Should You Train When You're Sick? | STACK

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Should You Train When You're Sick?

November 12, 2012

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It's one thing to hit the gym when you're a little under the weather. It's a totally different thing to try to train when you've got the flu. How do you know if it's okay to work out? Our buddies at Men's Fitness spoke with Raul Seballos, M.D., vice-chair of the department of preventive medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, for a training Q&A to answer that very question.

Just a Cold

As long as you're just suffering from a common cold, feel free to get your training done. Take note of how you feel afterward, though, because that should tell you whether you're helping or hurting yourself. If you feel worse after the workout, you should definitely adjust your routine. "Take a few days off or reduce your effort to 50 percent of your normal capacity," says Seballos. That might mean lifting half as many reps or running half as long, depending on how you train.

Follow the "Above the Neck" Rule

Here's the easiest way to figure out if you should work out. If your only symptoms originate above the neck (stuffy nose, dry cough, etc.), you should be good to train. If you're suffering from anything below the neck (body aches or chest congestion), it's probably best to skip a session, says Seballos.

What About a Fever?

Bad idea. You don't want to be working out with a fever. In fact, if you have the flu or an upset stomach, skip your workout. Feel free to train through minor issues, but gutting it out with a fever could end up making you even sicker.

Find more tips on training when you're sick at Men's Fitness.

Want even more training advice? Head over to

Source: Men's Fitness


Brandon Guarneri
- Brandon Guarneri served as a Content Director for STACK Media. He oversaw production for STACK Magazine and created video content with athletes and brands for...
Brandon Guarneri
- Brandon Guarneri served as a Content Director for STACK Media. He oversaw production for STACK Magazine and created video content with athletes and brands for...
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