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Should You Train When You Are Sick?

Should You Train

When we wake up with fever, congestion, a running nose, or diarrhoea, the first question that comes to mind is, should one train or exercise for the day? While some people might take this as the perfect opportunity to skip exercise, others might not want to fall behind in their committed training.

This can get a bit tricky if your health condition remains the same over a few days rather than just a day. The question of whether you should train in such circumstances can depend on quite a few factors. Here are some things you ought to know to decide whether you should or not.

Should You Train?

Someone who is in the middle of a training program might find it very difficult to skip training even for a day. You might be training for a marathon or a race. It can be extremely difficult to skip in such cases. 

As a general rule of thumb, if your symptoms are above the neck, you can still continue training. Common examples include a runny nose, congestion, a scratchy throat, etc. On the other hand, if your symptoms are below the neck, you might want to take it a bit easy. If you have a fever for an instance, it is a good idea to take a day or two off. 

When You Can Train

For symptoms above the neck, you can continue with your running, cycling, jogging, walking or gym workouts. However, it might not be the best idea to push yourself to the extreme. You can take it easy and do moderate workouts. Here are some examples of the symptoms.

  • Sore Throat:

    A sore throat will usually not impede your workouts, and you should be able to train normally. Ensure that you consume water regularly through your sessions to reduce some of the irritation.

  • Mild Cold or Flu:

    Mild cold or flu is usually accompanied by nasal congestion, sneezing, irritating throat, etc. You can continue with your workouts during mild cold, as long as you lower the intensity a bit.

  • Earache:

    If you have a minor earache, you can continue with your workouts without any hindrance. However, it is possible as long as your earache does not result in loss of balance or fever.

Training Safely

Once you decide to continue with your training even when you are sick, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. This will ensure that you can train safely without causing damage.

  • Avoid Infecting Others:

    If you have the flu or cold, ensure that you are not spreading the germs to others. Though it is an above the neck symptom, staying away from the gym for a day or two will be helpful for others.

  • Avoid Strenuous Exercises:

    You must avoid doing any high-intensity interval training or high-intensity sprints when you are sick. Sweating out will not get rid of your cold or fever. 

Depending on your condition, you can decide whether you should train or not.

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