Sick? Depends Where, To Stop Your Exercise

My husband swears by it.  Exercising every day, even when you're sick.  I sort of subscribe to that, too.  But a new study says exercising while ill is just, well, sick. quotes kinesiology professor Karin Richards, at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, who says that "many people tend to ignore their symptoms to keep on track with their fitness resolutions for the New Year."  But, she points out, working out while under the weather can actually do more harm than good for individuals looking to shed a few pounds and adopt healthier lifestyles.

“Depending on where a person experiences symptoms of illness can make or break his or her workout and recovery,” said Richards, acting chair of the Department of Kinesiology, at “For instance, those who experience above the neck symptoms such as stuffy noses and sneezing are generally fine to continue their exercise routine. However, those with symptoms below the neck such as a fever, nausea, and muscle aches are urged to stay in bed and recover.”

At, she suggests that, when sick, people should:

Take it easy. Lower the intensity of a regular workout. For instance, if an individual is used to running, he or she is encouraged to walk. 
Stretch out. Sometimes yoga and gentle stretches can make an individual feel better and relieve congestion and pressure. Yoga Journal suggests positions such as supported bridge, legs up the wall, and standing forward bend aid congestion. When battling sinus pressure, Richards said she places her fists over each other and rests her forehead on them when practicing the downward dog position.
Be courteous. While the sniffles should not be an excuse to not exercise, Richards said to use common courtesy and avoid sneezing and coughing all over the gym equipment. She urges individuals to work out at home or outdoors until they are free of their symptoms.
Stay active year round. One of the best preventative measures to avoid sickness is regular physical activity.
While halting exercise feels like to me, a small death, Richards says most people can go right back to their routine when well, though I notice it sometimes takes me a while toget back to my mileage when jogging.


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