The Benefits of Exercising Even When You're Sick

Being sick absolutely sucks. It destroys plans and sidelines you due to the uncomfortable nature that seems to take over. But are you doing the best for your body by staying home in a personal quarantine? Colds are a leading cause of doctor visits and missed days from work and school. Americans suffer from approximately 1 billion colds per year, or about two to four colds per year for all adults.


It should be obvious that the majority of colds occur in the winter months. This has to due with the lack of sunshine, and hence decreased levels of vitamin D. So if you have a cold there is a strong chance that your vitamin D levels are too low and it might be a good idea to get them checked before you undergo high levels of antibiotics. Some more contributing factors to you having a weakened immune system might be: 1) Over-eating on too much sugar. 2) Not getting enough rest or sleep. 3) Not using adequate strategies to address emotional stressors in your life.

Should you workout if you have a really bad cold and you are coughing, sneezing, and even find it hard for you to breath? That is the question I will attempt to answer for you by showing you what the research says.

Two little-known studies that were published a decade ago in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise showed results so much in favor of exercise for individuals with a common cold that the researchers themselves were surprised. The researchers found no difference in symptoms from those who exercised and those who rested. They also found no difference in recovery. Surprisingly, when the exercisers assessed their symptoms, they said they felt okay, and in some cases, they said they actually felt better. They concluded that not only is it safe to exercise when you have an upper respiratory tract infection, but it could actually make you feel better. Even if it doesn’t speed up your recovery.

One study that was performed back in 2006 showed that women who exercised regularly were found to have half the risk of colds of those who didn't workout. The ability of moderate exercise to ward off colds seemed to grow the longer it was used. The enhanced immunity was strongest in the final quarter of the year long exercise program. This would suggest that it is important to stick with exercise long term to get the full effects.

The patients in the exercising group were asked to exercise about 45 minutes a day at home and the gym for five days a week, but they were only able to reach the 30-minute mark per day, with brisk walking accounting for the bulk of their body work. This clearly shows that something is better than nothing.

Personally, I believe that if you have the energy to tolerate it, getting your body temperature up by sweating from exercise will help you kill some viruses. I strongly suggest that you listen to your body and maybe cut back the amount of time that you typically would exercise. Going too hard could also stress your immune system and prolong your illness if you overdue it. Think of this like many things I try to convey through my messages. Moderation and consistency is important.