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Getting sick can be frustrating, especially when it’s accompanied by symptoms that make it difficult to get around. Working out while you’re sick can worsen your symptoms and prevent you from recovering. Although the symptoms of an illness usually keep people from working out, they can still begin to consider returning to the gym once their symptoms start to subside. Doing so will help you regain your strength. Before you begin working out, however, it’s important that you listen to your body to determine when it’s time to resume. It’s generally okay to exercise if your symptoms reside “above the neck,” such as a runny nose or sneezing. However, you should avoid doing so if you have other symptoms “below the neck,” such as fever, upset stomach, or chest congestion.

Illness Severity

The type of illness you have plays a role in when it’s best to exercise after you’ve been sick. Although it’s generally okay to exercise if you have a minor cold, it’s essential to avoid going to the gym if you have a contagious illness. A viral infection can leave you with weak muscles, preventing you from working out properly.

Returning to Training After Illness

When you’re sick, the specific symptoms you experience can affect your ability to return to the gym. It’s important to wait until your fever has gone and other significant symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea have passed before returning to exercise. For optimal results, try to rest for a couple of days before returning to work out. Consult a health care provider if you’re unsure if it’s safe to return to the gym.

First Workout After Illness

Getting back to the gym is a vital part of maintaining a healthy body. Before you start working out, make sure that you have proper nutrition and a warm-up. Doing so will help prepare you for a shorter and more efficient workout. If you’re feeling sick, try to end the exercise early or slow down even more. Having a day off from the gym will allow you to recover more quickly.

Your Return to Full Training

If you’re planning on participating in intense training sessions, it’s important to allow time to build up to your previous intensity levels. According to Runners World, it’s generally recommended that people reduce their exercise intensity for two to three days after a cold. For instance, if you’re sick for five days, it’s recommended to start with a 20- to 30-minute exercise.

There may be conflicting messages about exercising while you’re sick. Some people say to rest, while others suggest sweating it out. The question of when it’s best to exercise after you’ve been sick is not so simple. However, it’s important to be careful while you’re working out. Your illness could worsen your symptoms and prevent you from recovering.