Making the decision to exercise or not when you are sick depends on what the sickness is, according to WebMD, an online source for medical information. As an example, exercising with a cold may be OK, but if a fever is present, hitting the gym is not a good idea.
Exercising with a fever can further increase the body’s internal temperautre and can make you feel even worse, according to Lewis G. Maharam MD, a New York City-based sports medicine expert. He recommends sitting out the exercise if your temperature is 101 degrees Farenheit or more.
Coughing and/or chest congestion also indicate it’s a good time to take a break from exercise. Fatigue, widespread body and muscle aches and vomiting, upset stomach or stomach cramps also preclude exercise, according to experts.
The most important thing, regardless of the symptoms, is to pay attention to what your body tells you. If you don’t feel up to it, and all you want to do is get some rest, then that’s what your body needs. It’s vital to understand that pushing yourself to do a full, normal exercise routine when you’re ill will only stress the immune system even more and prolong the illness.
High-intensity exercise should be avoided when you’re sick, because intensive exercise boosts production of cortisol, a stress hormone that inhibits the activity of natural killer cells — a type of white blood cell that attacks and rids the body of viral agents.
The most important things to do when you’re ill are rest, take fluids, eat properly and take nutritional supplements that can help fortify the body.
The time away from your workout may give you the sense you’re slipping, but the sooner you recover the sooner you can get back to your regular routine.