Is It Ok To Workout When Sick?

Is It Ok To Workout When Sick?

Is it ok to workout when sick? What would be your answer when someone asked you this?

What’s your perception about exercising when the body temperature has been twirling?

I don’t know about you, but my personal experience says working out isn’t too ideal when you are profusely sick. 

But then, what about regular exercisers? What would they do during illness that can keep their health in check?

So many questions, one article. You are going to find some amazing hidden truth here. But for that, you need to keep reading it till the end. 

Sickness and Workout: What’s The Connection?

Sickness and Workout_ What’s The Connection_

Exercise, a regular indulgence and a tremendous deal of sweating that keeps the body healthy. Working out daily not only reduces the risk of chronic diseases but also boosts the immune system. 

But that’s not what we are concerned about here. It’s about exercising when the body isn’t as healthy as usual days. 

During sickness, we primarily aim at speedy recovery and later, exercising and stuff. Hence, proved it is not important to workout in sickness, but you can, provided you follow the precautions. 

Under What Conditions Is It OK to Workout When Sick?

Under What Conditions Is It OK to Workout When Sick_

It’s not completely safe and harmless to exercise during sickness because more sweat will heat your body more. But in some conditions, you can indulge in medium exercising. Check them out here:

Mild Cold

Mild Cold

One catches a mild cold when one’s throat and nose become prone to viral infections. The symptoms of colds vary from one person to another. 

While one might experience a stuffy nose and headache, others might constantly sneeze. In these situations, you can indulge in workouts, but make sure they aren’t too tedious. 

If you feel a lack of energy while practicing your normal exercising routine, consider opting for less strenuous activities. You might also try reducing the workout duration. 

If you go to the gym to exercise, make sure you do not spread germs to others. Take necessary precautions whenever required. 

Stuffy Nose

Stuffy Nose

Who hasn’t gone through an uncomfortable stuffy nose? Not only is it a sign of a productive cough, but it might also resemble chest congestion in some cases. 

Hence, if you are dealing with a stuffy nose, it’s best to skip your exercise routine completely. Feeling a congested nose temporarily might be ok, but not completely. 

Make sure you try some exercises take can keep your nasal passages open and promote better breathing. It’s important that you listen to what your body says when you’re not completely well. 

What I do when I have a stuffy nose is go for brisk walks or small bike rides to keep myself active and without trouble. 


You might think, is it ok to workout when sick, especially during earache? Earaches are not typically common, but they bring sharp, burning pain to the ears.

This often leaves a person or a child in pain, and the infection might make things worse. Ear pain might happen due to a tooth infection, pressure changes, sore throat, or sinus infection. 

A few ear infections leave you completely out of balance, thus making your temperature high.

In such cases, make sure you don’t indulge in weightlifting because your body isn’t ready to go through another pain. Instead, opt for light walking. 

Instances When You Shouldn’t Exercise At All!

Instances When You Shouldn’t Exercise At All!

Now that you know the cases of mild exercising, let’s have a look at times when you should not workout at all. These are mostly the times when our body is sick and not in a position to exercise: 


Yes, you got that right. Fever is the first instance when one should not exercise at all. I will tell you why!

During a fever, the body temperature goes above its usual range and hovers around 98.6°F. The body goes through a lot of fever, like dehydration, muscle aches, weakness, and even appetite loss. 

Exercising when feverish increases the risks of dehydration and eventually increases your body temperature. 

Also, fever means less endurance and strength, which impairs coordination and precision. So, refrain from putting yourself in a position of getting injured and skipping exercising completely. 

Productive Coughing

Don’t even ask, “Is it ok to workout when sick?” if you frequently cough because it isn’t! Occasional cough is when the body responds normally to fluids or irritants in the windpipe. 

However, constant coughing might be a warning sign of respiratory infections like flu, cold, and even pneumonia. 

You don’t necessarily need to skip the gym for a dry, temporary cough, but if things exceed, take some rest. 

Sporadic or dry cough has no impact on your ability to perform exercises or lift weights. Sadly, that’s not the case with productive coughing, as it brings sputum or phlegm up and might lead you to consult a doctor. 

Hence, it’s better to fix your cough before you exercise because strenuous workouts and jogging might increase the symptoms. 

Flu Conditions

Who hasn’t heard of the contagious illness, Influenza, that ends up making the human respiratory system sore? Besides, it has other symptoms too, such as body aches, fatigue, congestion, and headache. 

Flu can be both severe and mild, based on the level of infection. In severe cases, it ends up causing life-threatening diseases. 

Not every person experiencing the flu will have a fever, but those who experience this might feel dehydrated, too. Hence, working out isn’t a great option in this case. 

It’s debated whether people with flu should indulge in workouts or not. But honestly, it depends on their individual immune response. 

Working Out With Care: Tips To Be Safe When You’re Sick

Working Out With Care_ Tips To Be Safe When You’re Sick

Are you dealing with any of the above and yet choose to work out? Don’t worry because we aren’t simply saying no. Here are some tips for exercising while ill that might keep you away from potential health harm: 

Keep Yourself Hydrated

Who does not require hydration? Everybody needs it whether or not they are ill. But it becomes extremely significant to infuse liquids into your body when you are not too well. 

At the time of healing, the human body uses extra fluid to remove toxins. Consequently, this leads to loss of fluid, extra sweating, and even a runny nose. 

Hence, exercising when you are unwell might eventually lead to more sweat, heightened body temperature, and increased dehydration. 

At this point, keep yourself dehydrated while working out. If you don’t feel like consuming water due to the metallic taste, opt for juices and other liquids. 

Balance Your Electrolytes

Apart from hydrating yourself, there’s also the need to replenish electrolyte salts in the body while working out. Sweat takes them away if you are both unwell and are exercising. 

Even runny noses can end up using electrolytes. When you combine a sweaty workout, you are simply taking away all necessary electrolytes from the body, making it weaker. 

Hence, consume liquids that have salty content in them. Coconut water, sports drinks, broth, and even miso soup can help restore electrolytes in the body while exercising. 

Consume A Balanced Diet

Food is the source of energy and in sickness, we need lots of healthy food. That will help us get going while we sweat profusely. 

Along with exercising, make sure you consume a balanced diet full of all important nutrients. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, leafy greens- everything that would keep you healthy. 

In such situations, indulge in light exercises that do not make you extra tired. It’s okay to let your blood flow get above the usual range, but only to the extent when things aren’t harmful to you. 

Eat pulses, plant-based legumes, fiber, and calcium-based food as much as possible. You can say no to carbohydrates during this time. 

Hear What Your Body Says

Last but not least, it is important to listen to your body. If you feel exhausted just after a few minutes of workout, stop doing it. After all, one or two days of exercise won’t fetch you massive results. 

Sickness is an alarm for the body to rest and withdraw temporarily from the normal routine. Don’t make it go through the same and end up getting sicker. 

The geist is that avoiding the gym when someone is sick is the best thing to do. In this way, you are reducing the chances of infecting someone else. Also, you get the time to rest well. 


So, what do you think of this, “is it ok to workout when sick?” 

Choosing to exercise or not is a personal matter, provided it doesn’t harm your mental and physical well-being. 

It is equally significant to avoid lifting heavy objects or indulge in strenuous exercises. Those dealing with severe symptoms like heavy cough should consider going to a doctor before working out. 

Having said that, here comes an end to this article. But don’t forget to share your thoughts on this by commenting below. 

Thank you for reading!

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With an adept skill of curating content on multiple genres, Mony has harnessed success as a Content Writer quickly. Find her sharing profound thoughts and opinions on lifestyle, beauty, fashion, pets, and parenting.

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