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  • Should I work out when I’m sick?

    By Travis Steffen on Tuesday, May 18, 2010in Muscle & Bodybuilding, Tips  

    fluHow sick is too sick to work out? First you must ask yourself (and be honest with your answer) are you really sick or just feeling a little lethargic and less than motivated to get to the gym? Being tired and ‘not feeling into it’ is one thing…we all have those days. Illness or being over worked and over tired is another issue altogether. We’ll start with the general rules when it comes to exercise during illness. First of all there a few circumstances where exercise is an absolute no-go, the biggest of which is having a fever. If you’re struggling with a fever a workout is completely out of the question. Your body is already overheated and dehydrated and exercise will simply compound that no matter how much air conditioning you are exposed to or amount of water you consume. A fever is a sign of infection and is your bodies way of fighting that infection so let it do it’s job by resting and drinking plenty of fluids.

    Extreme exhaustion is another example of when to skip the gym. A couple of days ago I had a client email me, informing me that she was home from work because she had fainted that morning due to a couple of weeks of being grossly overworked and stressed. She asked if she should skip her training session for the day. Abso-freakin-lutely was my answer. If you are feeling run down to the point of passing out, it’s your bodies less than subtle of way of telling you to give it a rest. Take a few days off.

    Some of the other symptoms that should make you consider putting your routine on hold for a few days include vomiting, diarrhea, chills and muscle aches. In consideration of other gym members you should also stay away if you are experiencing things that are obvious to others like pink eye, bronchitis, constant sneezing and nose wiping, or a hacking cough for example. You may no longer be contagious but think of a break as a courtesy to fellow members.

    Aside from the rules above, it really comes down to listening to your body. Taking a few days off won’t make that hard earned muscle disappear and it won’t add any layers of ‘insulation’ to your behind either. Quite often we are better off to sit a few sessions out and get back into it when our systems are fully recovered and ready for the intensity we are accustomed to.

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    About Travis
    Travis Steffen is a Master Trainer and founder of WorkoutBOX. After years of experience training professional athletes and thousands of others just like you, he knows exactly what it takes to get you in serious shape. Follow his expert guidance and you're guaranteed to get amazing results.
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