Working out when sick?



Here is a topic we’ve all faced before, especially now that we are in the middle of one of the worst flu seasons we have seen in a while. Personally, this was always one of the tougher things to do, but I will admit, once I get going in a work out when feeling ill, my body just takes over! The end result is always a much better feel than when I started.

Check out this article over at newsmaxhealth:

Health and fitness experts advise to starve a fever of exercise. But feeding a cold moderately, with a brisk walk, may not be a bad idea.

“The classic line from every sports medicine doctor is, ‘If you can do it, do it. If you can’t, don’t,'” said Dr. Lewis G. Maharam, author of “Running Doc’s Guide to Healthy Running.”

Usually if symptoms are confined to above the neck, exercising is OK, he explained. But if you’re running a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 degrees Celsius) or higher, skip it.

Body heat rises during exercise due to increased metabolism, explained Maharam, who practices medicine in New York City. If you start high, your body’s way of cooling you down is out of balance.

“If fever gets too high, you break down proteins, maybe in the kidneys or liver,” he said.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 425 million case of colds and flu occur annually in the United States. The average person has about three respiratory infections per year.

Dr. David C. Nieman, a professor of health sciences at Appalachian State University, North Carolina Research Campus, said research shows that regular, moderate, aerobic exercise strengthens the immune system, and that people who exercise report fewer colds than their inactive peers.

Nieman said five days or more of aerobic activity per week was found to be a powerful factor in lowering the number of sick days.

“Even three to four days was effective. To be avoided was being sedentary,” he explained.

But when animals infected with a systemic virus are forced to exercise in fever and pain, studies show that their symptoms are exacerbated, prolonged, and sometimes life-threatening.

‘Bed Rest’

“It’s very dangerous.” said Nieman, who has written about the impact of exercise on the common cold. “If you have flu or virus with fever and pain, the best remedy is bed rest. The worst thing is to sweat it out with exercise.”

He said common cold and flu viruses can stay on objects, such as door handles, treadmills, and computer keyboards, for hours. The main route to infection is through touching one’s mouth or nose with unwashed hands.

Patrick Strait, of Snap Fitness, a franchiser of gyms with locations worldwide, said this time of year fitness centers step up cleaning efforts because they see a lot more traffic and so many people catch colds and the flu.

“It’s a public place where a lot of people are sweating,” said Strait. “We tell manager/owners to clean once an hour, wash down the equipment with bleach, etc.”

He urged clients to wipe down equipment and wash hands often.

“And if you’re sick, don’t come to the gym,” he said.

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