Should I Workout When I’m Sick?

It’s that time of year. The sniffling, sneezing, coughing and hopefully not puking time of year. So, what do you do if you are feeling under the weather? Is it helpful or harmful to continue your exercise plan?

Great questions! I am glad you asked! 😉 Actually, I’ve been asking those questions, because I’ve been battling a cough for several days. I hate to lose progress on my workout routine, yet I want my body to heal as quickly as possible, too.

After a bit of research, I found most experts agree that it depends. The key is the neck rule. You need to evaluate if your symptoms are above or below your neck.

If your symptoms are above your neck, you are probably OK to keep your regular workout routine. You can workout if you have nasal congestion, sneezing or a minor sore throat. Sometimes exercise could even help with your congestion or perk up your energy level if you are feeling sluggish. You have to listen to your own body, of course, and you might scale back a workout if you aren’t feeling up to it.

If your symptoms are below your neck, you should take some time off from your workouts. Your body needs some extra rest if you are coughing, have body aches or any stomach virus. Definitely don’t exercise if you have a fever.

So, there you have it! A simple way to evaluate if you should workout if you are feeling sick. I was correct to take some time off last week, since I have a pesky cough. How about you? Have you avoided sickness lately?

Neck Test



Mayo Clinic




CoriCori is a wife, mom of three and random writer who is learning how to take small steps towards big goals. She tends to be an all-or-nothing kind of person, but a journey to learn how to run (something she always hated) has taught her a lot about gradual, slow change. She has a degree in journalism and enjoys doing research and writing.



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