Should you Exercise When you're Sick?

Author: ANCP   Date Posted:3 April 2014 

Runny nose, sore throat, aches and pains, the works! Being sick is one of the most awful feelings in the world. But for those of us who exercise regularly, missing out on a trip to the gym can feel infinitely worse. 

Should you exercise when you're sick? Do you hit the treadmill with a box of tissues? Or do you sit this one out and come back another day? The truth is, it depends.



First, it depends on the kind of sick that you are. If your only problem is a drippy nose or hoarseness in your chest, you'll probably be fine to go on your run or try out that new yoga routine.

Similarly, headaches or stomach aches can make it difficult to focus on your workout, but if you can manage, go for it.

However, if you have a fever, you should call it a day and stay in bed. Fevers happen when your body heats up in the effort to fight off more serious illnesses, and you should make an effort to let your body do its work. The last thing you want to do is aggravate your sickness and make it last even longer. Treat your fever like an injury. Exercising while you have it simply isn't worth the risk.


Second, whether or not you can exercise depends on you. That's right, you.

Just like the vigour of your workout can change from day to day, you should pay attention to how you feel when you're sick. It might be that you feel totally capable of running that mile, or doing that weight set. It might be that you'd rather take a nap.

Either option is okay. Remember, your first priority is your health, and your body agrees.