Working Out When Sick: Bad or Good Idea?

Working Out When Sick: Bad or Good Idea?

Working Out When Sick: Bad or Good Idea?

Congrats! You’re sick and have found yourself in this article because you’re worried you might lose all your gains if you miss out on a few days at the gym. So, now you’re here – wondering if you should suck it up and go train while feeling miserable or if you should saddle up and head back home to your comfy bed that’s been calling your name all day.

Listen, Googling for answers and/or checking forums/threads is always a convenient way to get some answers but they are also going to give you the most mixed opinions that may leave you more confused about what to do than you were before.

If you’re someone who has a steady routine going, it’s always a pain trying to adjust to taking a rest day when you normally wouldn’t. After all, you may be one to believe that training while being under the weather may help reduce your sickness a bit.

There are many important factors to look at before making the decision to head into your local gym for a workout in a questionable health state.

Let’s first answer the question you’ve been looking for.

Should You Workout While Sick?

While should is a more definitive term, there’s no direct answer to this question without going a bit more in-depth on the differences between when you should and shouldn’t.

Yes, you certainly can but it may be more detrimental than positive. Your body is the sole contributor toward how you’re able to handle the physical output and if you’re feeling miserable beyond a certain extent, you most likely will just be wasting a workout and adding more time which can be used for recovery.

There are also many factors you should keep in mind before going to the gym that could potentially even put other members at risk of airborne illness and viral sickness.

Sick Workout

You might be asking then, “when is it okay to work out while you’re sick?”. This is a great question and differs quite a bit from the term ‘should’.

It’s generally okay though to go work out if you’re just feeling a little bit sick but you’re still able to have the physical production you need to push through your workout at a decent pace.

Your body should be the main decision-maker at the end of the day with what you decide to do, and you should listen to it. Just don’t overdo it and strain your body too hard, allow yourself some added time for rests between sets and try to take it a bit easier than on normal gym days.

When Is It Not Okay to Workout While Sick?

If you are feeling like this has surpassed the normal cold, you should probably take a day off from the gym to give your body the rest and recovery it needs. A runny nose and slight cough are one thing but if you’re running a high fever and struggling to keep food down then you need to do yourself and others a favor by staying at home and hydrating.

There is absolutely no need to put others at risk of being sick by feeling guilty about missing a day. You will not lose any gains and you will hinder any progress by trying to train when your body is trying to fight off an illness from within. Your body is already working extremely hard internally and you’re causing more harm by increasing your physical output when you need to be resting.

Don’t be that person in the gym getting everyone else sick, it’s quite selfish and probably will get you some uneasy looks and/or told to go home anyways since you’ll be showing every sign of the illness you have currently.

Bottom line: if you’re contagious with the flu, vomiting a lot, or feeling weak and lethargic – just sit this one out, you’ll thank yourself later.

Will Skipping the Gym Hurt Progress?

The simple answer is a hard no. In fact, you will hurt your progress more by going to the gym when you’re highly sick. It’s all about recovery and giving your body a rest day or two from the gym will not have a major impact on your physique.

Don’t be too hard-pressed in the feeling that some time off from the gym is going to ruin all your hard work as that simply is just not the case at all. Guilt shouldn’t be a factor as these things happen and it’s completely normal to account for.

A few rest days will make you more prepared and feel better than ever once you do get back in the gym and you can have a great workout without feeling bogged down compared to how you would be training while under the weather.

When Is It Okay to Go Back?

After any fevers subside and you start to feel a slight sense of normality, it’s probably safe to start going back to the gym if you’re doing the necessary things to help improve your health as you’re on the mend from your illness.

If you’re no longer contagious and any infections have run their course, then it’s almost certainly okay to head back into the gym with some normal caution at the very least.

Your body will be able to tell you when it feels like it can handle any physical activities and when you still may just need another day of rest before you start the comeback. Just be sure that you’re adequately hydrated, taking in fluids constantly, and washing your hands to help prevent the spread of any sickness when you do go back.

Try implementing some immune boosting supplements such as NuEthix Formulations’ Ideal Immunity, Essential Energy, and a collection of health support products as you look to help keep your health in good standing.

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Keep in mind that your endurance and stamina may not be at a high level until you fully recover from being sick so try to ease back into your workout regimen so that you’re not straining your body too much when it’s too soon.

If you are having trouble getting through your workout, don’t be afraid to pack it up early to get some more rest. Sometimes it may seem like everything is 100% but there still may be some underlying symptoms still creeping around and getting some extra rest time can only help prevent that.

The Take Home

Should you become sick and are contemplating whether to continue with your planned workout, make sure that it’s nothing serious or contagious. If you’re battling something that’s more severe than a general cold, it’s going to be in your best interest to take some time off from the gym and work on getting your health at an optimal level.

Taking care of yourself should always be at the forefront and you shouldn’t risk getting others sick for a half-assed workout that makes no difference in progression at all.

Listen to your body, if you feel like pure death then stay at home. If you feel like it’s nothing too major, then go ahead and hit the iron a little bit to get the oxygen flowing. Don’t sacrifice your health and the health of others, rest if you really need it.

Author | Austin Perry

Austin Perry

Veteran fitness and health writer Austin Perry has accrued almost a decade worth of experience in sports nutrition and supplementation while having numerous featured articles published and shared within the wellness community.

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