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Should You Workout While You Are Sick?

January 31, 2016

Alright everyone I’m going to answer a question that I often get, and that is “Should you work out if you’re sick?”

And my answer is always going to be no

and there’s a lot of reasons for this…

So here’s the thing, when you get sick your immune system is what’s working to kill your virus or bacteria or whatever is in you. When I look at the immune system, it’s like an army. You literally have an army of good guys in you trying to fight the bad guys. Well this army requires a lot of energy, and a lot of times when you’re sick, you’re tired! The reason is because being up and active requires energy. Your body wants to use all this energy to fight the bad guys.

Another thing that often happens is you have no appetite. And again, the reason is it takes a lot of energy to digest foods, so often times when you’re sick you won’t have any appetite. Sometimes you’ll throw up or it’ll come out the other end, and just clear you out so all of your energy can be used to fight whatever bacteria or virus is in you. Now working out obviously burns up a lot of energy, and it’s best to use that energy to fight the bad guys.

So when you’re not feeling good, take a day off, take a week off, take TWO weeks off. Make sure you think long term. You know, sometimes it’s like “Oh my God, I haven’t worked out in a week”, but you know, big deal. Over the grand scheme of a lifetime, it’s only a week, right? Another thing too, when you do workout when you’re sick, usually your workout’s not very good, at best, because you just don’t feel very good. You feel weak, and then your soreness is magnified. If I do a workout when I’m a little bit sick, my soreness is WAY worse than if I’m feeling good. So what I do whenever I’m sick is:

  • I take lots of vitamin D, because vitamin D is phenomenal for the immune system, I’m talking like 20,000 IU’s per day.
  • I listen to my body, if I’m tired I sleep, if I’m not hungry I don’t eat. If I am hungry I just eat vegetables and drink water.
  • You want to avoid sugars as much as possible, I don’t really do sugars much the way it is, but if I’m not feeling good I especially eat really clean. Sugar is very, very hard on your immune system.

So in a nutshell, if you’re not feeling good, take some days off until you are feeling good. Eat healthy, if you’re hungry, and just chill out, take it easy, think long term. Then when you’re feeling good, come back and get after it.

Filed in: Exercise

About the Author:

My goal when writing is to take confusing or complicated information and make it easy to understand and apply. I have spent the last decade obsessively researching and teaching how to improve performance and longevity. Dr Czys

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