Regular exercisers have a stronger immune system, so we get sick less often. When the common cold or the flu virus does catch up to us, however, we face a dilemma: Is it better to skip the gym or keep up with our usual routine?

Today, Kennedy Fitness: A Jefferson Health Affiliate wanted to answer that question once and for all!


When to Work Out

Generally, it’s okay to exercise when you are only experiencing symptoms “above the neck,” such as a stuffy nose, sneezing, or a sore throat. Your workout might not help you recover, but it shouldn’t slow down your recovery, either.

You may want to lower the intensity of your workout, however, since these symptoms can make it tough to perform at your best. For example, cardio is more difficult with a stuffy nose, and restless nights can stunt muscle strength. Consider doing some low impact workouts, such as yoga, recumbent bike, walking, or aqua.

If you aren’t feeling your best, it’s considered polite to exercise at home instead of going to the gym. After all, you may be contagious for several days, and germs can live on hard surfaces (like a dumbbell or treadmill handlebars) for hours — in which case you could do yoga or walking at home.


When to Rest

It’s better to rest when you are experiencing symptoms “below the neck,” such as:

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Coughing
  • Chills
  • Nausea
  • Muscle Aches

Never try to “sweat out” a fever. Your body needs energy to fight off your illness, so using that energy to exercise can prolong your illness. Working out while sick can also increase your risk of dehydration, leading to worse nasal congestion and a more painful sore throat.

You will also likely experience weakened muscles, lower endurance, and impaired coordination while feverish. These symptoms increase your risk of an injury — which will keep you out of the gym even longer!


When to Return to Your Usual Routine

Let’s say that you recently came down with the flu. Your fever has cleared up, and your below-the-neck symptoms have too. So you’re good to resume your usual exercise routine, right?

Don’t check the Kennedy Fitness group spinning class schedule in Cherry Hill just yet! Rest up for one full week after your fever subsides. Then, ease into activity for another week before resuming your usual workout.

For more exercise tips and to find out about our current pilates schedule in Burlington County, call 1-800-875-2720 today!