Feeling sick? Should you train when you have a cold or flu?
As we are now in the autumn/winter season, it’s worth knowing when you should be training and when you should be resting if your not feeling well. Getting sick is the last thing you want to happen to you, especially when your making great progress in your training.
The general rule of thumb is that if your illness is only from your neck or above (e.g. stuffy nose, sneezing, headache, sore throat), you’re cleared to train.
Training with moderate-intensity, in this case, may be beneficial since research suggests moderate-intensity training can reduce inflammation and improve the immune response to viral infections.
However, if the sick has moved lower, such as a chest cough or chest cold, the general advice is to avoid training.
All in all, don't be afraid to give yourself some rest if you do not feel good. But if you do choose to train, a low-moderate-intensity training session may help.
Just be considerate of your fellow training colleagues in the gym whenever you have something contagious. Use a towel to cover benches, wipe down any excess sweat from machines, use gloves if strength training to avoid spreading germs and use a tissue if you sneeze rather than sneezing into the air.