Exercising When You’re Sick — Smart Or Dumb?


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 2 weeks ago '13        #1
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eazy253 203 heat pts203
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Exercising When You’re Sick — Smart Or Dumb?

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It’s that time of year when people are atchooing all over the place.

You’re probably atchooing too.

So not only are you sick in the figurative sense of the word (hey, I’m not the one who clears their search history immediately after every session so just in case they die later that day, their family won’t stumble upon their depravity), you’re also sick in the literal sense.

Now, here’s the thing: you’re supposed to go to the gym.

But you feel like sh*t.

Sure, you feel like sh*t every day, as you wonder where in life you went wrong to now spend the rest of your days working some dead-end job and going home to someone you settled for (and them likewise).

But today’s different.

You’re feeling sh*ttier than usual.

However, you’ve been on a roll lately and don’t want to stay home and interrupt your flow.

There are GAINZ to be made!

You have goals, dammit!!!

So here you are wanting to know if you can work out when sick.

Well, can you work out when sick?

Of course you can!

You can do anything your little heart desires. Don’t let anyone tell you different!

But SHOULD you work out when sick?

Now that’s an entirely separate question.

Conventional thinking says that you should take a day off (or two, three, however many you need) from exercising when you’re sick.

Easy enough!

The problem is that conventional thinking also says that you should remain active and sweat out whatever your sickness is.

So which is it?

Well, the answer is both!

Yup, both are the correct courses of action.

Confused much?


Now allow me to explain…

When sick, the decision to rest or push through depends on the symptoms.

If your symptoms are above the neck (e.g. sneezing, runny nose, nasal congestion, sore throat, light headache) and you don’t have an underlying health problem (e.g. asthma, heart disease), then you should carry on with your usual routine and work out. Working out when mildly sick will not hinder recovery time or make things worse. In fact, exercising in this condition can actually help you feel better thanks to such things as endorphins, the opening up of airways, etc.

So yeah, go to the gym!

Just be sure to dial back on the exercise intensity and/or the amount of time you’re working out for.

Oh, and be extra mindful to clean up after yourself at the gym so you don’t spread your germs, you sick, sick fu*k!

Hell, it was probably from some dope like you who you got sick from.

Yeah, some dope who chose to soldier through a workout when sick but didn’t wipe down the equipment from their pestilence ridden sweat and mucus.

Don’t be that guy (or gal)!

But what if you have a fever over 101°F and your symptoms are below the neck (e.g. coughing, fatigue, body aches, chills, chest congestion, bronchial tightness)?

Ummmmmmm…those things are a sign that your body is trying to f*ght off a flu virus, not a puny cold one.

That being the case, you’re better off resting and conserving energy to let your body build an immune response rather than introducing it to more stress that it has to recover from in addition to whatever’s fu*king you up.

The same advice NOT to work out applies if you’re experiencing dizziness, weakness, or nausea.

So yeah, don’t go to the gym!

Just be sure not to use feeling sh*tty as an excuse to eat sh*tty as you wonder if the gym misses you as much as you miss the gym.* Instead, increase your protein to help stave off muscle breakdown, bump up the dietary fat to provide the raw materials necessary for the formation of new immune cell membranes, and drink plenty of water to replace fluid loss from all that sweating and nose blowing.

*Because the gym is an inanimate object that lacks a brain and the ability to think complex thoughts, the gym does NOT miss you!

Exercise has many benefits, one of which is its boosting of the immune function. Some of the ways exercise contributes to immunity is in the temporary increase of bacteria-f*ghting macrophages and the promotion of good circulation, as white blood cells and antibodies move through the body more quickly with the rise in heart rate and blood flow.

And that’s just with moderate exercise!

Considering how moderate exercise makes you healthy, why not exercise even harder?!…and for longer?!…and more often?!

That way, you’ll become impervious to illness and N-E-V-E-R get sick!!!

And if you N-E-V-E-R get sick, then you’ll N-E-V-E-R have to make the complex decision if you should work out or not!!!

Talk about a win-win!

Actually, it’s more like a lose-lose.

Why is because intense marathon workouts have been found to elevate stress hormones that lower immunity for anywhere from 3 to 72 hours after an exercise bout, allowing enough time for bacterial and viral infections to do their bacterial and viral infectioning.

While there are some people who get flu-like symptoms after training hard, not everyone gets exercise-induced illness.

This may be you, giving you license to think that you can constantly beat your body into the ground with intense marathon workouts and little to no rest in between training days.

It doesn’t.

What you’ll still be doing is compromising the immune function. You’ll just be delaying the consequences until the central nervous system is thoroughly taxed. When that happens, you’ll not only be more susceptible to fatigue and injury but also frequent infection, as the body’s ability to recover is hampered from the repeated stress that it’s never given a chance to recover from.

So yeah, just keep your workouts short, to a moderate intensity, and take an ample amount of rest days!

Yes, that’s exactly what I’m telling you to do.

Yup, don’t be an overachiever!

Rest is an important part of the training equation, even when you’re healthy. It’s even more important when you’re sick, no matter how serious the illness.

When suffering a mild cold, you can work out but you need to provide your body rest by not going as hard as you normally would at full strength. A light workout can temporarily alleviate symptoms and allow your body to have enough resources to combat whatever’s responsible for you coughing and sneezing everywhere.

When suffering something more severe, you need to provide your body rest by shutting everything down so resources that may be the difference between life and death aren’t diverted to vain sh*t like the muscle tissue repair necessary to add a few measly centimeters to your bulging twigs for arms.

Trust me, nothing is going to happen to you if you quarantine yourself.

It’ll take longer than a few days with you under the covers for you to lose your gains.

Those oh so precious GAINZ!

Sure, you may lose some strength, but it’s not like you’re that strong anyway.

All snarkiness aside, you’ll get that superhuman power back within a few workouts.

Hey, I lied!

That was said with all snark!

But whatever.

Anyway, when it comes to whether you should work out or not when you’re sick, the answer is definitely yes…

…and no!

Did that answer your question about exercising when you’re sick?
I sure hope so, because I can’t possibly move on with my life until you’re satisfied!

10 comments for "Exercising When You’re Sick — Smart Or Dumb?"

 2 weeks ago '18        #2
Meechy09 2 heat pts
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Didn’t read all that but I feel like it always better to be active while sick.

 2 weeks ago '07        #3
Dotel 32 heat pts32
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 2 weeks ago '08        #4
get_ate 1 heat pts
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 Meechy09 said
Didn’t read all that but I feel like it always better to be active while sick.
Your answer is probably why you should read all that.

 2 weeks ago '07        #5
$1,111 | Props total: 731 731
I always walk or do stationary bike when sick. Def makes me feel better

 2 weeks ago '14        #6
Soaring Seagull 1 heat pts
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$5,268 | Props total: 5866 5866
if I'm really sick? I take that as a sign that my body needs to be rested.

 2 weeks ago '15        #7
chrishansen88 88 heat pts88
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If you have a cold or whatever it’s best to let your body rest and f*ght off the virus working out is going to delay that process

 2 weeks ago '05        #8
I_REP_VA 10 heat pts10
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$8,504 | Props total: 2978 2978
Not only is it a sign to rest your body, you also risking other people getting sick if you work out at a gym.. d*ck move and selfish.

Rest buddy. You arent going to lose gains from resting a week or 2.

 2 weeks ago '12        #9
kiddalex 12 heat pts12
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$6,603 | Props total: 11235 11235
Most times when I get sick I think its cause I be pushing myself too hard in the gyn and not getting enough rest so I take some time off for a few days, get to bed real early , and drink tons and tons of water.

 2 weeks ago '06        #10
991 31 heat pts31
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$6,506 | Props total: 2174 2174
Just going to work sick will prolong the sickness. Your body needs to rest.

 2 weeks ago '17        #11
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$1,621 | Props total: 6470 6470
I've been sick for the last three days. Doctor said I have an upper respiratory infection.

I worked out for three hours today. Hit a person best of on shrugs.

Rep of 315 ten times.
Rep of 405 ten times.
Max of 475 four strong.

I tell my body when it's time to slow down...not some cold. Pfft...

Well....my wife tell me too, though



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