In the event you Exercise having a Cold Exercising while Sick

 

Ask the Expert: Working out with the flu

Video taken from the channel: TMJ4 News


 

How to exercise when you have a cold or virus | Exercise and Asthma advice

Video taken from the channel: Asthma UK and British Lung Foundation Partnership


 

Should you workout when you are sick?

Video taken from the channel: Caroline Jordan


 

Should You Workout When Sick?

Video taken from the channel: PictureFit


 

Working Out When Sick (LIFTING WEIGHTS)

Video taken from the channel: ATHLEAN-X™


 

Should You Train When Sick? (A Scientific Perspective)

Video taken from the channel: Jeff Nippard


 

Drs. Rx: Should You Workout When You’re Sick?

Video taken from the channel: The Doctors


The answer depends on what ails you, experts tell WebMD. For example, exercising with a cold may be OK, but if you’ve got a fever, hitting the gym is a definite no-no. Fever.

Mild to moderate physical activity is usually OK if you have a common cold and no fever. Exercise may even help you feel better by opening your nasal passages and temporarily relieving nasal congestion. As a general guide for exercise and illness, consider this: Exercise is usually OK if your symptoms are all “above the neck.”.

The type of exercise you perform while sick doesn’t matter as much as the intensity. For instance, if you were set to do some sprints, try jogging instead. Or if you’re lifting that day, dial back. The quick answer regarding continuing to exercise with a cold is yes, but only if you are sure that it’s just the common cold.

You shouldn’t however, keep exercising while sick if your ailment happens to be the flu. There is nothing wrong with exercising with a cold as long as you lower your intensity level a bit. While it’s generally ok to exercise with a mild cold, keep in mind that you might spread germs to others and cause them to become ill. Practicing proper hygiene is a great way to prevent spreading. When your cold comes with a fever, exercise could stress your body even more.

So wait a few days to get back to your regular exercise program. Also be careful about working out too hard when you. A: If you feel like you’re coming down with a garden-variety cold, you can still exercise without significant limitations. If you begin to. Edward R. Laskowski is a doctor at the clinic.

He notes that “ mild to moderate physical activity is usually OK if you have a common cold.” Dr. Laskowski. “Exercise is medicine. If you have symptoms above the neck, things like runny nose, sneezing, of the common cold, such as nasal congestion or runny nose, or minor sore throat, you’re OK to exercise,” says Dr. Montero. “Exercise may even help you feel better by opening up your nasal passages, for instance.

But you may want to reduce the intensity and. A: While exercise can be helpful in strengthening the immune system to fight off illness, it is not always advisable once you become ill. Sometimes it’s better to keep your sneakers in the closet.

List of related literature:

If you’ve got a cold and your symptoms are mostly above the neck (minor sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, etc.), it’s okay to exercise, moderately.

“Exercise Is Medicine: How Physical Activity Boosts Health and Slows Aging” by Judy Foreman
from Exercise Is Medicine: How Physical Activity Boosts Health and Slows Aging
by Judy Foreman
Oxford University Press, Incorporated, 2020

My general rule of thumb is if all your symptoms are from the head up—primarily a runny/ stuffy nose—then go ahead and enjoy a moderate workout, but not an intense one.

“The Doctor Is In: 7 Easy, Positive Steps to Take Right Now to Transform Your Health” by Travis Stork M.D.
from The Doctor Is In: 7 Easy, Positive Steps to Take Right Now to Transform Your Health
by Travis Stork M.D.
Gallery Books, 2010

If your symptoms are a runny nose, sneezing, or a scratchy throat (all symptoms above the neck), start your workout, but reduce the intensity to zone 1 or 2 and keep the duration short.

“The Cyclist's Training Bible” by Joe Friel
from The Cyclist’s Training Bible
by Joe Friel
VeloPress, 2012

It can be difficult for anyone to restart an exercise program after recovering from a cold or flu, but it is particularly challenging for older adults, who tend to remain ill longer and may experience a greater loss of function during this period.

“Physical Activity Instruction of Older Adults” by C. Jessie Jones, Debra J. Rose
from Physical Activity Instruction of Older Adults
by C. Jessie Jones, Debra J. Rose
Human Kinetics, 2005

The general consensus among physicians who regularly treat athletes with colds is that it is safe to exercise, as long as the symptoms are located above the neck (runny nose, sneezing, scratchy throat).

“Sports Science Handbook: I-Z” by Simon P. R. Jenkins
from Sports Science Handbook: I-Z
by Simon P. R. Jenkins
Multi-Science, 2005

In fact, there is a widely accepted belief that if the symptoms are limited to “above the neck,” a moderate-intensity exercise bout may even improve symptoms such as runny nose, sneezing, or sore throat.

“Applied Exercise and Sport Physiology, With Labs” by Terry J. Housh, Dona J. Housh, Herbert A. deVries
from Applied Exercise and Sport Physiology, With Labs
by Terry J. Housh, Dona J. Housh, Herbert A. deVries
Taylor & Francis, 2017

If the symptoms are located above the neck—such as a stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, or a scratchy throat—exercise should be performed cautiously through the scheduled workout at half-speed.

“Pathology for the Physical Therapist Assistant E-Book” by Catherine C. Goodman, Kenda S. Fuller
from Pathology for the Physical Therapist Assistant E-Book
by Catherine C. Goodman, Kenda S. Fuller
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2016

Exercise during viral infection or when feeling ill

“Exercise Physiology: Nutrition, Energy, and Human Performance” by William D. McArdle, Frank I. Katch, Victor L. Katch
from Exercise Physiology: Nutrition, Energy, and Human Performance
by William D. McArdle, Frank I. Katch, Victor L. Katch
Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010

During an episode of the flu you will not have the energy to exercise and should rest.

“The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine” by Sherry Torkos
from The Canadian Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine
by Sherry Torkos
Wiley, 2010

While sick, it is important to understand that you can exercise, but only to the point that you do not get worse afterward.

“Toxic: Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Chronic Environmental Illness” by Neil Nathan
from Toxic: Heal Your Body from Mold Toxicity, Lyme Disease, Multiple Chemical Sensitivities, and Chronic Environmental Illness
by Neil Nathan
Victory Belt Publishing, 2018

Alexia Lewis RD

Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and Certified Heath Coach who believes life is better with science, humor, and beautiful, delicious, healthy food.

[email protected]

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67 comments

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  • damn I’m sick in summer and all that is my mistake. i wanna workout but all my body broken and also I’ve a headache, oh god i can’t get used to this TT

  • He gave no real good information. He just spewed out some gym bro B.S. That under the neck rule is old af. People please don’t get your health information from a television doctor who tells you to train naked.

  • I feel something coming on. Like my body feeling cold inside, my throat feeling clogged and nose blocked and constant sneezing. But it’s been one day feeling it. I’m in the gym currently now I just feel weak lifting weights but pushing through it

  • I generally stop working out entirely even if the bug I have is “above the neck.” On day two, I might do some extremely gentle yoga (yoga for sick people/immune boosting). I’ve found that 100% of the time, the bug lingers longer if I don’t just quit working out for a few days. I know the pros say otherwise, and it’s really hard for me to not work out, but it’s far better than having crud linger on for weeks. I was just sick for two days. I’m fine today because I didn’t push myself at all during that time. My husband was also sick, but he went for a run yesterday and generally pretended he wasn’t sick. He sounds awful now, and he’ll be mildly sick for weeks. (and yes, I yelled at him.:) ETA: I learned the “trick” of doing absolutely nothing when you’re sick from someone at the gym, who scolded me for being there.

  • I have flu and a bad sore throat and cough. Went to workout today and could barely hold a front lever and could only do max 6 pull ups

  • I got a cold last week… felt bad a few days… then woke up day 3 DEAD… spent 48 hours on the couch in really bad shape.. fever, cough, runny nose etc…. felt fine 48 hours later…. went and did a hard workout last night and now I feel sick af again….

    I’m gonna go for a light jog… wish me luck!

  • I traveled over seas for 11 days and only did 2 workouts while i was away and was planning to get right back into it, then got sick the day I got back. I lost 3.5 kg in 3 days today I plan to get my gains back��

  • the strength training losses are real. im running the texas method right now and before getting sick i was doing 205lbs 5×5 on the squat. one week off being sick and i could barely get my reps in with 185lbs. i expect to bounce back quick, but the flu really kicked my ass this year.

  • Eating really depends if it’s a viral or bacterial but still it prolongs your illness when you are increasing your glucose, the cells will manufacture more of the replicated virus. I wouldn’t eat much other than soups and water or better to just do fasting so the virus dies and doesn’t get the chance to replicate. There’s also a reason why your body is telling you not to eat.

  • Take time off and get well. You won’t loose gains and may actually come back stronger. Your body gets stronger when it rests. If you train when sick you will draw the infection further into your lungs and end up with pneumonia. Focus on nutrition.

  • Can anyone answer this: I went for a workout but after 15 mins i just felt nauseous and sickish it was weird i was so confused. But im not sick or anything after i got home i was fine after 10 mins. Can anyone explain this please thank you.

  • I’m trying to follow the neck rule. Monday & Tuesday (yesterday & the day before) i was super sick. Fatigued, body aches, chills, fever, headache. Skipped the gym. Today i was tired, headache, nasal issues. Skipped the gym. I’m HOPING to feel better tomorrow (obviously) but when should I go back? Tomorrow? The next day? A week from now?

  • If it’s viral: fever, lungs filled with fluid, hurts to breathe, every joint in your body hurts etc then stay at home.

    If you just have a cold then go to the gym and run it off

  • I was sick as a dog with the flu last winter. Felt like even my skin ached. Felt like garbage.
    Got tired of it and moved all my weights outside in the driveway in below freezing. Pants, boots, hoodie and all. Worked out hard as shit for a good 2 hours full body.
    Forced myself to eat and drink then passed out and woke up completely fine the next morning. No sign of illness. Just more soreness then usual.

  • THANK YOU! I have the flu and knew it was time for a break while I recover, but wanted some advice on how to proceed this video is exactly what I was looking for. Thank you thank you thank you.

  • Once I was sick and we had gym, but I couldn’t excuse myself for being sick because the gym teachers didn’t believe me, so mid workout I fainted.

    Everyone stopped what they were doing and I woke up to the gym teacher staring down at me and the first words he said we’re “get up, push through it.”

    smh

  • Good advice.. I’m having a common cold and I tried to workout but I realized that my sickness is getting worst so I now choose to rest till I recover. Thanks for your relevant advice.

  • Dude thanks for educating us. I used to work in a gym and hated when people would be coming in sick, wiping their nose and shit with their hands then touching every piece of equipment. STAY YO ASS HOME!

  • Iam just getting over pneumonia. Been ill as death for like two weeks hardly eat a thing looking flat and devastated. Still chesty and breathless so I will take your advice and wait couple more days arghhhhh

  • Thanks brother you dominated my question I’ve been asking the internet for. No procrastination or dumb answer just straight to the facts. Insta-sub!

  • Bailed out on a 100k bike ride tomorrow as know it’s going to demanding.

    Can feel increased heart rate with moderate exercise so know it’s right decision.

  • Thank you so much for this video. Its helped me make a good decision. Unfortunately, I’m sick above and below the neck… so… this really sucks for me. I only just started training like a month ago and I am actually upset that I have to miss out at the gym. I really do love going.

  • I left to go to the gym with the grey area sickness today but I was feeling foggy in my head and had a black iced coffee on my way to wake me up but I did what you said and just tried to do something first and really only felt more foggy and wished I was in bed. Ah well. We’ll get back after I rest up

  • I literally just have a bad cough but the cold I just overcame had me out of the gym for a week. Should I still go while I have my cough or should I wait it out until all is well?

  • I always take a break. It’s not going to kill your gains. Life is about expansion and contraction. You need moments of rest (contraction) to expand again. Natural cycle of life.

  • high intensity training needs to be avoided even during light sickness. it puts extra stress on the immune system and therefore weakens it. there have been cases reported of people getting lifelong heart disfunction after putting to much stress on there bodies during sickness. keep that in mind.

    edit: their*

  • I’m sick at this present moment and thought should I go to the gym or not what would Jeff Nippard do? Hmmm maybe he has an video about it nah don’t be silly he will not have… oh Jeff you’re my hero!

  • I have the maddest chesty cough and headache rn. Just got back from the gym, didn’t even go too hard and now I instantly regret it��

  • I’m sooo angry
    Missed 2 days of school this week and on Friday my gym teacher makes you workout extra hard while the rest of the class plays on their phones if you missed a day that week or if you lost points and basically tomorrow I’m gonna have to workout and I’m still really sick but my mom is making me go I have a really sore throat, have asthma, and have been having really bad abdominal pain this past 2 weeks but no, my gym teacher is gonna make me run and if i try to argue/convince him I have to do an extra workout next week too
    I am outraged
    This just makes me want to show this to him

  • Glad I found this video. I’m sick with Bronchitis that nearly turned into Pneumonia. Only thing that’s helped besides the basics of eating well and taking the meds has been rest. Yes, it’s been upsetting and good both. I’ve maintained my weight and haven’t gained. I’m starting to see abs, and less visceral fat. I had some cheat eats on Thanksgiving day, but didn’t destroy myself due to being in a caloric deficit from being miserable. Before getting sick, I was plateauing with grip strength, progressively overloading, and weight loss. I’ve turned it in the opportunity to deload, and let the physical changes I’m seeing be the pay out to fight harder when I get well. Let the positives become a payout for wanting to improve and do better if injury or illness cause a time out. I will say I sometimes wish I could turn the dial back to being a teenager when it comes to fitness. Seemed like I had less Consequences back then with food, rest, and illnesses.

  • Well the bit about sweating out your cold/flu seems quite unreasonable considering that glands produce sweat, it’s not as if it comes straight outta the infected areas/blood. I have, though, noticed that with some light lifting while sick, I feel much better shortly after the workout

  • I have an ear infection and run 30 mins a day and aim to walk 10000 steps a day. I’m overweight so am just doing the walk, I really dont want to reduce my training as m ed health is already affected by the weight I gained.

  • Hello Jeff, I had watched this video when you first uploaded but now coming back at it again and checking the links, it seems the links are for your ejaculation video not this one. All the links are about sex drive and ejaculation:p

  • I was going beast mode during summer at the gym. Went back to school looking buff and strong. 2 weeks later; BAM! I get sick and everything I have built collapsed to shit. And as I type this I am still sick, my gains faded. I eat as much as I can to regain it back, but as the hours go by i feel smaller and weaker. Fml.

  • Hey Jeff, thanks for the info, informative as always, good advice about doing a bit of cardio to test the viability of notions to workout. Hey you might want to check your “Scientific References” section, the links don’t appear to be applicable to this video, informative but… heads up!

  • I currently have stuffy nose and cough..
    it’s been 4 days since I last workout..
    my body wants to sweat dahmmit..
    I’m eating right tho well, actually more than the usual.

  • Hey Jeff! Love your videos could you possibly do a video on water fasting for fat loss and muscle retention/ muscle loss/gain during the fast?

  • From my point of view no matter of having just a little cold or whatever, doing cardio is a thing that you NEVER should do when you are sick. By cardio I mean going to football/soccer/basketball training where your heart rate goes up

  • great video jeff, maybe for a myth bust Monday you could look at a related subject….whether the “man-cold” has any truth to it. I think its true that men get colds worse, but that’s just an opinion/guess as I’m not qualified on the subject. I’d love to see what the scientific evidence says!

  • So a few weeks ago i had a bit of a cold but i just couldn’t keep my self from hitting the gym so i went and at the end of my workout breathing in was kinda uncomfortable.
    The next day i had a 39C fewer thats 102 degrees fahrenheit.
    Not gonna do that mistake again.��

  • The like to dislike ratio is impressively humbling. However, I still can’t understand why anyone would dislike this kind of content.

  • I’ve gone in sicj with a face mask and hand sanitizer. I’ve also had experience holding in coughs and sneezes ubder extreme physical stress for work purposes so I felt I did what i could to prevent infection

  • Jeff is absolutely right, but now I’m going to tell you the LIFEHACK №1 that works every time (at least for me). When I’m sick (cold, flu, etc.) I pick 2 days when i’m not at work and do the following ritual: day 1 sleep untill about noon, after I wake up I don’t do absolutely nothing that requires fisical efford just stay in bed or on a chair and EAT and REST through the entyre day, then in the evening I take my preworkout shake and TRAIN like there is no tomorrow NO MATTER how sick I feel ( I mean even your nails should sweat ) and train untill I’m about to blackout, after that I make some tea and add a little hard alcohol in the glass, but every time I drink ( after every sip) I refill the mixture with alcohol and this continues untill there is no more tea, when that happens I drink everything that is left at once and immediatelly go to sleep before the alcohol kicks in. In the morning there is no trace of sickness. The logic is that either I’m going to survive this or not, but the virus will not survive it for sure, there is no room for both of us in my body. I think this could help even againts the COVID.

  • I watched the video because I contracted a sickness very out of the blue which started as a sore throat and now after a week I still have a bad cough, and my chest hurts from the coughing. Really not feeling like dying at the gym.

  • Being sick with one virus does not make you immune to other viruses. You can get multiple viruses with compounding pathogenicity. And vigorous exercise temporarily suppresses the immune response. The immune response is greatest when you are resting. WHO cares if you lose a little muscle mass. Exercising while sick not only thrusts you into additional potential exposures to disease, but also makes you more vulnerable to new pathogens, and likely prolongs the course of your current disease.

  • It’s very interesting we haven’t found any real solution to the common cold. I have a very strong immune system but when it comes to the cold it’s comes out of nowhere. A cold is annoying with the runny nose and itchy throat in the beginning lol

  • Thank you SOOO MUCH for this video!!! I’ve been going HARD with my weight training the past few months and I JUST got sick and it’s seriously messing with my head!! I feel so down because I want to be in the gym so damn bad!! I appreciate this video and your advice and insight. Much love! ������������������������‼️

  • I hit my head first week had to rest half of it, second week got sick whole week iver Been so unlucky, i had just achieved so much at the gym and hit many of my goals and ofc this happens

  • It’s crazy because I hadn’t had a workout for a week and I’ve been feeling fatter just sleeping in my bed and I have to go to work and I like eating bone broth and my appetite actually increases when I have a fever lol. Right now I’m post recovery from a flu but I’m hitting the gym today as this video plays.

  • I did this on Tuesday… I felt good while training and had strenght.
    My cold overall doesn’t seem so bad…
    Nevertheless over night and next day I was absolutely destroyed.
    It all stucked in my head/nose.
    2 days later its better again.
    Next time only a bit cardio I guess…

  • I noticed that “the two Jeffs” have given the best advice. Jeff Nippard here and Jeff Cavelier’s video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_en6zpkP_s

  • I was sick and stopped working out, but when I got better and tried a light workout I got a sore throat again. I gave it a few days and felt better and when I worked out I got a sore throat again!!!?!?! Ive gone through this cycle four times now and it never fails, Work out, sore throat!?!?! What is up with this?

  • Went back to the gym after 2 months of no workout, I got fever the next morning. Rested for 2 days as per my body’s insticnt. Listen to your body.

  • I started getting the flu so I did pushups until failure to rid my body of this evil and wound up shiting myself. This might not sound ideal but I could feel all kinda gains in my draws man

  • Haha, very true. I am not feeling great so, decided to watch this video. Taking off 4 to 5 days is not bad. I just wonder if I still eat the same amount of calories while I’m working on says that I am sick will make me gain body fat?

  • DON”T EVER TRY! Caroline, please advise with the doctor about this question! What I know very well is that if you got a virus disease (including flu) when you workout (run, or do a heavy physical activity) it will evolve and spread much faster in your organism as your blood pressure goes up, thus it is considered a very very dangerous to workout when you are sick in most cases.

  • Not a chance once you can’t eat for a few days amd get your protien in you will lose muscle. I did lose some water then muscle.

    If people can still eat completely then you are not sick. If people have a hard time eating then you are sick.

  • I’ve got a blooming cold now and I feel fatigued. Going to the gym wouldn’t be smart. Left work early because of it. No real appetite either. No gym today.

  • im sick as shit and have been piggin out these last 2 days. Will be skipping a few gym days but will definitely clean up the diet.

  • So basically if you feel like your dying don’t go to the gym but if your no pussy hit the gym and hit it hard, aight thanks coach

  • Apparently you should not get a massage when you get the flu because it will make you even more sicker

    But

    I think exercise with the flu �� is actually pretty good because I exercise with the flu and I feel better next day but I don’t know ����‍♀️ I am conflicted maybe

    You have to get your body to workout make you sicker but it will make it worse but it will heal quicker because it getting rid of everything by pushing it out

  • I feel like I lose actual size because I lose my appetite and be lucky to eat one meal a day compared to my usual 4k cals. Would you say the loss is minimal even if not hitting anywhere near maintenance calories?

  • Common sense, just listen to your body…. skipping a workout or two will not set you back. That being said, if you feel the need to workout anyway, go for a walk, be out in the open, with the fresh air, don’t go around people if you can help it, basic courtesy…..

  • I ignored my sore throat for weeks and trained six times per week (4 x resistance training and 2x hiit running). Then I got a severe cold with a high fever. It might just be a coincidence, but next time i will not ignore an illness. Is there any empirical evidence for the “above the neck”-rule?

  • I’ve had Covid 19 since July 3rd now, and I want to do something to at least stay a little fit while I’m in quarantine. But truth be told that I don’t know much exercises if any that I’m able to do since some of my symptoms are below the neck.

  • Needed this today, hit a PR on the bench yesterday got watery diarrhoea, fever & nausea today. Irrationally paranoid about the strength disappearing. Trying to get some protein in though.

  • This is a good way to look at it. But it is a very personal equation. Workout intensity is a big part of it. It would be a lot harder on your body to fight a cold along side repairing muscles after heavy lifting.

    Personally, I’m taking an additional rest day from a structured workout. But I will go for a longer walk than usual.