If you’re feeling ill but not sick enough to skip the gym altogether, make sure you work out smart:
- Take your temperature to verify that you don’t have a fever. “If you have a fever, you already have an infection — the body is already attacked — so you’re only going to make things worse,” Stark says.
- Lower the intensity of your workout to the 50- to 60-percent range. (So if your max heart rate is typically 200, keep it between 120-130 if you’re sick.) “Moderate exercise will actually decrease the length of your illness, but high intensity will increase the duration,” Johnson says. “Over 80-percent effort can prolong the length of viral infection illness.”
- Make sure you’re getting adequate water and nutrition. Stark recommends upping your intake of micronutrients like iron, zinc, D3, B6, and B12 so your body doesn’t get depleted.
- And don’t forget to hit the sack until you feel better. “Get plenty of rest between workouts, and don’t work out two consecutive days,” Stark says. “You body needs more time to repair itself while it’s sick because it’s also trying to repair from the infection.”