Now going into the second month of winter, it’s that dreaded time of the year- cold and flu season.  

The question remains, is it okay to exercise while sick?

Answer: yes and no.

It depends on how sick you are and how you’re feeling. One thing for certain, you must listen to your body. If you’re feeling fatigued and not so great, maybe it would be of benefit to skip a session or do it at a lower intensity. However, it also depends on your symptoms.

If you have symptoms “above the neck” such as a sore throat, sneezing, headache and blocked nose, it is okay to exercise. There is some research suggesting that exercise can be beneficial for those with headaches, as endorphins and natural pain killers are released, decreasing symptoms. Again: it's your decision, it may be okay to exercise, but if you are feeling sluggish and fatigued, then rest up. 

If you have symptoms ‘below the neck’ such as a fever, coughing, muscle pain and nausea/vomiting/diarrhoea, then don’t exercise. If you exercise when you are this sick, you could potentially make symptoms worse. If you have these symptoms, it’s best to take it easy and recover before attempting to exercise again.

It’s up to you and how you are feeling. If you’re feeling fatigued from being sick, it’s best to rest up. If you have a cough from being sick, again, it’s best not to exercise. If you still want to exercise but have ‘above the neck’ symptoms, maybe going for a walk instead of going to the gym is the better option for you. Listen to your body, if your body is screaming for rest then don;t exercise. 

If your organisation is interested in improving the health and wellbeing of your employees, get in contact with us today for further information on the corporate health programs we run.