Dr. Sunil - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Sunil

Is Working Out While Sick Bad For You?



Short answer

Working out while sick can be bad for you. In most cases it will make your sickness worse unless you have symptoms that are very mild.



Long answer

So, you have been really good about the gym lately and haven't taken a day off in a while. Now that you are sick, should you stay home and rest or go get some exercise in? The first step is deciding what kind of sickness you have. A lot of people like to do what's called the "neck check". If your symptoms involve anything above the neck (runny nose, cough, sore throat, congestion, etc.), then working out should be perfectly fine. However, if your symptoms are below the neck (aches, pains, respiratory issues, chills, fatigue, etc.), then you should definitely take the day off. Working out increases your body temperature and since many sicknesses also raise your body temperature, working out will simply make it worse. Another thing to keep in mind is after a solid workout, your body is focused repairing and building your muscles. If you are sick on the other hand, your body is focused on its immunity and ridding itself of the sickness.. not repairing muscles. Take the day off, rest, and be sure to eat lots of nutritious foods. And don't worry, you won't loose any muscle with a few days off. In fact, it will take about 3 weeks to see any loss of muscle, assuming you have been training hard up to this point.

Possible short-term side effects

  • increased body temperature
  • may become sicker

Big is working out while sick bad for you 2

Healthier alternatives

  • lift very light weight
  • walk instead of run

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Written by Kathan Natrajan | 12-27-2015

Written by Kathan Natrajan
Suggest improvement or correction

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