Exercise When Ill – is it Safe?

We are well and truly in germ season now and the winter bugs are spreading like wildfire. So, if you’re training for an event or have those last few inches to shed to it your target…what do you do? Keep your fingers crossed and ‘sweat it out’ or give yourself a break and come back stronger on the other side?

A general rule of thumb is this; anything above the neck, you’re fine to exercise in moderation. Anything below, take a breather and leave your trainers at home until you feel better.

So, if you have a common cold, you’re fine if you don’t have a fever. Just lower the intensity, take it steady and focus on maintaining rather than improving until you’re fully recovered. Remember your immune system takes a battering if you train too hard and if it’s already compromised you’ll just take an age to get better.

If you have a fever, DON’T train. You run the risk of dehydration and heatstroke. Similarly, if you have a cough, chest infection or other respiratory illness, exercise will exacerbate the problem. It goes without saying that you need your heart and lungs on top form when training, right?

Use common sense and listen to your body. If you don’t feel up to it, don’t do it. Sometimes you’re better off taking a couple of days break, letting the illness run its course and that way, you’ll have a fighting chance of ridding yourself of the germs faster and getting stuck into training properly when it’s passed.