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Exercise when you're sick?

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I've got a monstrous head cold because of my allergies. My head is throbbing, nose is running, chest is congested, and I have major sinus pressure. I'm used to working out 6 days a week and I know I could push myself thru an hour of cardio but it wouldn't be easy. Should I though? I've heard from some that it's good to sweat out a cold and others tell me that my body needs the energy to fight this so I should rest. Who's right?
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I usually will give it a try. I listen to my body. If I'm feeling too low energy, I stop. If not I continue and do as much as I can. I usually know within the first 15 minutes if I should just give it a rest or go on.

Listening to your body is such an awesome thing to do, but do you think  you should go to the gym with a head cold?  

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You should listen to your body and rest. The signs ans symptoms that you display is already a sign that your body is fighting off whatever allergen or virus is in your system. Trying to add stress like exercising will weigh your body down and might be more harmful. Will it hurt you not to exercise for a day? You know the answer to that.

If your chest is congested it sounds more like a cold. You need to drink plenty of fluids and rest your body. You don't want to be spreading your virus around to other people. Stay home and be good to yourself. You will recover from this faster if you take good care of yourself.

I recently read a short article (I apologize that I don't remember where) that if your symptoms are only above the neck, you can go ahead and exercise with no ill effects. However, if the symptoms are below the neck like chest congestion, you should rest and let your body recover.

I did find some information WEbMD that might help exercise-when-you-have-cold


If your head cold is the result of a "bug"... then DO NOT GO TO THE GYM!

You must have respect for the health of others... if you do have a "bug" then you will be putting other people at the gym AT RISK for sickness.

You did mention that you believe it's the result of your allergies, how confident are you on that?

One of the reasons I stopped going to a gym was because I was always catching whatever was "going around".

I bought my own equipment and stay home to work out now... haven't been sick with anything in probably 5 years or more. (Yes...I'm also a hand washer!)



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Swim.  Low impact, cardio exercise will help drain those lymph nodes, and when I have a cold I imagine the chlorinated moisture helps with my sinuses.

I had a nasty cold this past week and just generally felt like crap.  I took several days off working out to recover.  Started back yest and was able to do a much more effective workout.  I would stay home and rest.

Not sure about cardio, but weight lifting is degenerative to the immune system, then fortified after recovery.  I would rest, but I'm sure your better by now.

I find that exercising actually helps me get better.  I do not go to the gym, but take a 3 or 5 mile run.  Take tissues though!

I usually rest the first few days that I am sick (when it's the worst) and then when I start feeling like I am getting back to normal, I go back to the gym and "sweat it out" as another commenter mentioned. It totally works for me, I've found that I am able to bounce back much quicker from my cold.

I usually avoid working out for the first few days of feeling sick. Whenever I've forced myself to go to the gym anyway, my illness has seemed prolonged. If I were you I'd drink plenty of water, take some vitamin C, and try to relax a bit. Maybe resume going to the gym the day after tomorrow if you're feeling up to it. Also, I'm always irritated when people that are sick go to the gym and infect other people. If you're not completely positive that it's only related to allergies, don't go out and possibly infect others. 

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I agree with a few above, i wouldnt recommend going to the gym. First and foremost, it's not fair to get others sick if u can avoid it. And second, your body wont heal.

Ive actually been sick, gotten better, then worked out and had a relapse of my illness because it was too soon after being sick. And i was in great shape.

And seriously, if you got sick because someone else chose to go out when they were contagious wouldnt that make u a little angry?

Thanks everyone for your posts.  It's been a week and I'm feeling better now but my nose is still a little runny.  I stayed home and rested but the last few days have been nice enough that I was able to do some intensive yard work.  Today I'm going back to the gym to give it a shot..  Hopefully my body is recovered enough that I can get back into my normal routine.  Thanks again for all the advice.

When I'm "sick" like that, I do 3 sets of sun salutations 2-3 times a day to keep my joints limber...  And the deep breathing required for this type of yoga helps to get the yukky stuff out of the lungs.  First set is 1 deep breath (inhale-exhale) on each move, 2nd set is 2 deep breaths holding the move, 3rd set is 3 deep breaths holding each position...

Hi im a doctor. I would suggest you to take care of your cold first. you can go back to exercising when you're cured of your cold. Take plenty of fluids and rest. If you dont slow down during a flu there are chances that i will go chronic which means that it could last months.

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