You May Also Like

10 amazing wellness perks you didn't know you could get at Costco

10 amazing wellness perks you didn’t know you could get at Costco

CBD After workout products

11 CBD-infused products specifically for workout recovery

Does drinking water help your skin? A doc's take

Is H2O *really* a skin-saving hero? One dermatologist says the answer isn’t crystal clear

jennifer lopez butt workout

Jennifer Lopez’s go-to butt-targeting workout, straight from her trainer

core strengthening yoga poses

Yogis, you can turn your cat cows into a quick core workout with these 3 abs-burning moves

how to save money at target

The money-saving reason why you should bring headphones to Target

Is it healthy to work out when you have the flu?


Thumbnail for Is it healthy to work out when you have the flu?
Pin It
Photo: Stocksy/Rob and Julia Campbell

While some people take their sick days very seriously without having any plans to leave the couch whatsoever, others might rather hit the gym so they don’t mess up their workout schedules. But what’s the healthy protocol on exercising when you’re feeling under the weather?

While working out is a great method for preventing illness, even for just 30 to 45 minutes a day, when you’re already sick, it might be a better idea to skip the gym, depending on how severe your symptoms are. “Exercise is great for prevention, but it can be lousy for therapy,” David Nieman, a professor and director of the Human Performance Lab at Appalachian State University, told Time. “If your symptoms are neck up—things like sinus and nasal congestion, sort throat, etc.—exercise neither helps nor hurt.”

“I know that not exercising at all is a bitter pill for many to swallow. But if you have the flu or anything that causes fever or muscles aches or weakness, that’s a time to not exercise at all.” —David Nieman, public health professor

If you have a flu, on the other hand, stay far, far away from those exercise machines. Some people think they should sweat out the virus, but experts say that’s a horrible idea. According to Mariane Fahlman, PhD, a professor of health education at Wayne State University, the immune system works overtime trying to fight off the flu or other infections, and since exercise is a form of physical stress, your workout acts as another obstacle in the way of your body doing its job.

Furthermore, past studies have shown that exercising while flu-ridden actually led to chronic fatigue symptoms that lasted for years due to the virus sticking around in a less-severe form. “I know that not exercising at all is a bitter pill for many to swallow,” Nieman said. “But if you have the flu or anything that causes fever or muscles aches or weakness, that’s a time to not exercise at all.”

Instead, experts recommend waiting an entire week after your fever goes away before exercising again. And once you’re back on the wagon—or, er, hitting the pavement—it’s best to start slow with long walks before jumping right back into intense workouts. And definitely don’t push through any muscle aches or weakness—wait for those to go away, too. It stinks sitting on the sidelines for a while, but you’ll be better for it in the end.

The flu shot still isn’t fail-safe, but here’s why you should still get one. Or, find out if orange juice can really help fight off the virus.

Loading More Posts...

You May Also Like

10 amazing wellness perks you didn't know you could get at Costco

10 amazing wellness perks you didn’t know you could get at Costco

Does drinking water help your skin? A doc's take

Is H2O *really* a skin-saving hero? One dermatologist says the answer isn’t crystal clear

Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle grocery shop

Looks like Kate isn’t the only royal who grabs her own groceries…

jessica biel yoga

Jessica Biel’s fave yoga poses are hip-openers to combat tightness

core strengthening yoga poses

Yogis, you can turn your cat cows into a quick core workout with these 3 abs-burning moves

There’s a science-backed reason you have your best ideas in the shower

There’s a science-backed reason you have your best ideas in the shower