Exercising While Sick – Exactly what the Physician States

 

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

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Should You Train When Sick? (A Scientific Perspective)

Video taken from the channel: Jeff Nippard


Working Out While Sick What the Doctor Says So it happens. You wake up with a sore throat, you cough, and your nose is running. While you are jumping into the “get healthy” mode, you may think this is a free pass to not exercise. Many experts use the “above the neck” rule when advising patients on whether to continue working out while sick. According to this theory, if you are only experiencing symptoms that are above your.

While no studies have looked at the effects of endurance running while already sick, Hulse says, its overall strain on the immune system is well documented: A 2007 study published in the Journal. People who have the flu or a lung infection can get worse if they continue working out while sick, says Thomas Trojian, MD, a professor in the department of family, community, and preventive. [Brendan] Are you aware of any benefits to exercising while sick with a cold or flu? [Dr. McQueen] A rule of thumb is to exercise when symptoms are above the neck and to limit exercise when symptoms are below the neck, or when fever, diarrhea, or vomiting are present.

Supporting the lymphatic system in recovery accelerates the process of ridding the body of any built up toxins that accumulated while sick and sedentary,” Dr. Coller says. “Exercise such as. While we refer to the practice as calling in sick, “more often than not, it doesn’t happen over the phone,” Augustine says. Instead, workers may call, text, email or instant message their supervisor. But if you can do your work remotely, you likely have the right to work from home as well.

Likewise, if your work requires in-person interaction, but coworkers with the same position are being allowed to leave (like if you’re a waiter and other waiters are being sent home), then you have a right to take leave as well. A doctor’s note can only state that the physician examined the named employee on a certain date and time and list the dates the employee is to be kept from working as a result of illness. Any more details than that and the note may be. “A neck check is a way to determine your level of activity during a respiratory illness,” adds Neil Schachter, MD, medical director of respiratory care at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.

List of related literature:

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

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
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Victory Belt Publishing, 2018

Older adults should not exercise if they • are feeling unwell or have a fever or acute systemic illness (e.g., bronchitis, respiratory infection, rheumatoid arthritis) • have new or worsened symptoms (e.g., pain, dizziness, breathlessness, unsteadiness)

“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

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

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

Of course, you should always involve your doctor in making decisions about changing your level of exercise, but if you are interested in vigorous physical activity, don’t shy away.

“The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity” by Kory Kogon, Adam Merrill, Leena Rinne
from The 5 Choices: The Path to Extraordinary Productivity
by Kory Kogon, Adam Merrill, Leena Rinne
Simon & Schuster, 2016

Once the patient has been treated for acute pneumonia, it is important for the physical therapist to objectively assess activity tolerance through some form of exercise test (e.g., the 6-minute walk test or a bike or treadmill test).

“Guccione's Geriatric Physical Therapy E-Book” by Dale Avers, Rita Wong
from Guccione’s Geriatric Physical Therapy E-Book
by Dale Avers, Rita Wong
Elsevier Health Sciences, 2019

This means you will feel weak when working out even though the acute stage of your illness is past.

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

I totally understand the desire to exercise when sick.

“Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body” by Michael Matthews
from Bigger Leaner Stronger: The Simple Science of Building the Ultimate Male Body
by Michael Matthews
Waterbury Publishers, Incorporated, 2019

This means that you can continue exercising as long as you aren’t experiencing any physical symptoms such as chest pain, shortness of breath or dizziness.

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from Expecting 411 (4th edition): The Insider’s Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth
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Alexia Lewis RD

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

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29 comments

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  • 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…

  • 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.

  • I was as the gym a couple of days ago, and i managed to touch my tongue With my finger, and at that moment i knew i had fucked up.
    Next day, and i had a splitting headache, a Fever and threw up like crazy.
    2 days later, and im not throwing up anymore, and eating again. So i thought i could hit the gym. When i got there, i had lots of energy in my head, but my body was tired.
    I did some pushups to warm up, and after 10, i felt light headed, weak and tired.
    I’ll just stay in bed for a couple of days i Guess…

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • If you see this comment jeff do you have any advice on exercise with ulcers? I stopped weight training because my immune system cant fight in my belly after a workout, like my ulcer sypmtoms get worse the morning after. I have changed my diet after getting very sick. Do you have links to research about this?

  • 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 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?

  • 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

  • Im currently dying on the bed from the flu. Coughing my lungs out. If my nose aint leaking, its blocked as hell. Aches everywhere. Ahhhh

  • 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 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

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • I’ve been sick for months now i get extreme stomach pains and I can no longer eat dairy those are rules I’ve made for myself because every appointment I make with a doctor leads nowhere or provides little help but as far as I know I believe it’s dairy that suddenly my body no longer tolerates I also no longer feel the need to eat because when I do I feel pain and this is with everything I’m going to the ER soon to check it I have an infection in my intestines or something I suffer everyday but I still work out everyday I feel like I’ve had no choice I’m barley eating leading to weight loss and I just want to be healthy again and I just want to know what’s ruining everything I guess I’ll tone down my workouts and I been getting protein bars and things to help my muscles I weigh as much as the average woman now 150 lbs I’m 6ft and used to be 180 somtimes 200 it was jump around there I’m just looking for direction if any of you were in my shoes what should you do

  • 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 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

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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’m working out rn while sick it fucking sucks head hot coughing mucas sore throat(little) really sucks but I’m about to finish and it really will make you happy to sleep

  • If anyone wants to get rid of fever, take a warm bath! Not cold cause that’ll make you sicker! And drink a lot of water and take a few naps!!

  • Thanks excellent advice. I’m scared that I will get more sick if I workout/jog. I gain fat when Im sick or have cold. How can I avoid gaining weight when I’m sick