How do you know whether it’s ok to workout when you’re sick?

You’ve probably noticed the person in the gym sneezing and sniffling all over everything & wished he’d stayed home.

You’ve also probably felt a little under the weather but wanted to get a workout in, anyway.

This article will give you some guidelines on whether it’s ok to workout when you’re sick or if you’re better off taking a rest day.


Are you just feeling a little under the weather but able to function relatively normally?
Or are you a walking zombie when your cold meds wear off?

If you’re not quite 100% but it’s just a mild cold, doing some low intensity cardio might make you feel better. (Bonus points if you can get outside for some fresh air.)

Full on flu? Stay in bed and rest. 


Remember that exercise is a form of stress. Putting stress on top of stress will make it harder for your immune system to fight whatever’s going on. Working out when you should be resting could just mean prolonging how long you’re feeling sick.

If a mild illness is the only real stressor you’re dealing with, its probably ok to push a little bit.

But if you’re already not sleeping well or enough or are maxed out on other forms of stress, focus on recovery, instead.


If you’re feeling really bent out of shape about missing a couple of days of workouts, ask yourself why?

Are you concerned that a couple days is going to turn into a couple months? (Maybe because that’s what’s happened in the past?) Ask yourself what you’re actually concerned about and address the thoughts you’re having about why not working out when you’re sick is feeling like such a big deal.

You are not going to be right back to square one and it’s way better to take a little time on the front end to get back to 100% than to run yourself into the ground and be out for weeks.