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You Asked: Working Out When Sick

Hi Fit -
As we enter into cold and flu season, I have always struggled with whether I should continue to exercise when I get sick or not. If you know the answer, could you do a post on the subject and let us know? Thanks!
— Sneezy Louise

Since cold and flu season started a lot of folks have asked me if they should workout if they're sick. Well, a good rule of thumb when figuring out the answer is the neck check. Exercise is generally considered OK if your symptoms are all above the neck - sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, congestion. Light cardio might actually help reduce these symptoms and give your immune system a little boost.

But, if your symptoms are below the neck like fever, chest cough (with lots of phlegm) or nausea you should probably choose your couch over kick boxing. Exercising can make those symptoms worse.

I say listen to your body. If you are just tired or in the throes of PMS a workout could really do you some good.


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