Should You Workout When You’re Not 100 Percent?
That is the question…
If you’re a regular at MINT, you may find that you take fewer sick days compared with your sedentary peers. A 2015 study found that regular exercise might give your immune system a boost. You can read more about that in the Phys Ed blog for the New York Times.
But even the most die-hard MINTer is likely to get a cold or the flu this winter, or to suffer from allergies from exposure to indoor pollutants like mold. Should you skip your work out when you’re feeling lousy? It depends. Here is the question you need to ask yourself: Are all of your symptoms above or below your neck?
Above the neck symptoms include a stuffy nose, sore throat, headache, or sneezing. Below the neck symptoms are things like a cough from deep in your chest or an upset stomach.
If it’s just a cold, you may find that you feel better after spin class. You can always dial back the intensity of your sprints and climbs, de-germ your bike with wipes, and enjoy a good heart-pumping workout. You’ll probably breathe easier after class – exercise can temporarily relieve nasal congestion. In fact, studies have shown that your cold may not impair your lung function at all.
Nausea, aches, and a ‘productive’ cough are all signs that you should take a day or two off to rest and recovery. Try out some restorative yoga poses you can do from the comfort of your bed. Drink plenty of fluids, get lots of sleep, and tell your body that you will be back on the bike in no time.
Best wishes for a healthy and active winter!