Should I Exercise When I'm Sick? The experts weigh in {and the answers might surprise you!}

Fall is in full swing - we're baking up all things pumpkin, shouting at our favorite football teams on TV {ok, I'm not, but some of you are!}, and there are boots and scarves lining the streets. But with the beautiful change of leaves comes an unfortunate companion - cold season! In fact, as I sit down to write this, our whole family has been struggling with some kind of crazy allergy crud that's made it tough to do our regularly scheduled workouts. So you feel the sniffles coming on... Or even worse - you have a fever... And you're asking yourself "Should I exercise when I'm sick?"

Should you skip the gym or press pause on your DVD? Will you lose motivation if you sit this round out? This quick guide {according to WebMD} will let you know when it's safe to sweat and when you'd better put up your running shoes!

Got a Fever? Take a Break

Experts tell WebMD that exercising with a cold may be OK, but if you’ve got a fever, hitting the gym is a definite no-no. The danger with a fever is exercising and raising your body temperature internally, because that can make you even sicker. So if your temperature is greater than 101 degrees Farhenheit, the answer is “sit this round out.” Rest will allow your immune system to recover, so go to bed early and get some extra sleep!

Just the Sniffles? You’re Probably OK

This one is a tough call, and really one where we have to listen to our bodies! The general rule {according to WebMD} is that if it's a sniffle that can be "cured" with a little medicine and you aren't really feeling sick, then you're probably OK to work out, but you may want to dial down the intensity. If you have any bronchial tightness at all, it's time to sit this round out.

Try the Neck Check

According to WebMD, when symptoms are above the neck {like a sore throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, and tearing eyes}, then it's OK to workout. But as soon as your symptoms trickle down below the neck {coughing, body aches, fever, and fatigue}, then you're going to need to bench yourself until your symptoms subside.

Your Safest Bet

According to a recent article on CNN, the best exercises to do while sick are walking, jogging, yoga, and dance. And those to stay away from when you feel that cold coming on: endurance running, machines at the gym, weight lifting, team sports, and anything outdoors in the cold. {Such a sad thing for me to hear, as my favorite activity these days is strength training!!}

Keep it Clean

Working out from home when you're under the weather is also your safest bet because you don’t have to worry about spreading your germs and infecting others. But if you do decide to hit up the gym, make sure to use a towel and wipe down every surface you touch. Even if you aren’t sick, make sure to wash your hands and carry hand sanitizer!

@@Head cold? Bronchitis? The flu? Should I exercise when I'm sick? Find out what the experts suggest...@@

Do you skip your workout when you're feeling sick? What's your best tip for beating the winter sniffles?

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