How do you gauge when you’re “too sick” to work out? Having the flu and that level of sick are no-brainers…but what about those days when you don’t feel good but you are still able to function reasonably well?” – You GO, Fitness Girl’s Page

 

I wanted to address this question since so many people find themselves ill this time of year! First and foremost, I am so glad that you realize that if you’re really sick, you need to stay home and rest.  It may sound like a no-brainer to you, but you’d be surprised at how many of our clients trudge in looking like death wanting to still try and work out.

 

Yes, people come in our gym looking worse than this, still wanting to work out!

 

Look people:  if you’re sick, it’s because your body is too run down to fight it off!!

My business partner Jim Laird always says, “If you don’t slow down… your body will slow you down.”

And he is exactly right.  Sometimes it’s just a short-term illness, sometimes it’s much worse like when Jim was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, or when I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s, PCOS, and Adrenal Dysfunction.  We were both pushing our bodies way too hard for too long, and it backfired big time.

But enough about that! 

Here are some guidelines to follow:

You should stay home and avoid the gym completely if:

  1. You have the flu, or flu-like symptoms.  Just.  Stay.  Home.
  2. You have a fever.  Your body is trying to fight off infection.  Don’t spread it!
  3. You have achy joints or muscles.  Rest your body.

  You can do a light workout if:

  1. Your symptoms are mild and constrained to your head (i.e. haven’t spread to your lungs/body).
  2. You’re just suffering from allergies (i.e. runny nose, itchy eyes, etc.)

  Notice I said light workout.  That means stretching, foam rolling, mobility work, light walking, etc.  This is not the time to run your body hard at all.  This is the time to take care of yourself and put money back in the tank! 

 

Check out these related articles below:

5 Tips to Avoid Getting Sick Over the Holidays

Are There Times to Push it and Times to Not

Art of the De-Load  

 

So remember, if you get sick, your body is asking for a break.  Give it the break it needs so you can recover more quickly and get back in the gym full-force when you’re better!

3 Responses to Weekly Reader Question # 6: How Sick Is Too Sick to Work Out?

  1. Michelle says:

    I try to tell people this all the time! Stress is stress to your body, our insides cant tell if it is stress from work, exercise, bad food choices, or illness. It all takes a toll on your body, the best thing you can do for your health, and your waistline (since stress = cortisol = fat) is to just stay home and rest. You are not going to magically lose your muscle tone or end up out of shape if you take a week off, in fact the break will, almost certainly, help your training progress.

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