Should You Avoid Exercise When You Have a Fever?
If you are sick, it is generally recommended that you stay home and rest. Staying home reduces the possibility that other people get sick. In addition, refraining from strenuous exercise can help to minimize your risk of getting hurt. Let’s take a closer look at why it might be a good idea to avoid working out or going out for a run if you have a fever.
Exercise May Make Your Illness Worse
Research conducted on animals suggests that exercising while having a fever could worsen or prolong an illness. At a minimum, working out while sick can make it harder for your body to regulate its temperature, and as your body temperature increases, there is a greater risk of becoming dehydrated in a relatively short period of time. Also, working out while you are mildly sick doesn’t give your body a chance to recover. Prolonging your illness is often the result.
You Might Not Have the Strength to Complete Your Typical Workout
When you have a fever, your body is often too weak to get through an entire workout without making significant modifications. Even if you are physically strong enough to gut out on a long run or a grueling weightlifting session, you may not be mentally strong enough to do so. In many cases, those who have a severe cold or fever will perceive themselves to be tired long before their bodies have reached their physical limits. This is one of the ways that your body attempts to protect itself from overuse when it is fighting off an infection or an illness.
Don’t Risk Getting Other People Sick
Going to the gym or to a crowded park for a run while sick is a bad idea because you might be contagious. Therefore, everyone who comes into contact with you may be at an increased risk of coming down with a cold or with the flu. If you feel the need to exercise while ill, limit your activity to a brisk walk around the house every few hours. In some cases, a brief increase in physical activity can help to boost your immune system and temporarily minimize the severity of your symptoms.
If you are sick, consider skipping the gym or otherwise cutting back on your exercise routine. Ideally, you should focus on staying hydrated, taking any medication that your doctor prescribes and taking other steps to help your body fight off the virus that caused your illness.