Tis the season for a lot of fun things—like holiday parties and skiing—and some not so fun things—like colds and flu. No matter how hard you work to take care of yourself, sometimes illness is inevitable.
So, what do you do when you’re sick? Do you strop, drop, and wallow in misery or do you push on through and keep exercising? That depends.
Exercise could help or hurt, depending on your symptoms. Learn to discern.
Perform the Neck Check
The “neck check” is a general rule of thumb regarding exercise and illness: If your symptoms are above the neck, it might be safe to exercise; however, if your symptoms are below the neck, it’s best to rest.
Assess the Fever Factor
Regardless of what you uncovered during your neck check, a fever trumps all. If you have a fever, refrain from exercising until your temperature returns to normal. A fever is a sign that your body is fighting an infection. You want to provide your body the rest it needs to do this important work.
Do not exercise if you are experiencing fever, fatigue, or overall body aches.
How to Exercise During Illness
So you passed the neck check and you don’t have a fever, now what? Use your judgment and listen to your body. Here are some guidelines: