Working Out While Sick

9 Jul


Some people think it’s fine to work out while you’re sick. Some people say it’s something to be absolutely avoided at all costs. Where does the truth lie? I myself pondered this question while I laid in bed last week, taken out by a seemingly simple cold.

A cold/flu-like bug has been going around as of late. As a matter of fact, fellow blogger Carlyn was recently bitten by the cold bug herself. My co-worker was out for a few days herself for the same thing. I foolishly thought since I work out 5x per week, my immune system was well, immune to getting ill. As a matter of fact, my husband had been ill earlier this year, and I stayed home to take care of him instead of doing the Japan Day 4-miler race back in May.

So, where does the truth lie?

If you Google, “working out and sick,” most websites (i.e., WebMD) state that one should do the “neck check.” This means if the symptoms of your sickness are located above your neck then it’s generally safe to exercise. Above-neck symptoms include a sore throat, a headache or colds. If it’s below the neck (i.e., body aches, chills, stomach problems or diarrhea) then it is advised to take it easy until you’re feeling better. All websites state if you’re running a fever, no matter where your symptoms are, put off exercising until your temperature returns to normal.

Where does that put me then?

Personally, I would actually go to the gym and just take it easy (i.e., decrease the intensity). Since I mostly work out in a public setting, I would be very aware of what I am touching/sweating on. I would bring tons of hand sanitizers, tissues, towels, and even my own mat from home. However, this time, I was really knocked down by this cold. My chest has been super tight and my coughs have not been productive (sorry, I know, TMI). I also feel really weak and lethargic. I am sneezing and coughing constantly, to the point where I have been waking up every hour, on the hour. Halls and Vick’s Vapor Rub have been my new BFFs.

Halls actually has some super cute and fun motivational quotes on its wrappers.


Here are some of my fave:

Flex your can do muscles.

Tough is your middle name.

Don’t give up in yourself.

Inspire envy.

Strut your stuff.

I get excited everytime I open up a wrapper. It helps! It makes me feel like I will beat this cold… eventually, ha!

That said, I chose to not to work out. I have not been to the gym since last week. Overall, it’s killing me to not go. But I simply don’t have the energy to go. I am listening to my body and am practicing restraint. I am waiting to resume training until my motivation and health have completely returned. Remember, you have only one body, take care of it. So here’s to hoping I recoup by this week so I can get back to my regular scheduled programming next week!


6 Responses to “Working Out While Sick”

  1. Sarah K (@100CalsPerMile) July 12, 2012 at 9:29 PM #

    I’m a baby when I’m sick…so I usually take the time off. Sometimes I’ll do some yoga or a DVD but I don’t usually run when I’m sick. Feel better soon!

  2. Sarah July 10, 2012 at 6:55 AM #

    That’s smart to listen to your body and not push it. A week or 2 off isn’t the end of the world (even though it feels like it!). Hope you feel better soon!

  3. jamievictoriatomc July 9, 2012 at 12:35 PM #

    Definitely a good idea to listen to your body! If you rest now you’ll be quicker to get back into it! 🙂 Feel better girlie.


  1. Fueling my Fitness « runninglongislandnyc - July 22, 2012

    […] that’s not entirely true. I actually took two weeks off from the gym (eek!) because I was sick as I mentioned.  Now that I am better, I am going to start amping up my race training as August is […]

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