Do you work out when you're sick?

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    Dec 08, 2010 7:14 PM GMT
    I've had a general rule for myself that I don't work out when I'm sick, so my body's energy can go all toward healing myself. But, I've had this nasty cold/sore throat for the past two weeks, and I'm really missing the gym. Has there been any research one way or the other on working out when sick? What do you do?
  • nicelyproport...

    Posts: 573

    Dec 08, 2010 7:17 PM GMT
    Unless I'm feeling totally miserable -- and sometimes even then -- I work out and/or run when I have a cold. The exercise and the adrenaline make me feel better. A few years ago the New York Times published an article that seems to support this practice:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/25/health/nutrition/25best.html
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Dec 08, 2010 7:26 PM GMT
    Yes, unless I have a fever-knock on wood I haven't had one in the last 10 yrs.
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    Dec 08, 2010 8:00 PM GMT
    For me, I've learned that if it's just allergies I can push through... But if it feels like a legitimate cold, I should take the day off. It takes longer for me to to heal and DOMS sets in big time otherwise.
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    Dec 08, 2010 8:58 PM GMT
    when i did triathlon they always said if it´s above the neck (cold etc) you are fine, but it if it goes below (lungs etc) then rest only. Obviously you are not going to go for lifetime records when you are sick... maybe drop a set or a few reps to keep it a little easier.
  • tongun18

    Posts: 593

    Dec 08, 2010 9:15 PM GMT
    As long as I don't feel too bad (not dealing with a fever or nausea, etc) I'll go ahead and work out. I do it with some free weights at home though, I don't go to the gym out of courtesy to others. Don't want to pass around whatever it is I've got.
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    Dec 08, 2010 9:37 PM GMT
    I appreciate the feedback. And thanks for the article, nicely. So, i'll go work out!
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    Dec 08, 2010 10:01 PM GMT
    Yeah I always try to make it to the gym no matter what. Like today I woke up feeling like crap so I decided to rest during the day and just go later instead.
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    Dec 08, 2010 10:11 PM GMT
    But... if you have a communicable disease, including a cold, you should stay away from public gyms. You will be putting out infectious aerosols that make other people sick. Not cool.

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    Dec 08, 2010 10:43 PM GMT
    I often have allergies that come from nowhere (just a shift in the temperature will do make me blow my nose 10 times a day), and they will usually go away 20 minutes into a workout. I don't think it's infectious (since nobody but me has it) but I try to clean everything behind me with the spray/paper towels.
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    Dec 08, 2010 10:50 PM GMT
    Vasomotor rhinitis probably what I have and why exercise works (sympathetic fighting parasympathetic):

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/y316734r71514377/Nasal patency was measured by spirometry before and after physical exercise in normal and vasomotor rhinitis patients. Spirometry is a very useful objective test for nasal patency and sympathetic stimulation produced by physical exercise can counteract parasympathetic over activity in vasomotor rhinitis.
  • BIG_N_TALL

    Posts: 2190

    Dec 08, 2010 11:25 PM GMT
    nicelyproportioned saidUnless I'm feeling totally miserable -- and sometimes even then -- I work out and/or run when I have a cold. The exercise and the adrenaline make me feel better.


    yeah... that's my practice as well
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    Dec 08, 2010 11:28 PM GMT
    Just a cold? A day or two of HIIT usually gets rid of it for me.
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    Dec 09, 2010 12:07 AM GMT
    zarin saidI've had a general rule for myself that I don't work out when I'm sick, so my body's energy can go all toward healing myself. But, I've had this nasty cold/sore throat for the past two weeks, and I'm really missing the gym. Has there been any research one way or the other on working out when sick? What do you do?



    same here my man icon_biggrin.gif
  • Marlboro7

    Posts: 3

    Dec 09, 2010 1:45 AM GMT
    What I read in the research IS...working out is OK when sick as long as it isn't intense...I do...Intensity is the key when healthy, but when sick, lowers one immune system..
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    Dec 09, 2010 1:52 AM GMT
    I work out only if I feel like I can do it. If I'm too sick to keep my eyes open, I won't.
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    Dec 09, 2010 1:59 AM GMT
    So, I think the consensus is to keep working out, just go easier, and sanitize everything when done. Oh, and mindgarden, I'm not coughing. So, I'm pretty sure it's not airborne.

    I'm going to the gym in a couple hours. icon_biggrin.gif
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Dec 09, 2010 2:12 AM GMT
    According to the experts that I've read, and I don't see any of them on RealJock at the moment. ahem, you can work out with head and throut symptoms, but not with a cough or chest pain, or a fever. Or a huge hernia!
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    Dec 09, 2010 3:42 AM GMT
    sick for two 2 weeks???? You should get that checked.
  • KinesiologyMa...

    Posts: 123

    Dec 09, 2010 4:03 AM GMT
    NOOO don't go to the gym till your better. Don't spread it to all the other people at the gym. That is not nice
  • jlly_rnchr

    Posts: 1759

    Dec 09, 2010 4:11 AM GMT
    It really depends on how sick, and what kind of sick. A cold? Yes. Stomach flu? Obviously not.
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    Dec 09, 2010 4:15 AM GMT
    Marlboro7 saidWhat I read in the research IS...working out is OK when sick as long as it isn't intense...I do...Intensity is the key when healthy, but when sick, lowers one immune system..


    Yep. Moderate intensity exercise increases the immune response and reduces inflammation whereas high intensity exercise is detrimental and will even make you sick if done too much by lowering your immune system.

    Think 40-70% VO2max, a light jog would be as fast as I'd go. Gets the blood moving, but you don't want high exertion as the HIIT guy said. He's just lucky.

    If you're sneezing, stay away from the gym for others' sake and do something outside or moderate intensity inside to get your blood moving. Stagnant blood just is obviously not healing as fast as blood that gets throughout your body.
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    Dec 09, 2010 4:38 AM GMT
    I don't think anyone should go to gym if they are sick, especially if they have caught something that is infectious, as a common courtesy...

    Like I can't stand it when I see someone going into a coughing fit while on a machine and, even worse, not wiping the machine clean after using.
  • Bustthewave

    Posts: 98

    Dec 09, 2010 4:50 AM GMT
    zarin saidI've had a general rule for myself that I don't work out when I'm sick, so my body's energy can go all toward healing myself. But, I've had this nasty cold/sore throat for the past two weeks, and I'm really missing the gym. Has there been any research one way or the other on working out when sick? What do you do?


    I started cardio steadily about two months ago (slowly working on getting into shape). A few weeks ago I had a really bad head cold, sore throat... exc...

    I decided to do the cardio anyway, and at first it felt horrible, but then my sinuses started clearing and afterwards I felt a lot better.

    So I guess the answere is yes.
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    Dec 09, 2010 4:53 AM GMT
    I normally do but I'm never able to do as much... normally I feel better after doing it so I guess that's why I go, plus I don't like taking more than 2 days off every week.