Sick Woman with Thermometer. Flu. Woman Caught ColdWhether your usual exercise routine consists of a downward facing dog or squatting until you just can’t squat any more, being sick sucks. Are you a faithful exerciser who just won’t let your body sit it out—even when plagued with the flu or bronchial tightness? Do you wonder when you should give your body some rest and relaxation, and when you should just ‘push through’ your workout?  Here’s how to tell when ‘enough is enough’, and when it’s ok to continue to exercise when sick.

Listen to What Your Body is Telling You

Your body is the vehicle in which you go through this life. As such, it’s always telling you the state of your health, should you choose to listen to them. Do you experience asthmatic bronchitis every December? Do you have a high fever? Do you have the common cold? Listen to your body when contemplating if you’re well enough to get a short cardio session in, or whether you should work those abs in the weight room.

As a rule of thumb, consider mild symptoms above the neck—cough, runny nose, or sneezing spells—as a ‘go ahead’ to work out (as long as you have the energy for it). If you experience symptoms such as tightness of the chest, or a high fever, stay home and rest.

How Does Your Body Respond to Exercise?

With any sickness, it’s important to pay attention to how your body responds to exercise. Take it easy when you’re not quite feeling ‘yourself’, and turn down the level of intensity in which you work out. For example, if you’re walking on the treadmill for a thirty minute stretch, notice any unusual symptoms that develop such as feeling light headed, or fatigue. If you feel ok, then proceed with a form of light exercise. If you feel dizzy or weak, put your workout to a halt until a day or two has passed and you’ve given your body sufficient rest and nourishment.

When you’re not feeling great, pushing through your normal workout can do more harm than good. Commit to being vigilant to your symptoms and signs your body is sending you, and stop (and later, start again) when you’re in good health. When you work out in perfect health, you are able to achieve a toned, fit body in record breaking time!