When is it okay to workout if you’re feeling sick or recovering from illness? You may be anxious to continue your workout routine, but there are some things you should consider before jumping back in. 

DON’T go to the gym if you’re contagious

  • If you just started getting symptoms of a cold or flu, such as nasal congestion or a sore throat, you may feel fine to work out, but it’s best to wait a day or two until you know whether it’s going to get worse and not to aggravate your symptoms. 
  • For significant symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramps, severe coughing, general aches or chills, you should stay at home and rest.
  • Consult with your doctor if you’re not sure whether it’s safe to go to the gym.

DON’T work out if you have a fever or symptoms below the neck

  • Chest congestion or a cough could become something worse like pneumonia or bronchitis.
  • An upset stomach or diarrhea might be aggravated by working out and could be signs of a contagious or more serious illness.

DON’T “Sweat it Out”

  • Although moderate exercise helps boost immunity, you should wait until you feel better to resume your workouts.
  • Intense exercise can lower your immunity and make you susceptible to other illnesses.

DO give yourself time to rest and recover

  • It may take a few days to recover after a minor cold or longer depending on the severity of your illness.
  • Get 8-10 hours of sleep each night and take naps if needed.

DO listen to your body to determine when to resume workouts and how intensely to exercise

  • Wait for an increase in your energy and muscle strength to resume exercise.
  • Start at an easy to moderate pace, gradually increasing time and intensity at each workout.
  • Consider working one-on-one with a personal trainer to help you set goals and progress your exercises so as not to set yourself back.

DO fuel your body with liquids and healthy foods

  • Illness can leave you dehydrated, so be diligent about consuming liquids. Hydrate with water, electrolytes, or fruit and vegetable smoothies.
  • Consume anti-inflammatory whole foods including fruits and vegetables, and antioxidants such as
    Vitamin C.

Electrolyte Recovery Drink

1/2 cup fresh orange juice with pulp
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups raw coconut water
2 tablespoons organic raw honey
1/8 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt 

Mix all ingredients in a shaker cup.

Recovery Smoothie

1 cup water
1 cup organic kale or spinach
1 cooked and peeled beet
½ cup frozen organic berries
1 banana
½ avocado
½ teaspoon raw cacao

Add ice and blend. Makes approximately two servings.

By Jennifer Slaboda