Do You Exercise When Sick?

Updated on November 08, 2011
A.S. asks from Dallas, TX
6 answers

A few weeks ago I started the Couch to 5k running program in order to help myself train for a marathon I want to run in February. The second week on the program I came down with a sinus infection and my allergies flared up and then after 2 weeks of antibiotics and antihistamines I was able to start running again in just enough time to catch my husband's cold and I was sick for a week. I still have a cough and while I have tried to run the past few days I never make it very far because I can't seem to catch my breath. I hate to just put the program on hold so I'm looking for other ways to exercise to keep active while I'm sick. Any ideas? Do you just take a break when you are sick or do you still try to do some exercising?

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answers from Washington DC on

Unless I'm throwing up I absolutely run through any illness, especially a cold. I am like Jade's friend - I often feel crummy at the beginning, but by the end of a good run (with a nasty cold) I feel awesome. If I REALLY feel like I won't be able to breathe I'll do my elliptical instead. If you're training for a marathon, definitely keep moving, no matter what!

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answers from Milwaukee on

I can't run with stomach-issues (diarrhea) or with headaches, but definitely with a cold...unless you can't breath (which you stated) and at that point, just walk briskly. You'll get the same effect. Exercise will help you heal faster because it gets the blood flowing and increases oxygen supply to your body. Perhaps an elliptical would be easier for a while?
Last year my running partner came down with a nasty cold & headache the day before our marathon. I was almost positive that she was going to cancel on me, but she decided to try it anyway. I definitely figured that after 6 miles or so, she'd drop out but as she ran (it was in the 30's and 40's), she started to feel better and better...and by the end of the full marathon, she didn't even feel sick anymore. Isn't that crazy!? The only medicine she took was tylenol.
I hope you feel better soon!!!

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answers from Roanoke on

I just walk. Sometimes it's refreshing too. Running makes it worse for me when I'm really sick, but a few days of rest is good for you. :)

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answers from Phoenix on

My recommendation is that you stop running and do more of a power walk.

Being that winded and short on breath, your body is telling you to stop.

Walk uses the same muscles, you'll keep you tone, keep your strenght, and you won't drain your energy.

Also, do your stretching after walking. And do Yoga to strengthen. You'll be back to a good run in no time.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Syracuse on

A general guideline is, if symptoms are mainly from the neck up, go ahead and run. I have run with a mild cough before, if you feel running is making the cough worse, than rest. Don't run with flu like symptoms such as a fever, sick stomach, achy muscles and'll only set yourself up for a longer recovery. Couch to 5K is a run/walk program so I would just extend the walking times and decrease the run times until you're feeling better. I actually find that running outside in the fresh air when I have a cold helps me recover more quickly. Good luck!


answers from Houston on

I did the 30 day shred mostly while i had the flu, about 15 days of it i was NOT feeling it. I did this indoors though and away from the elements in a controlled temperature. Id recommend you hit the treadmills and keep up your current outdoor pace and stay away from the cold and the seasonal allergy triggers until you feel better.

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