norawwalshby Nora Wallace Walsh

Getting sick can derail anyone’s exercise program. With the flu going around, you may be wondering if you should workout if you are feeling sick or if working out could make things worse. Although more research is needed, the general guideline is if you have symptoms of a common cold, with no fever and all symptoms above the neck, moderate exercise such as walking should be ok. But if your symptoms include a temperature higher than 99 degrees, extreme tiredness, muscle aches or swollen lymph glands you should refrain from exercise until you get better.

If you have a cold or are under the weather, use these tips to decide whether to workout or not:

-Follow your doctor’s orders.
-Listen to your body. If you have a cold, try a light workout. If you start to feel worse, stop and rest.
-Try relaxing activities. It is a good time to do some stretching or yoga.
-Stay away from the gym if you are contagious. No one wants to be around someone who is sick. Instead, do a workout at home.
-If you do workout, make sure you’re well hydrated.
-Allow time for recovery. Sometimes cold symptoms can linger for a while, especially a nagging cough.
-Remind yourself that your body is not well. It needs all the energy it can get. In the long run, it’s your health that’s important…not missing a few workouts.

When you are back on your feet and feeling better, progress slowly with your workouts. Even if you do have to take a week or two off because your are feeling under the weather, it won’t make that much of a difference in your overall fitness level if you’re consistent with your program the rest of the time. Most importantly, trust your body to tell you what it needs and you’ll be back to your routine in no time.

From Sarah: Nora has lots of helpful advice about how to keep your body in the best of health. You can find more at at her site

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