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eadinad's avatar

Is it a good idea to exercise while sick?

Asked by eadinad (1278points) September 24th, 2009

I’m sick with a cold or something of that sort, and I’m really tired and draggy feeling. But it’s also a beautiful day and I’d like to be out enjoying it. Is it okay to go for a walk/run or should I listen to my body and just get lots of rest?

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19 Answers

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zephyr826's avatar

In my experience, a little exercise can help with a minor illness. Sometimes it can help the cold get a move on. However, I wouldn’t do marathon training or something like that. But a short jog should be fine. Just listen to your body and if it gets too difficult to breathe, slow down or stop.

JLeslie's avatar

Rest is most important. Walk, but not if you have to push yourself. If you are in America it is still early, you might feel more energy in a couple of hours. Fresh air and some sunshine sounds good, you can just sit outside and enjoy the day. Don’t let yourself get overheated though.

veronasgirl's avatar

When you are sick your body needs sleep and rest so that your immune system can fight the infection. Don’t stay in bed all day though, get up to go to the bathroom or make some soup, you would be surprised at how quickly your muscle mass deteriorates.
Do you have a temperature or any other symptoms other than the tired feeling? You might not be sick, there could be other causes depending on other symptoms.

DarkScribe's avatar

Most Gyms and trainers advise strongly against exercising when sick – it can create major problems if you do hard work with a poor respiratory system.

eadinad's avatar

@ Veronasgirl – yeah, I’ve got all the typical cold symptoms: sore throat, coughing, congestion, watery eyes.

thanks for the advice everyone. i’ve decided to prolly just go on a short walk around the block. hopefully tomorrow i feel better.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Colds are actually helped by exercise via stimulation of the immune system.

Do not work out if you have a fever. Listen to your body. If you feel weak during your workout, it’s time to take a break.

drdoombot's avatar

Similar to @SpatzieLover, I’ve heard that you exercise a cold and rest a fever.

DarkScribe's avatar

You do NOT work out if you have congested lungs. Working out causes the muscles to demand more oxygen, congested lungs cannot supply that oxygen.

Ailia's avatar

@DarkScribe Well nothing happened to me when I worked out with congested lungs. I certainly spat out a lot of yellow crude but that wasn’t especially painful or anything just cleaning out the works you know? And I ran a mile, played tennis and walked around with my cold and nothing bad occured except that I was dog-tired at the end of the day, which I usually am.

charliecompany34's avatar

go for a run and watch and feel the fluids flow from your throat and nostrils as you endure. like running expels sweat and increases digestive tract functions, so does it “out” the virus or sickness…

Kraigmo's avatar

If you are used to exercising everyday, then exercising while sick can be helpful. Athletes do it all the time.

But if you are not used to exercising everyday, it will usually just do harm and make you more sick.

Sports doctors usually tell their clients to rest, if the sickness can be felt in the head, but to go ahead and exercise, if the illness is felt mostly in the torso.

rottenit's avatar

I like to keep doing some light riding while I am sick, seems to make me feel better.

Brahmaviharas's avatar

The Common Cold Has Little Effect on Exercise Performance and Recovery



DarkScribe's avatar

@Ailia _Well nothing happened to me when I worked out with congested lungs. _

In that case I doubt that you actually know what a real workout entails. When I work out I work to failure, I am at maximum capacity at all times and if I even try a light workout with congested I fail within minutes, not hours.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Brahmaviharas Common Cold Has Little Effect on Exercise Performance

Total nonsense. If seriously think that you can perform as well in any type of exercise – from a sprint to a marathon for instance – as well with a cold as without, then I suggest that you have absolutely no experience with real exercise. Why do athletes – even at Olympic level – rest when they have a cold if it makes no difference?

Individual reports mean nothing – often they are reported out of context. I have seen (as I love giving in example) reports that claim that breast milk is bad for babies.

Use your brain – can you run as far and as hard with a bad cold? Lungs full of congestion – nasal passages blocked?

Ailia's avatar

@DarkScribe I know what a real workout is, and the only way my cold affected me is my time. It went from 5 mintues to 10. So that was a pretty big shift but I could still function and do my regular workout except that my times and perfomance was lacking severly. The only reason I supplied this is because I do not agree that you cannot exercise when you have a cold. Thats all. And even if our definitions of a workout differ, running a mile and playing tennis and going to school is a lot. At least for me.

DarkScribe's avatar

@Ailia the only way my cold affected me is my time. It went from 5 mintues to 10.

A real workout in five minutes normally?

Ailia's avatar

@DarkScribe No. That was just running the mile. I also played play tennis for an hour or two. Anyways I don’t see the need for answering anymore as I am sure @eadinad has enough answers to figure out what she needs to know.

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