Knowing that a simple healthy lifestyle requires exercise, I’ve always had that dilemma of whether or not you should exercise while you are sick, and I know a lot of people are wondering the same thing.
As I write this post, I’m recovering from a cold I’ve had since Saturday. I always rest from exercise on weekends, so I didn’t have to exercise when I first got the cold.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed; but there’s something about standing up to a sickness that just makes it go away, or at least lessens its hold on you. That’s what’s happening with me right now.
Our grandmother moved in with us on Saturday when I was feeling my first symptoms.
On Sunday morning I asked my mother to rush home after church to tend to her so I could sleep in.
But no, I didn’t do that. Because I’m so used to getting out of bed early every morning, I was up and ready for the day before my mother even left for church at 8am.
I thought I’d continue my rest days for the whole of this week until next Monday. But this past Monday, though I still had the cold, I felt a strong desire to exercise.
So I did exactly that, careful not to push my body too hard. As always, I listened to my body, letting it dictate to me what it needed. Read my post on how to listen to your body.
So yes, I didn’t continue my rest days into this week like I’d thought. I’m still exercising every morning though I’m still not back to my normal self.
So, what are the precautions to take if you exercise while you are sick?
- Precaution #1: Assess the strength of your sickness
If it’s just a weak cold like the one I had, then I don’t see any reason why you can’t exercise while you are sick.
Remember though that if your sickness is more serious, then you should take a rest day or days depending on the strength and length of your sickness.
I recommend 5 reasons why rest days are good for you.
- Precaution #2: Exercise only when your body feels up to it
You can exercise while you are sick if your body feels up to it. It’s all about listening to your body.
I thought my body would feel heavy and tired this past Monday morning; that’s why I anticipated I’d be continuing my rest days throughout this week.
But my body felt ready to go on Monday morning, so there was no need for me to say no.
Be honest with yourself about how your body feels. If you feel fit enough to exercise, then go ahead.
- Precaution #3: Make sure you ease up on your workouts
You should ease up on your workouts if you want to exercise while you are sick. Though my body felt fine on Monday morning, I was aware that I was still sick and that I needed to not put more stress on my body.
You should be careful not to push your body too hard even when you feel like you can handle a strenuous workout.
Remember that your body needs to recover from the sickness. Only then can you push it harder.
If you ease up on your workouts, then you can exercise while you are sick.
- Precaution #4: Exercise in environments where germs are less likely to spread
If you want to exercise while you are sick, then you’ll have to mind your environment for that period.
If you typically exercise inside a gym where you touch all the equipment and share the air inside, then it’s time to step outside to the park where you can jog while breathing in the fresh air.
That’s why I love exercising outdoors and without the use of any equipment. I keep my hands free and enjoy the fresh air.
If you want the air you breathe to be even fresher, then do your workouts in the morning. You’ll want to read here are 5 reasons why morning exercise is better for you.
- Precaution #5: Make sure you have the right intentions for exercising
Remember that your health comes first before everything else. Don’t exercise while you are sick if health takes a backseat to beauty. If you are desperate for that bikini body, that’s a horrible reason to exercise while you are sick.
If exercise is a competition for you and not a genuine key component of enjoying a simple healthy lifestyle, then you are not in a position to exercise while you are sick.
Rather, get some rest especially if your body is screaming at you to do that.
The final word
If you love exercise, then there’s absolutely no reason not to exercise while you are sick as long as you are mindful of the precautions mentioned in this post.
Remember that enjoying a simple healthy lifestyle is a journey, not a destination. Don’t deny the strength of your sickness, or be in denial about your body being tired.
Take as many rest days as you need if you feel really sick. Not even a month off your workouts is going to drag you back as long as you honor all the other key components of enjoying a simple healthy lifestyle like diet, healthy relationships, personal development and spirituality.
Thank you for reading this post. Do you exercise while you are sick? Then tell us why and how. Or maybe you don’t exercise while you are sick. Share with us why by commenting.