Sooner or later, this happens to us all. We get ourselves hyped up about exercising, we put together a plan, we start doing our workouts, then WHAM!!! Out of the blue, we get hit with a cold or other seasonal malady. We don’t want to crawl out of bed, let alone pump iron or carve along a trail.
You can probably guess why I’m writing this. Last week, I renewed my commitment to a winter kettlebell exercise program, only to wake up Friday morning with the sore throat, aches, and alternating fever and chills that are a sure sign a head cold is coming for its winter visit. I’m on my fourth day of fighting this now, as I struggle to breathe through the congestion and endure the accompanying migraine.
My natural instinct is to steer far clear of anything resembling exercise. But this sounded like an excuse, so I wanted to see what the experts had to say about exercising while sick.
A fairly common view is that if the illness affects only affects you from the neck up, it is probably okay to workout:
But others caution that working out intensely can aggravate your illness, setting back your full recovery. They advise you to rest, get well, and then ease back into an exercise routine:
Most of my symptoms are indeed above the neck, but as of last night I’m getting a rough cough that is rattling deep in my chest, and I still have a touch of the fever and aches. I’m going to go with my gut feeling here, and put my 6-week kettlebell routine on hold until the worst of this passes. I’ll republish my schedule for it along with my New Year’s Resolutions tomorrow.
In the meantime, I took heart at the following article, which asserts that a regular workout routine can help prevent illness in the first place:
Although I can’t be certain that my recent inactivity had anything to do with me getting sick in the first place, keeping this in mind might encourage me to prevent future lapses in my exercise routine.
I hope you are feeling well, and dodging the myriad of bugs that are assaulting our immune systems this winter. Take care of yourself, and remember to consider carefully whether it’s okay to exercise should you succumb to illness this winter.