Flu or cold – should I work out?

Soon temperatures will drop and flu and cold will be around. Should I go workout when I feel sick?

It depends on the strength of the disease. A cold or some sore throat is usually not a reason to stay home, a flu is.

If you have only a cold or a light cough, the work for the immune system is locally limited, and in those cases a light activity is even helping to get rid of the disease quicker. Those activities are swimming, jogging, joga, pilates or bicycle. This activity shouldn’t last longer than one hour and not be too intensive. A really hard workout, interval training, sprinting, group sport or intense aerobics will weaken the immune system and prolong the disease.

If you have a really bad cold, a influenzal infection or a real flu, then the choice is simple: Stay home. Any form of workout will only have negative effect on your body, on your performance, on muscle growth and getting healthy again. If the body is sick, all resources should be used to fight the disease as quickly as possible. This also means to use muscle to build up immune tissue. Especially with a fever. Despite taking drugs to suppress the symptoms: No training. You will feel better, but the fight is still going on in your body. And.. you prevent to infect others, which will be thankful if you stay home.

In case of doubt, stay home if you sniff and couch. If you do a hard workout and the disease hasn’t broken out yet, it will certainly after your effort. A hefty training will weaken your immune system and the disease can spread.

In short: With a light cough or a cold, light workout is okay, with anything bigger than that: Stay home!

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