Archive for the tag - stay home

Exercising When Sick


I’m home sick with a cold. Is it a good idea to workout when you are sick with a cold or flu? Part of me wonders if the energy expenditure would take away from the immune systems that are working to get rid of it. I’ve recently lost nearly 60 pounds and don’t want to diminish my current fitness level that I’ve worked hard to achieve.


Dear Brenon,

First, congratulations on releasing 60 pounds through a healthier lifestyle. That’s fantastic!

To answer your question: STAY HOME! In fact, working out while sick is one of my Top 12 Gym Mistakes. There are two pieces to this.

First, it’s incredibly inconsiderate to your fellow gym goers. The gym is already a breeding ground for nasty germs and bacteria. So, please do us a favor and don’t snot on the dumbbells. Things are already gross enough, thank you.

Second, your body needs the rest. Some people have crazy notions that you can “sweat” out a sickness – but that’s just not how the human body works. The immune system fights the germs internally – it doesn’t push them out through your sweat glands.

Moreover, our immune system is most effective when it is not under stress. Researches have found that even a single exercise session can cause significant stress to the immune system (though, overall, exercise helps build a stronger immune system).

And exercising too soon during recovery can even cause a relapse of the sickness – causing a bigger impact in your exercise program.

Don’t worry about missing a few days at the gym – it won’t be enough to significantly derail your fitness routine. A few days won’t make a difference. The power of exercising is its cumulative effect. It would take several weeks before you noticed a measurable external change in your body.

Whether it’s coughing, aches and pain, fever or even an upset stomach, do your body (and the rest of us) a favor by staying home!