Why You Shouldn’t Work Out When You’re Sick

Why You Shouldn’t Exercise While Sick?

Exercise while sick is not recommended because it may cause complications such as:

1) Infection – If you are infected with any kind of bacteria or viruses, your body will produce antibodies against them.

These antibodies could prevent your body from fighting off infection. So if you do exercise while ill, then these antibodies may fight off the infection and you might contract another one later on.

2) Muscle weakness – Your muscles don’t have enough strength to perform their normal functions.

This can lead to muscle cramps and even paralysis. Also, you might experience pain in your joints due to lack of flexibility.

3) Heart problems – If you are exercising too much, then your heart rate will increase which can result into chest pains and high blood pressure.

Also, you might feel dizzy or faint during exercise due to increased adrenaline levels in your system.

4) Stroke – Exercising too much can result in stroke symptoms like numbness, tingling, weakness, slurred speech, loss of balance and coordination.

5) High Blood Pressure – Exercising too much can raise your blood pressure which may lead to headaches and other symptoms.

You May Be More Likely To Get A Cold During Exercise Than Not!

Why You Shouldn't Work Out When You're Sick - gym fit workout


When you exercise, your body temperature rises. Your immune system releases more white blood cells to combat the increased temperature. While this is a good thing, it also means that your body is producing less white blood cells to fight off viruses and bacteria. This may make you more susceptible to colds.

This explains why many people catch a cold after exercising in cold weather.

The best time to exercise is before you get sick. However, if you are sick, then the best thing to do is rest. If you insist on exercising, then you should take things easy and slowly increase your activity as you begin to feel better.

Staying hydrated is very important while sick and especially when you are exercising. Drink plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise.

Dress warmly if you are going to be exercising in cold weather. Wear light, breathable clothing if you are exercising in hot weather.

Be Careful Not To Overheat & Dehydrate:

When you exercise, your body temperature rises. If the environment is too hot, then you risk overheating. You can avoid this by avoiding intense exercise in very hot weather and making sure to wear light, breathable clothing.

Why You Shouldn't Work Out When You're Sick - from our website

Dehydration can be just as dangerous as overheating. You can avoid this by drinking plenty of fluids before, during and after exercise.

If you begin to feel dizzy, weak or nauseous during exercise, then you should stop immediately.

Stretching Before & After:

Stretching is very important before and after exercise. It increases your flexibility and reduces the risk of injury.

When you are sick and your muscles are weakened, it’s even more important to stretch before and after you work out.

Sources & references used in this article:

Social uses of illness at the workplace: sick leave and moral evaluation by N Dodier – Social Science & Medicine, 1985 – Elsevier

What happens to work if you’re unwell? Beliefs and attitudes of managers and employees with musculoskeletal pain in a public sector setting by G Wynne-Jones, R Buck, C Porteous, L Cooper… – Journal of occupational …, 2011 – Springer

‘If you’re crying this much you shouldn’t be a consultant’: the lived experience of UK doctors in training with mental illness by A Grant, A Rix, D Shrewsbury – International Review of Psychiatry, 2019 – Taylor & Francis

Wellness as virtue: Morality and the pursuit of health by P Conrad – Culture, medicine and psychiatry, 1994 – Springer

It’s not all in your head: how worrying about your health could be making you sick–and what you can do about it by GJG Asmundson, S Taylor – 2005 – books.google.com

Why come into work ill? Individual and organizational factors underlying presenteeism by A Collins, S Cartwright – Employee Relations, 2012 – emerald.com

‘We’re just sick people, nothing else’:… factors contributing to elderly stroke patients’ satisfaction with rehabilitation by F Batmanghelidj – 2008 – Hachette UK

Spire by M Mangset, TE Dahl, R Førde… – Clinical …, 2008 – journals.sagepub.com

“You’re too young for this”: adolescent and young adults’ perspectives on cancer survivorship by EH Peterson – 2013 – mequonumc.org