I don’t feel so hot, but I promised my friend I would meet her at the gym after work ...
Must. make. [enter popular group fitness name here] before Groupon expires, cough cough ...
Does this sound like you? Sometimes we push ourselves, even when we’re feeling under the weather. That may not be the wisest plan. Check for the following signs before you go into beast mode:
If your symptoms start below the neck — like a cough, belly ache or congested chest — or you’re feeling feverish, stay home, hydrate and get some rest. Also, while a cold won’t harm you, if you have other medical conditions such as asthma or heart disease, take a rest day so you don’t get worse.
If you only have a cold, go forward and exercise. Depending on how you feel, you may want to scale back a little. According to a New York Times article, if you workout regularly, a cold will not affect your symptoms, recovery time or your ability to exercise.
If you’re still up for the workout and headed to the gym, be mindful of others and don’t spread your cold around the entire facility. Wash your hands often, wipe off the machine after you use it, and cover your mouth when you cough.
According to the American Council on Exercise, a regular exercise regimen strengthens your immune system, resulting in fewer instances of sickness. However, research shows that more than 90 minutes of high-intensity endurance can lower your immune system and make you susceptible to illness for up to 72 hours after your workout.