Reviewed by: Erica An, APD, BNutr&Diet
As the winter weather descends on us, often, falling sick does as well. The question then becomes – should you train when you’re sick? My answer to that is, it depends on how sick is sick!
Of course, if you are completely bowled over with the flu and your head spins just going from sitting to standing, then you shouldn’t be training. In fact, you should be in bed! But if what you have is a case of the sniffles, and you’re still able to do all your regular daily life activities then yes, you can still train! Modify your training, and work around the slight shortness of breath and/ or the need to have tissues on hand!
Modifying your training means switching training outdoors in cold air to an indoor session from a Pilates or yoga DVD. Cold air makes your nose and eyes water, with this already happening you don’t need to intensify your sniffle situation!
If lying on your back causes you coughing, due to that runny nose streaming down the back of your throat. Simply adjust your training to work from an incline position. For example, swap bench presses for push ups, and sit ups for planks. If you’re feeling a little short of breath, stay very clear of a cardio heart-starter session. Instead, opt for a toning resistance session such as ‘chest, bis and tris’, or ‘abs, calves and shoulders’. Picking smaller muscle groups will take the pressure off your heart and lungs. But you can still train specific body parts and continue getting the benefits from your training.
Remember, you’ll also be pushing blood around your body, and kickstarting your endorphins, which will give your mood a boost, so you’ll be feeling a little more positive about your day. When you’re slightly under the weather, it’s super important to make sure you are well hydrated going into your training session, and that you stay well hydrated throughout. Your body needs the fluid to help fight off whatever lurgy you have, as well as fuel your training session. Once you’ve finished your training session, be sure to get some super nourishing fuel on board, to help you recover, both from your session and from your sniffles!