How to Keep Fit While Sick

How to Keep Fit While Sick

Whether you have the common cold or something chronic, staying physically fit while you’re sick is extremely important. Not only will it keep your body physically healthy, exercising can also help you recover faster or lessen your symptoms slightly. Staying fit while you don’t feel well can be tough, but with a few simple tricks, you can move your body to stay in shape.

Method 1 of 3:
Assessing Your Symptoms

1
Talk to your doctor before exercising if you have a chronic illness. While exercise can help your body in a lot of ways, it can be dangerous to do the wrong exercises if you have a pre-existing condition. Talk to your doctor if you have heart problems, diabetes, or other long-lasting illnesses or diseases so they can recommend the right routine for you. [1] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source Exercising raises your heart rate and lowers your blood sugar, which can have negative effects on you if you have heart disease or diabetes.
2
Avoid exercising if you have congestion or an upset stomach. If your symptoms make it hard for you to breathe freely or move around without feeling nauseated, hold off on exercising. You can wait until your symptoms subside to try exercising again. [2] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source Moving your body too much when you have severe symptoms can actually make you feel worse.

Alternative: Some chronic illnesses can cause severe symptoms that don’t ever go away. Try to exercise on days where your symptoms are less severe, and give yourself a break when you don’t feel up to it.

3
Take a break from exercising if you have a fever or muscle aches. Exercising while you have a fever can raise your body temperature to dangerous levels, while being too active with muscle aches can put excess strain on your body. Take a few days off from staying fit to let your body rest and recover. [3] X Research source Viruses like the flu can give you both a fever and muscle aches. Taking a few days off from exercising won’t deter any progress you’ve made thus far. You’ll be able to make it up once you’re healthy!
4
Stop exercising if you feel dizzy or have chest pain. Exercising puts a lot of strain on your body, especially if you aren’t used to it. If you have any difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain, or dizziness, stop exercising right away. If your symptoms persist after you stop, contact emergency services. [4] X Research source It may be helpful to work out with a partner so you have someone with you in case of an emergency.
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Method 2 of 3:
Modifying Your Routine

1
Lower the intensity of your workout. If you’re used to working out for 1 hour per day, cut it back to 30 minutes. Being sick can make your body more fatigued, so you may not have the energy to exercise for the amount of time that you usually do. [5] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source You can also do fewer repetitions of each exercise to cut back on the time you spend exercising.
2
Drink extra water to stay hydrated. Exercising makes you dehydrated even when you’re not feeling sick. Keep a water bottle nearby so you can take a drink every time you feel thirsty. Staying hydrated will help your body recover faster from the exercise and your sickness. [6] X Trustworthy Source Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School's Educational Site for the Public Go to source You can also drink sports drinks that have electrolytes in them for added hydration. Stay away from dehydrating liquids, like coffee and alcohol, before and after you exercise.
3
Stay inside if it’s cold out. Harsh winter air can dry out your throat and nose and irritate your lungs, especially if you are having respiratory problems. Try to limit your workout space to an indoor area, especially if it’s cold outside. [7] X Research source If you have a staircase, you can run up and down it for some extra cardio. Try using a jump rope indoors to elevate your heart rate while staying inside. Staying inside when you have a contagious sickness is also helpful in preventing the spread of your illness.
4
Take a break if you need to. When you’re sick, you get tired quicker than you normally would. Pay attention to how your body feels and don’t be afraid to sit down for a few minutes. You don’t have to stop exercising completely, but you can take a moment to catch your breath. [8] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source If you push yourself too hard while you’re sick, you could make yourself feel worse.
5
Increase your intensity slowly as you start to feel better. If you are suffering from a sickness that gradually goes away, you can start to elevate your workout routine back to what it once was. Try not to up your intensity all at once; instead, add on time and repetitions day by day to work your way back up to normal. [9] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source

Tip: With some sicknesses, you may feel better one day and worse the next. Try not to get discouraged if you have to go back and forth with the intensity of your routine.

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Method 3 of 3:
Picking the Right Exercises

1
Walk or jog instead of running. Running puts a lot of strain on your lower body and your respiratory system. If you normally run on a treadmill or outdoors, try switching to a fast walk or a jog instead. This will have a lower impact on your body and won’t leave you so out of breath. [10] X Research source If you’re running outside, be sure to bring plenty of water with you.
2
Try a yoga routine for a low-impact workout. Yoga routines stretch out your body while building strength in small increments. Follow a yoga video online or go to a yoga class if you aren’t contagious. [11] X Research source Yoga can also help you reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
3
Do a dance routine to exercise. Dancing is a fun way to get your body moving without putting too much strain on your muscles. You can throw on your favorite music and dance around the house, or you can join a dance class online or in-person. [12] X Research source If you go to an in-person dance class, make sure your symptoms aren’t contagious anymore. Zumba and Jazzercise are great exercise dance classes that are offered at most gyms.
4
Swim laps to get your whole body moving. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that utilizes your whole body. Go to your local community pool and try swimming laps for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. [13] X Research source Swimming is a great exercise to do if you have muscle aches or pain from arthritis.

Warning: Swimming can be difficult to do if you have sinus congestion or respiratory problems, so use caution if you have a head cold or allergies.

5
Avoid weight training or long distance running. Using weights puts a lot of strain on your muscles, especially when you aren’t feeling well. Running for long periods at a time also puts strain on your muscles and can make you feel fatigued quickly. Try to put off lifting weights or running for long distances until you feel better or your symptoms subside. [14] X Trustworthy Source Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School's Educational Site for the Public Go to source When you’re sick, you are more susceptible to injuries. Weight training and running can cause you a lot of harm if you are fatigued or feeling weak.
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Method 1 of 3:
Assessing Your Symptoms

1
Talk to your doctor before exercising if you have a chronic illness. While exercise can help your body in a lot of ways, it can be dangerous to do the wrong exercises if you have a pre-existing condition. Talk to your doctor if you have heart problems, diabetes, or other long-lasting illnesses or diseases so they can recommend the right routine for you. [1] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source Exercising raises your heart rate and lowers your blood sugar, which can have negative effects on you if you have heart disease or diabetes.
2
Avoid exercising if you have congestion or an upset stomach. If your symptoms make it hard for you to breathe freely or move around without feeling nauseated, hold off on exercising. You can wait until your symptoms subside to try exercising again. [2] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source Moving your body too much when you have severe symptoms can actually make you feel worse.

Alternative: Some chronic illnesses can cause severe symptoms that don’t ever go away. Try to exercise on days where your symptoms are less severe, and give yourself a break when you don’t feel up to it.

3
Take a break from exercising if you have a fever or muscle aches. Exercising while you have a fever can raise your body temperature to dangerous levels, while being too active with muscle aches can put excess strain on your body. Take a few days off from staying fit to let your body rest and recover. [3] X Research source Viruses like the flu can give you both a fever and muscle aches. Taking a few days off from exercising won’t deter any progress you’ve made thus far. You’ll be able to make it up once you’re healthy!
4
Stop exercising if you feel dizzy or have chest pain. Exercising puts a lot of strain on your body, especially if you aren’t used to it. If you have any difficulty breathing, shortness of breath, chest pain, or dizziness, stop exercising right away. If your symptoms persist after you stop, contact emergency services. [4] X Research source It may be helpful to work out with a partner so you have someone with you in case of an emergency.
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Method 2 of 3:
Modifying Your Routine

1
Lower the intensity of your workout. If you’re used to working out for 1 hour per day, cut it back to 30 minutes. Being sick can make your body more fatigued, so you may not have the energy to exercise for the amount of time that you usually do. [5] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source You can also do fewer repetitions of each exercise to cut back on the time you spend exercising.
2
Drink extra water to stay hydrated. Exercising makes you dehydrated even when you’re not feeling sick. Keep a water bottle nearby so you can take a drink every time you feel thirsty. Staying hydrated will help your body recover faster from the exercise and your sickness. [6] X Trustworthy Source Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School's Educational Site for the Public Go to source You can also drink sports drinks that have electrolytes in them for added hydration. Stay away from dehydrating liquids, like coffee and alcohol, before and after you exercise.
3
Stay inside if it’s cold out. Harsh winter air can dry out your throat and nose and irritate your lungs, especially if you are having respiratory problems. Try to limit your workout space to an indoor area, especially if it’s cold outside. [7] X Research source If you have a staircase, you can run up and down it for some extra cardio. Try using a jump rope indoors to elevate your heart rate while staying inside. Staying inside when you have a contagious sickness is also helpful in preventing the spread of your illness.
4
Take a break if you need to. When you’re sick, you get tired quicker than you normally would. Pay attention to how your body feels and don’t be afraid to sit down for a few minutes. You don’t have to stop exercising completely, but you can take a moment to catch your breath. [8] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source If you push yourself too hard while you’re sick, you could make yourself feel worse.
5
Increase your intensity slowly as you start to feel better. If you are suffering from a sickness that gradually goes away, you can start to elevate your workout routine back to what it once was. Try not to up your intensity all at once; instead, add on time and repetitions day by day to work your way back up to normal. [9] X Trustworthy Source Mayo Clinic Educational website from one of the world's leading hospitals Go to source

Tip: With some sicknesses, you may feel better one day and worse the next. Try not to get discouraged if you have to go back and forth with the intensity of your routine.

Advertisement

Method 3 of 3:
Picking the Right Exercises

1
Walk or jog instead of running. Running puts a lot of strain on your lower body and your respiratory system. If you normally run on a treadmill or outdoors, try switching to a fast walk or a jog instead. This will have a lower impact on your body and won’t leave you so out of breath. [10] X Research source If you’re running outside, be sure to bring plenty of water with you.
2
Try a yoga routine for a low-impact workout. Yoga routines stretch out your body while building strength in small increments. Follow a yoga video online or go to a yoga class if you aren’t contagious. [11] X Research source Yoga can also help you reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
3
Do a dance routine to exercise. Dancing is a fun way to get your body moving without putting too much strain on your muscles. You can throw on your favorite music and dance around the house, or you can join a dance class online or in-person. [12] X Research source If you go to an in-person dance class, make sure your symptoms aren’t contagious anymore. Zumba and Jazzercise are great exercise dance classes that are offered at most gyms.
4
Swim laps to get your whole body moving. Swimming is a great low-impact exercise that utilizes your whole body. Go to your local community pool and try swimming laps for 30 to 60 minutes at a time. [13] X Research source Swimming is a great exercise to do if you have muscle aches or pain from arthritis.

Warning: Swimming can be difficult to do if you have sinus congestion or respiratory problems, so use caution if you have a head cold or allergies.

5
Avoid weight training or long distance running. Using weights puts a lot of strain on your muscles, especially when you aren’t feeling well. Running for long periods at a time also puts strain on your muscles and can make you feel fatigued quickly. Try to put off lifting weights or running for long distances until you feel better or your symptoms subside. [14] X Trustworthy Source Harvard Medical School Harvard Medical School's Educational Site for the Public Go to source When you’re sick, you are more susceptible to injuries. Weight training and running can cause you a lot of harm if you are fatigued or feeling weak.
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