With the winter months bringing an increased number of colds, many adamant exercisers might be wondering if they should continue their exercise routine.
Avid exercisers often make up their own rules. Oftentimes, exercisers only abstain from exercise if they have a high fever or weakness.
But now studies have been conducted and finally prove that those that are sick can still exercise and reap benefits.
Their discovery on exercise when sick
After infecting a group of young men and women with a rhinovirus and having them run on a treadmill during the peak of their disease, researchers discovered that having a cold had no effect on the participants’ lungs.
The researchers also discovered that the cold had no effect on metabolic responses. This study was followed by a second study that sought to determine whether or not exercising slowed recovery time. This second study revealed that participants didn’t feel any worse after exercising and in some cases actually felt better.
Should I exercise when sick?
This study will leave many exercisers wondering if they can continue exercising. The participants of the study were infected with head colds that produced runny nose and sneezing.
But those suffering from fevers and symptoms that occur below the head should not exercise or exercise moderately. Like always, exercisers should pay attention to their bodies and pace their workouts.
Effects of exercise on sickness
Exercise has the ability to boost immunity. Research has shown that those who exercise get sick 30% less often than those who do not exercise. Those who exercise when sick also experience feeling less sick and stay sick for a shorter period of time. However, excessive exercise can have the reverse effect, depleting energy reserves and lowering the immune system.
How should I exercise when sick?
Do not exercise too hard if you are sick. Consider using really light forms of exercise like walking, light aerobics and yoga exercises. The key is to avoid placing strain on your body, as this strain could slow down your healing.
Be sure to start slowly, since you will likely have lost some strength from being sick. Also, be sure to get plenty of rest after exercising. The number 1 rule when sick is to always sleep, sleep, sleep.
What should I do to recover quickly?
Be sure to drink lots of water. Wash your hands frequently. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables in order to give your body the nutrients it needs in order to heal more quickly. Be sure to get plenty of Vitamin C and zinc into your diet during this time. Must importantly, get plenty of rest.