Should I exercise If I’m Sick? Advice From Our Exercise Physiologist

With winter being well and truly upon us, as an exercise physiologist, I regularly get asked If you should still exercise if you feel yourself getting sick or if you’re just not feeling great.

Should you push on with your normal exercise load in the hope it might help your immune system shake off the illness? Or will that stress your body and make it worse?

As a general rule of thumb, it is okay to continue exercising when sick.  Exercise can be modified to reduce the intensity and length of your activity to ensure you don’t miss a workout e.g walking instead of running or bodyweight training instead of a heavy weights session. With winter in full swing and seeing an increase in common colds/bugs, it’s best to avoid exercise if your symptoms are chest down e.g you have a fever, feel high levels of fatigue or you are experiencing widespread muscle aches. If you are feeling run down or under the weather, avoid group exercise to ensure you are not passing on bugs to vulnerable clients and your trainer. 

Exercise is a great tool for strengthening your immune system, however, you don’t want to overload. Remember to stay hydrated, prioritise sleep, and alter your training load until you’re back to 100%. Your Exercise Physiologist will be able to manage/alter your exercise workload and help you attain your goals after a well-needed rest.

If you need guidance with exercise or wanting a specific exercise program tailored to your injuries, health status and goals, contact our exercise physiologists to discuss how they can help you.

Written by Exercise Physiologist Lauren Sexton

Lauren graduated from the University Of The Sunshine Coast completing a Bachelor of Clinical Exercise Science. Predominately working in private practice since graduating, Lauren has developed a clinical interest in geriatrics, weight loss/chronic disease management and injury prevention/rehabilitation.

As well as working in clinical settings, Lauren has also had experience in education (Certificate III and IV in fitness), clinical Pilates, sports performance enhancement (soccer) and sports training.

Lauren is driven by patients achieving their personal goals, returning to enjoyable activities and modifying the risk of morbidity to lead a healthier and happier lifestyle.

Lauren is available for Exercise Physiology appointments at our Woolloongabba location.