Exercising When Sick

I get asked all of the time, is it ok to exercise when sick? Should I take off?  Obviously, at the end of the day we need to listen to our bodies, however here’s what science says:

  • It is ok to exercise if your symptoms are above the neck.  For example, runny nose, congestion, etc.  Obviously, you shouldn’t expect to be able to exert maximum speed, agility, force, strength, etc. as your body is fighting off a virus
  • If your symptoms are below the neck, ie. body aches.  It is definitely not recommended to exercise even if you don’t have a fever.
  • If you have a fever, even if your symptoms are only above the neck, it is also not recommended to exercise and let your body rest and battle out the virus.

Now, is there a way to strengthen your immune system via exercise? There is! Science Says:

  • The best exercise and really only type of exercise that has been proven to strengthen your mine system is aerobic aka cardiovascular exercise.
  • These days, resistance training is gaining popularity as people mainly women are realizing how great it is to strengthen and shape up your body.  In terms of immune system strengthening however, it actually hurts your immune system and does nothing to strengthen it.  That being said, it does not mean you shouldn’t do resistance training exercise, it just means you should consider adding cardiovascular training and a clean diet to help strengthen your immune system as resistance training has an amalgam of other benefits, which I have previously blogged about!


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