When you’re sick and you’re feeling unwell, in addition to feeling lethargic and demotivated, you are also forced to face a ‘horrific’ fact: you’re going to have to take a break from your training. A question that comes to almost everyone who trains with passion is: should I train if I don’t feel well?
It’s all in your head
A majority of sports medicine specialists believe that if the illness is ‘located’ above the neck and you don’t experience fever, such as in common cold or allergies, then it’s likely that doing a little moderate intensity exercise won’t do you any real harm. Even though training won’t make the cold or the allergies disappear quicker, it certainly won’t make the situation worse or even prolong it.
The keyword here is ‘MODERATE’. You should firmly embed it in your mind. If you want to do a cardio session, you should go for a walk, instead of a run, and decrease the loads by around 20-30% if you feel you can’t take at least a week off from training. However, if you think you have an illness that can be easily passed onto other people, it would be wise to stay away from the gym.
Choose your battles, win the war!
If you think you’re having flu-like symptoms or feeling some type of discomfort below your neck, then it is advised that you err on the side of caution and take a rest from training until you feel considerably better. This type of illnesses, especially the ones which proliferate aching muscle, fatigue, fever, swollen glands, increased temperature, and nausea, have a tendency to significantly burden the immune system, which means that the body will need all the rest it can get to defend itself from various bacteria and viruses and eventually recover.
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Training will spend a great amount of that much-needed energy and will drastically slow the recovery process, which in the end will prolong the time you’re out of the gym. Stay wise and rest.