Should I  Work Out  While  I'm Sick? 

When you're sick, you might wonder if it's better to work out or take it easy and get better. It depends, of course.Getting motivated to work out is one thing, but forcing yourself to go for a fast run or power through yoga class when you're sick can do more harm than good. 

Dr. Alison Mitzner says you can exercise with a slight cold. “Mild exercise boosts immunity and makes you feel better,” she says. Frequent exercisers feel better after exercising rather than stopping. You may need to reduce intensity. You know your body best—don't push it.”

Since cardio would be tougher with upper respiratory infections, Aaptiv trainer Candice Cunningham recommends strength training. Fellow Aaptiv trainers Jennifer Giamo and Jessica Muenster concur.

Allow yourself breaks, nevertheless. When you have a cold, rest is crucial, says Aaptiv trainer Kelly Chase. Your immune system is impaired, so high-energy workouts are unnecessary. A mild workout like a walk or restorative yoga may help your body recuperate by providing it energy.

Avoid exercising if your symptoms are below the neck. This means not exercising with a fever to avoid raising your body temperature, says Jasmine Marcus, PT DPT. She is right, and the “neck check” is based on a study on exercising while sick.

Cunningham advises against exercising while feverish. Don't work out when ill just because you don't have a temperature. Running outside in the cold or doing something to agitate your immune system or make it fight harder may put you back, she says. 

See Also

Shape Your Body: 4 Effective Lean Muscle Exercises