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Is it Okay to Exercise When You’re Sick?

As we get closer to the cold and flu season, people are staring to get sick around the place. It is common for people to catch one to two colds a year but that shouldn’t mean  your exercise routine needs to come to a stop. Knowing the difference, between when it’s best to rest up or when you can partake in moderate physical activity, is key.


How to know when you are okay to exercise?

The best way to determine this is if your cold is above the neck. These symptoms include:

– Runny and snuffly nose

– Sneezing

– Slight nasal congestion

– Sore throat

If you are only experiencing light symptoms above the neck, you should be okay to partake in moderate physical activity. Be sure to drink plenty of water when exercising. It might be best to avoid the gym if you are coughing and sneezing so you don’t spread your germs in open environment, especially where other people are healthy and exercising. If you must go to the gym, be sure to wipe down your equipment after use and wash your hands after your workout to prevent spreading and gathering any germs.

How to know when you are too sick?

It is not okay to exercise if your symptoms are below the neck

– A fever

– Chesty cough

– Wheezing

– Stomach pains

– Muscle aches

– Tired and fatigued

The above symptoms will cause your body stress and exercise will stress your body more. This could cause you to become worse and dehydrate your body further. It is usually best to rest up and take a few days off to avoid infecting others. If your breathing feels compromised, it’s best to visit your GP.

Avoid fatigue and ease back into your activity

Once you start to feel a bit better and your symptoms start to reduce, make sure to ease back into your routine with caution. Start out gently to see how you feel, and if your body responds well, gradually increase the intensity and duration over a few days. Avoid jumping straight back into your routine full steam ahead as it is probably not the best way to get back into exercise. Modify your intensity until all the symptoms have completely disappeared.


If you would like to find out more about our Osteopaths click here. You can also book an appointment online here.

Alternative, you can call us at the clinic on 03 9908 2844.


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