Is It Okay to Exercise While You’re Sick?

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While working out is essential to your well-being, doing so when sick can seem counterintuitive. But while some people prefer resting when ill, others prefer activity over the boredom of sitting at home. Still, the question remains: is it alright to exercise while you’re sick?

Can Exercise Make You Feel Better?

For some people, the idea of being mobile seems like it could help them feel better. According to infectious disease specialist Amesh Adalja, MD, there’s no research to suggest that exercise helps you overcome illness. In fact, overexertion could make you feel worse. Still, there are hormones that are released that can make you feel good independent of your illness, which means that you’ll have to be careful when deciding what exercise to do.

What Exercises Can You Do When Sick?

Sports medicine physician Jessalynn Adam, MD explained that working out is alright so long as the symptoms you experience are all above the neck, meaning a sore throat, runny nose, or nasal congestion. She added that you should only do low-intensity workouts, though, and stay clear of anything too challenging such as HIT or heavy strength training and too much cardio.