You have achy muscles, fever, sore throat and a runny nose. You are in pain and you feel miserable, however you still have the energy and drive to go to the gym and train, so should you go?
The safest answer would be a “no”. You should lie down in bed and give your body time to recover. However not all of us have the luxury of skipping workout sessions, some of us have busy schedules that we must follow, so losing progress in the gym is a big no-no.
You can still work out if you are knowledgeable about your disease. But consult your physician first before doing any sort of strenuous activity.
When you feel you’re that you’re coming down with a Cold or Flu
If you feel like you’re coming down with a cold or flu, then you can still exercise without much hindrance. However if you feel tired or weary during your workouts then try cutting back your efforts by 50%. If still feel tired after that, then you should just go home and rest.
Take note of the “above the neck rule“ which simply means that if your symptoms are above the neck like dry cough, sneezing or a runny nose, then its fine to exercise (just don’t overexert yourself). However if symptoms are below the neck like chest pains, upset stomach, muscle aches, difficulty walking, etc., then its highly recommended you go home and rest.
If You Have a Cold or Flu
Don’t be “that guy” who works out at the gym wearing a facemask. You’ll be coughing all the time which can be very annoying to some people. You’re carrying a highly infectious disease, and it’s very likely that you might infect the other gym members. So even if you can still workout, don’t, because you’re being inconsiderate to others.
Just stay at home and recover. Give time for your immune system to recover, forcing yourself will only worsen the condition. You can even do non-strenuous exercises to help speed up your healing. Exercises like walking, stretching, Pilates, yoga (no hard poses) and tai-chi are all viable choices.
When Can I get back to working out?
Feel and listen to your body. You will most likely recover after a week or two. However your body won’t be 100% after recovery so we highly recommend you take it slow and maybe even try a gym the helps you get back to the basics.
So don’t do your normal routine but instead cut your reps down to 80%, you could even go back to lighter weights and do your normal routine from there. Remember that you’re not 100% so don’t do anything stupid like injuring yourself.