For healthy individuals, moderate exercise may help you to fight off infections like cold and flu. But when you are getting sick or are currently infected with a cold or flu, should you continue to work out?
Here are four signs that you may be too sick to exercise:
You Have Below the Neck Symptoms
Many health experts classify cold and flu symptoms as above and below the neck. Above the neck symptoms such as stuffy nose, sore throat, and headache may not prevent you from working out. However, if you have below the neck symptoms including chest congestion, body aches, a bad cough, or upset stomach, it may be best to wait a few days before hitting the gym.
You Have a Fever
A fever means your body is using energy to fight an infection. Exercising can raise your temperature to a dangerous level and deplete the energy you need to get better. It’s best to wait until a fever subsides before exercising.
You Are Taking a Decongestant
Taking a decongestant can help alleviate cold and flu symptoms such as a stuffy nose or headache. However, these medications may also elevate your heart rate. If you are taking a decongestant, you may want to avoid adding more stress to your body and reduce exercise intensity or postpone exercise until you are no longer taking the medication.
You have Asthma
The combo of asthma, a cold or flu infection, and exercise can result in more severe asthma symptoms. It is best to consult with a doctor and avoid rigorous activity until you feel healthy again.
If you do exercise while sick with a cold or the flu, then take care to reduce the intensity of your activity. Try a brisk 20-minute walk instead of a regular gym workout.