Exercising When Sick: Should You or Shouldn't You?

Exercising When Sick: Should You or Shouldn't You?

We all get sick. But it’s tough to know what to do about it; do we exercise when sick or not?

Should we sweat it out or get some rest instead?

Ask yourself how sick am I? It all really depends on what kind of sickness you have, how sick you really are and what parts of your body are affected.

When you’re hit with the flu, your immune system is already in overdrive trying to fight it off so trying to exercise on top of this is putting your body under even more stress. Rest definitely is the best option.

If you’re feeling slightly under the weather and have a  cold - a blocked nose or sore throat -  then you might be able to get in a workout.

The general ‘rules’ tend to be:

  • Symptoms ‘above the neck’?
    If your symptoms are only above the neck (e.g. blocked nose, runny nose) then you should be fine to do a workout.
  • Feeling dizzy or fatigued?
    If you find yourself feeling dizzy, out of breath or more fatigued than normal then it’s best to stay home and rest, or stop your workout immediately.
  • Feeling achy?
    If you’re feeling feverish, achy or chesty then rest is best.

It essentially all comes down to how you’re feeling. If you don’t feel up for it, don’t exercise. Don’t feel guilty or beat yourself up for skipping a workout - your body needs rest and time to recover so you can bounce back and resume your fitness journey better than ever. Instead of doing an intense strength session, why not opt for non-strenuous movement instead? Try going for a walk, yoga, or slow low-impact exercises

When you’re not feeling 100%, nutritious whole-foods can help you get back on the mend. Ensure you’re eating a balanced diet consisting of plenty of fresh fruits and veggies, leafy greens and healthy fats. Support your digestion and your immune system by eating foods that are known to have natural anti-inflammatory qualities. Foods high in Vitamin C also help support your body and ward off colds and cases of flu.

Here are some key inflammatory-fighting ingredients to load up on:

  • Citrus fruits 
    • An excellent source of Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant, which helps maintain the body’s defence against bacterial infections. Helps support tissue growth and repair, adrenal gland function, immune system support, iron absorption and stomach acid activation. 
  • Broccoli
    • Another great source of Vitamin C, broccoli also contains potent antioxidants, such as sulforaphane, which can help neutralise toxins and reduce inflammation.
  • Protein 
    • To have a strong immune system your body needs a daily supply of quality protein to help repair the body, assist in recovery from illness and injuries, prevent muscle wastage, keep blood sugars stable, and ensure a healthy metabolism.
  • Mushrooms
    • Powerful plant-based goodness rich in super immune-enhancing compounds and natural vitamin D that helps boost immune function and bone health.
  • Ginger 
    • A firm favourite for its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. Helps to boost immune function and combat cellular damage. Load up!
  • Garlic 
    • This immune system warrior protects the body from infections and has been shown to help lower blood pressure, inhibit blood clotting and promote healthy cholesterol levels.
  • Chilli 
    • Rich in vitamins C, A, iron and potassium, chilli also makes you sweat, which can assist detoxification (if you make it hot enough!). The anti-microbial properties also help get chilli on our list of must-eat foods.

How can you incorporate all these ingredients in one fine dish? THE BOD’s Chicken Noodle Soup! Now available in THE BOD app, this delish recipe can be whipped up in under 10 minutes. Packed with essential amino acids to heal and nourish your body, it’s the perfect immune-boosting recipe to help get you back on track.

Need some help deciding if you should exercise or not? Reach out to us at support@thebod.com.au


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