Should you train when you’re sick?

Do you think sweating out will make your immune system stronger or weaker? Continue reading to find out when to exercise and when to rest, hydrate and catch up on Netflix.

Have Good Gym Etiquette

Our approach to sickness has been straightforward. If going to the gym could make others sick, then we stay away. This applies to sore throats, fevers and any other symptoms that are not general fatigue. Remember that one day is only one day.

This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t exercise at home if you are sick. (More on this below). But, try to remember others if you have symptoms.

What about home workouts?

COVID has allowed most people to train at home in recent years. There is less chance of you infecting other people than at daycare. This means that it is easier to exercise when you are sick.

Problem is, your normal exercise routine – where you push yourself and breathe hard – can trigger a stress response. Your body adapts to stress when you are healthy.

Your immune system can already be stressed when you are sick. The immune system could be overloaded by adding more stress to it, such as a long, difficult run or hard workout. This could lead to you becoming more sick.

My rule of thumb: My rule of thumb? Born Fitness emphasizes intensity in training. I would rather you feel healthy and push your limits for a short time than feeling like you’re slacking during your entire workout.

You don’t have to be one with the couch when your body is sick. You can still exercise as long as you do the right kind of movement

How to Workout While You’re sick

When you are sick, it is important to follow your doctor’s instructions. They may recommend that you avoid exercise for certain reasons. If you are cleared to exercise, low intensity movement can help you feel better and heal faster.

What is low-intensity exercise? If you don’t have one, it might be walking at a slow pace or using your cardio machine. You might also consider a mobility loop. Long walks outdoors are my go-to.

Your heart rate should be kept lower throughout the session. At no point should you be struggling or gasping for air. Low-intensity may look different for everyone. Pay attention to your body, and find an exercise you can do at a moderate pace.

These workouts can be compared to a day at a spa. You should feel energized and restored after these workouts, not beaten down.

The bottom line

While we believe in intensity training, it doesn’t mean that you have to PR every single workout if you are healthy. Your workouts will be tough. Put on your hard hat and make it happen, no matter how sore or tired you are. Those are the days that count.

However, it’s a loss to force yourself to train when you are sick out of an irrational fear that you will need to. You can learn to choose your battles and to hold yourself to a high standard. It will lead to better health more often than you might think

This post was written by Darryl Johnson, Co-Owner of Apex performance. At Apex performance we are a community of highly trained experts looking to provide performance enhancement and a permanent lifestyle change for our clients in a fun and interactive environment. Members can take advantage of one-on-one training, small group classes and specialized courses for a wide variety of athletics, sports training and body goals! Click Here to learn more!