#mindbodysoul, Diet and Nutrition, Exercise, Fitness, General Health, Gyms, Health, illness, Rest and Recovery, Uncategorized

Illness and Exercise

***Disclaimer: If you believe that you MAY BE contagious, DO NOT go to the gym, instead exercise at home. Even with wiping all the machines, handles, etc. down, it is still possible to rapidly spread disease within the gym. Don’t be the Outbreak monkey.

One incredible benefit of exercise is that it boosts the immune system by increasing the number of white blood cells in the body. This not only helps those who exercise get sick less often, but also recover faster when illness does occur. Exercising also releases endorphins which help increase feelings of euphoria. It has been shown that light to moderate exercise can aid the healing process in certain illnesses.

The first rule of having an illness and deciding whether to exercise or not is to: LET YOUR BODY BE YOUR GUIDE. If you feel up to it, try; if not, don’t.

IF deciding to workout, some guidelines to follow:

  • Exercising while sick is generally OK if the symptoms are ABOVE THE NECK. Examples would be the common cold, a stuffy/runny nose, or minor sore throat (WIPE DOWN YOUR MACHINES!!!)
    • Exercise may help decrease congestion by forcing increased breathing
  • Exercise should be done at a Low to Moderate Intensity (decreasing TIME and/or INTENSITY), for example walking instead of running or resistance training with less weight (increase rep number if feel like can do more)
    • The most recommended exercises while sick would be:
      • Yoga, Walking, Light Resistance Training, Swimming, and Biking
    • Avoid exercising too hard, which can make the illness worse and delay the recovery process

Do Not exercise IF:

  • Symptoms are BELOW THE NECK, such as chest congestion, hacking cough, nausea/upset stomach
  • Running a fever, have muscle fatigue or total body muscle aches
  • May be contagious
  • When displaying these symptoms, REST and/or the DOCTOR will be your best friends

Exercise has many amazing health benefits, including but not limited to, helping avoid illness and recovering from illness quicker when illness does strike. While exercise can help the recovery process, it should be low to moderate intensity as high intensity could prolong the illness cycle. Let your body be your guide, listen to it and act accordingly. And remember the rule: with symptoms ABOVE THE NECK it is still considered OK to exercise, and with symptoms BELOW THE NECK rest and even a visit to the doctor will be the best course of action to speed the recovery process.

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