There’s a lot of coughing and sneezing going around, and maybe you feel a bit under the weather too. We know not being able to exercise when you have the flu can be highly frustrating, especially when following a strict workout schedule.

As soon as the symptoms start to clear up, we get back into action straight away, forcing our bodies to perform as they did pre-flu. However, some people recover slower from illnesses than others and might not realise the impact of heavy exercise until it’s too late.

How long should one wait before resuming exercises?

It depends. But the key is to listen to your body. If you experience a high fever, muscle aches, and fatigue, it’s best to wait until the fever is completely gone before getting back to exercising. You may be tempted to ramp it up but keeping your first workout light with low intensity and short duration is ideal. This will assist you in not getting out of breath and help you progress as you return to your regular routine.

If you’re healthy with a mild cold, you could continue to exercise. However, we still recommend cutting down on intensity and duration. It’s better to start light and gradually increase how much you do during a session. If exhaustion gets the better half of you after exercising, perhaps take an extra day or two to rest before working out again.

If you’re still unsure, we suggest visiting or contacting your doctor or using the ‘neck test’. Light intensity exercise is fine if your symptoms are from the neck up, but if your symptoms are below the neck, take a break for at least one week after recovering.

What happens when one doesn’t wait before exercising again?

In simple terms, it can be dangerous for your health. Exercising while having flu increases the risk of dehydration, which can result in headaches and dizziness. There is also the risk of collapsing if you return to an intense exercise programme after flu or flu-like illnesses.

Flu causes temporary muscle weakness that extends to the muscle cells in the heart and can be further weakened by strenuous workouts, leading to muscle inflammation or even paralysis. This causes extra stress and will extend your body’s recovery.

Recommended light exercises while you are sick

  1. Walking: a 20-minute walk can help you reap the benefits of regular exercise and improve your symptoms.
  1. Jogging: only if you’re experiencing a mild cold, running could help clear your head and make you feel normal again. Hold off on this one if you experience flu or below-the-neck symptoms (nausea or vomiting) as your body is already working in overdrive fighting off the infection.
  2. Yoga: stress-relieving techniques such as yoga may help boost immunity and relieve aches and pains. Try the Child’s Pose and Legs Up the Wall on a Trojan Yoga Mat, and don’t forget to say ‘OM’. A Swedish study indicated that humming could open clogged sinus passages.
  3. Dancing: rock out on your favourite tunes as it reduces cortisol (stress hormone), which results in boosting your immune system. You can move at your own pace and still break a sweat without having to put your joints under too much pressure.
  4. Swimming: this moderate cardio activity can also clear congestion and boost energy levels. It depends on preference, but swimming could make you feel refreshed as it opens up airways.

Don’t let the flu call the shots during this season! Yes, we can’t help if this ugly bug bites, but we can implement holistic prevention. Stack up on nutritious foods, wash your hands regularly, and get enough sleep.

Be mindful of your body’s needs and stay healthy; it’s almost over.

*Health Disclaimer: The content on this blog post is intended for informational and educational purposes only. Trojan Health does not provide medical advice, and no material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


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