until you’re healthy. If you’re determined to exercise through illness, reduce your typical workout time or lessen the impact of your workout. Try substituting strength training with lightweight dumbbells over heavier loads, or swap out your day’s treadmill training with an Octane Zero Runner.
- Avoid the gym. Skip your yoga or pilates class, and pass up that pickup game of basketball. Stick with solo activities that prevent the further spread of germs. (And when you’re back on your feet, remember to always wipe down the machines at the gym before you use them.)
- Feverish? Wait a few days. Certain symptoms are your body’s way of telling you to slow down. These include fever, sore throat, and an upset stomach. If these symptoms describe your illness, get some rest.
Finally, taking a break when you get sick is good for your body. Getting the rest you need—when you need it—lets you attack your workout even harder when you’re back in action. When that day comes, we’ll be ready for you at Gym Source. We’ve got all the latest exercise tools and technology to reach your goals and help you stay healthy in the long run.
With thanks to our sources: Science Daily http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121107132101.htm and WebMD http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/cold-guide/exercise-when-you-have-cold