If you’re dedicated to your workout routine, taking a break because you’re not feeling well might seem like more of a punishment than a reward. Will you be able to get back in the groove? Will you lose progress by skipping a day or two? These are all valid questions and we want to try to help answer the question that might come with a sniffle or a cough…should I work out when sick?
While it’s always best to get the advice of your doctor, and report any symptoms that match COVID-19 symptoms, we’ve got some overall tips that can help you decide whether to put on your tennis shoes or your pajamas.
When It’s Ok To Work Out
Generally, you’re ok to get your workout in if your symptoms are above the neck. According to WebMD, this includes:
- A runny nose
- Nasal congestion
- Watery eyes
Or, if cold medicine helps you feel better, you should be ok.
If you’re a dedicated runner, you might end of feeling worse if you miss a day or two so, if you’re able, go for it. You’re ok to hit the gym (but not during social-distancing!) if you have the sniffles or a head cold. In fact, a steam after some physical activity might be just the ticket to clear your head. Just take it slower than normal and don’t push yourself if you feel like you have to stop.
When To Skip The Workout
Exercising with a cold may be OK, but if you've got a fever, hitting the gym or doing a workout is a definite no-no. When your symptoms are below the neck, it might be time to take it easy.
Here are some indicators that you should skip your workout.
- A fever of 101 or higher
- Bronchial tightness
- Body aches
Since most symptoms of COVID19, according to the CDC, are “below the neck” (symptoms like shortness of breath, a cough, and a fever), it’s even more important to take it easy or be cautious if you choose to work out.
You should be skipping the workout if you have these symptoms but if you NEED to get up and move, don’t move toward or around people. Stick to an at-home, easy, workout. If you go outside, maintain the recommended distance of 6-feet from other people and if you touch anything, wipe it down immediately.
The best way to gauge whether you should get a workout in? Listen to your body. If you can barely walk to the kitchen for some water, give yourself a break and skip the workout until you’re feeling better.
That said, the best course of action during the quarantine, no matter what, is to stay home and get your workout in there.
If you’re NOT sick or showing symptoms, working out is more important than ever, especially during quarantine. Exercise can play a big part in staying sane while you’re social-distancing. Exercise lifts your mood, improves your cholesterol, lowers your blood pressure, and helps you sleep. Not enough movement and activity can actually hurt your immune system.
So, as long as you feel ok, get your workout in whenever you can. If you’re feeling sick, take it easy and call your doctor if your symptoms sound like they could be COVID-19.