The cold/flu season is upon us and I have heard many people talking about how they, or their loved ones have come down with a cold or worse. I’m sure we’ve all heard different things throughout our life in terms of working out. “Do it, it will help clear your lungs!” “Don’t do it, it will just make things worse!” “Stop being a baby and just do the WOD”, but what is the right answer to this question.
As with everything in life (egg yolks, dairy, rice, etc) there is no perfect answer. Sometimes the best answer is to simply rest, and sometimes a workout is just fine. Overall, listen to your body, but here are some other things that were found. Moderate exercise, things that lack intensity and are more aerobic, tend to boost immunity, if the sickness is something simple like a cold.
There is another way to assess if you should workout called the “neck test”. If your symptoms lie above the neck (runny nose, sore throat, sneezing) it is more likely that moderate exercise may help. If you have more flu-like symptoms, chances are you should stay home, for yourself and everyone at the gym.
The good news is this, those that exercise more often, and regularly, overall have better immune systems. They get sick less, and for less time. Also, women have better immune systems than men.
So next time you are sick, listen to your body. If it seems harmless (cold symptoms) try a workout. If you feel worse after, then maybe tone it down a bit. Either way, you should ease off the intensity of the WOD (think about scaling, or not paying attention to the clock). If it is more serious, like the flu, consider staying home. We all know how hard it is to stay away from the gym, but think about yourself, and others! And as always, wipe your equipment off when done. Listen to your body!
To read more on this (also references): https://breakingmuscle.com/learn/why-you-shouldnt-work-out-when-youre-sick