Is it healthy to exercise when you’re sick?

Should you skip the workout when you’re sick, or stick to your usual routine? That depends. You should definitely avoid heading to the gym if you’re dealing with a virus, since germs are easily spread in gyms through shared equipment.

But what about working out alone in your home, or jogging outside? According to Dr. Rick Kellerman of the American Academy of Family Physicians, some basic rules of thumb are to never work out if you have a fever, chest congestion, or shortness of breath. Working out with a stomach ache is also usually a bad idea.

If you’re only dealing with mild symptoms, start slow and listen to your body if it tells you to rest. It’s a myth that you can “sweat out” germs and toxins, and the strain of working out can actually prolong an illness. If you do take some time off to recuperate, remember to start slowly and gradually build up to your previous routine when you return.

Author by Brigitte Dale