Should I Work Out Sick?

Should I work out sick? This is a question that all of us, at some point will have to ask ourselves.

I have noticed that most of the time, I can get through a workout if the ailment is minor enough. Sometimes the workout even makes me feel better! But this is usually just a simple head cold or sore throat. On the other hand, if it is something more debilitating like the flu or a respiratory virus, then working out could just make matters worse.

A good rule to follow is that if the illness is above your neck, you should be able to go ahead with your work out. If the illness is below the neck, i.e. stomach flu or something in the lungs like bronchitis, then your are going to want to hold off on your work outs for a while. Your best chance at getting back to your normal routine is by taking some necessary rest time to recover and let your immune system do its thing! When you get better, you can pick up where you left off like nothing ever happened. Now just because you are not working out doesnt mean you can slack on your nutrition. Its even more important that you maintain your diet when not working out during this recovery time.

I remember my first attempts at P90X. One of the reasons that I could never finish more than 3-4 weeks of the program was because I was getting sick all the time. But I didnt have the motivation then to do what I do now and push through the sickness, or wait it out and pick it back up if needed. I would end up losing my drive and just quitting altogether. Mistake #1. Mistake #2 was my lack of discipline on my nutrition. I dont think I even looked at the nutrition guide! As a result, my body wasnt being fueled with the proper nutrients to defend against viruses and bacteria.

In more recent attempts at P90X, before my 100% commitment of course, I would often be required to work into the wee hours of the morning at my computer. I was working from 7:00am – 4:00am 2-3 times per week. The lack of sleep really took its toll on my immune system and I would start feeling the symptoms of a cold or flu the very next morning. This went on for about a year. I would sometimes try and do the work out while I was sick, but I still just didnt have the motivation to push myself.

Nowadays its a whole other story! I have an indestructible immune system!!! (knock on wood) I accredit this to a perfect combination of Shakeology, working out everyday, and spot on nutrition. Its been 4 months since I have gotten sick or experienced any severe symptoms of getting sick! My kick butt immune system went into high gear when I committed 100% to pressing play everyday, drinking Shakeology everyday, and eating clean everyday. Now I am not saying that I will never get sick, because even the most elite of athletes still gets sick. But until I do get sick, I will continue to gloat, lol! The crazy part is that I still have those nights where I am up until 3 and 4am working, but I just dont get sick now!

I am a living testament that if you take care of your body and give it what it needs in the form of exercise and clean nutrition, you can avoid 95% of what normally would have taken you out of commission! Take a look at the last 6 months of your life and recall the times you were sick and ask yourself, “how was my nutrition? Was I exercising consistantly? Could it have been avoided?” I will guarantee that the time will come when you need to make the choice to work out when your sick or take a few days to recover, but until that day comes, give yourself the advantage and start making provisions to prevent the sickness in the first place. Oh ya….and BRING IT!

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1 comments
livng2tell
livng2tell

Great post.  This has been my downfall in the past.  I would get sick and would have no energy to workout and wouldn't have much of an appetite, so wouldn't be eating right either.  I was originally planning to start my Insanity workouts in December, but got a little sick, then got the flu, which made me have to push back my start date to the new year, which I didn't like, because I didn't want it to seem like it was a "New Year's Resolution" (my rule of thumb is why start tomorrow, if you can start today).  So, my concern moving forward is what happens when I get sick again?  Feeling the way that I did, when I was sick just feels miserable to even move (worse than when you lose motivation).  It is very dejecting.

 

Hopefully, as I strengthen my nutrition plan, I can get better at working out, even if only a bit under the weather.