It goes without saying that a steady workout routine is important if you want to keep your body fit and strong. And more often than not, you’d be advised to take a “no excuses” approach to your exercise regimen. Just do it! Or so your gym instructor would say.
But what if you’re feeling under the weather? What if with the changing of the season, you start sneezing and coughing like crazy just like everyone else? Is it still a good idea to hit the gym or run that mile?
Symptoms that appear below the neck like cough and flu should be a sign to hold off working out for a while. Watch out for these symptoms and don't go to the gym if you have:
Your body uses fever as a way to fend off infections. But it also raises your body temperature to at least 98.6°F (37°C). You may also experience associated symptoms like weakness, dehydration, muscle aches and loss of appetite.
Your muscle strength and endurance also diminish. Your precision and coordination are also affected so there's an increased risk of injury.
While a slight cough isn’t a cause for concern, frequent episodes of coughing with phlegm is another story. You’ll have to skip your workout since you’ll likely have difficulty breathing. You’re also prone to feeling fatigues more easily.
A bug in the stomach can lead to symptoms that will make working out off limits for you. You may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, stomach cramping, weakness, and more.
These symptoms can put you at risk of dehydration. What's more, some cases of stomach flu may be contagious so working out in a populated area like a gym is not ideal.
If you have the flu, you’re likely to feel unwell for ten days to two weeks. It’s best to hold off your exercise routine until your fever has subsided and has been gone for at least 24 hours. Be sure to stay in bed and take lots of fluids like juices and soup.
Once you’ve recovered from the flu, you might have to take it a bit slow before going back to your usual routine. If your energy levels aren’t back to normal, opt for lower intensity workouts first before jumping right back to strength training or interval training.
Sometimes, it’s best to assess your body first before deciding to push through or hold off your workout. This is particularly true if you’re experiencing aches and pain in your body.
Discomfort is common when you’re exerting your muscles. If you feel up for the challenge, you may try working out for 10 to 15 minutes and see if you experience any wheezing, if you’re unable to catch your breath, or if your muscles aren’t performing as well as they should.
If your energy levels are off for that day, you might be better off taking a rest day and reserve your energy for the next day.