He is fully committed to his physical activities, strictly follows his training, and never misses a training day. But then you wake up with symptoms that tell you the flu has arrived.
It is true that exercise strengthens immunity and prevents colds and flu. But if the disease really attacks you, exercise is not always the best. Learn what the experts at Northern Illinois University, one of America’s leading sports medicine institutions, stand for.
Flu: Train or not?
The answer comes down to what your symptoms are and how you really feel. “If your symptoms are a runny nose, watery eyes, or a cold, and you don’t have a fever, it’s safe to stick to your exercise routine,” says Brian Babka, MD, MD.
Thus, the expert points out the observance of the so-called neck rule. If all symptoms appear in or above the neck (except fever), exercise is allowed.
However, since you probably won’t be feeling 100% anyway, the pro suggests de-stressing. Therefore, low-impact exercises are preferred, without a large increase in weight or many repetitions in a row. “Intense training overloads the immune system, so overdoing it hinders treatment,” he advises. And of course, if your symptoms get worse while you’re exercising, stop.
If you have symptoms such as chills, chest congestion, and body aches, or if you have a fever, rest. In this scenario, training can be dangerous as it can lead to dehydration and prolong illness. Wait until the fever has been gone for at least 48 hours before gradually resuming activities.
Finally, see a doctor if flu symptoms persist, and see a professional for a more precise release or no exercise.