Fat Loss & Exercise
How Long Does It Take to Get Out of Shape?
Are You Skipping Your Workouts Because They Take Too Long?
How Much Time Should You Rest Between Workouts?
With High-Intensity Exercise, They Say Less Is More
One of the benefits of being fit is that you can take time off and recover and use the reserves that you have built up to help you recover. It is kind of like having stored fat during times of famine. One time to rely on those “reserves” is when your body is under stress from being sick. You’ll generally want to seek rest as your body mobilizes to fight off the illness, but you’ll need to listen to your body to know for sure.
If you have enough energy to tolerate it, increasing your body temperature by sweating from exercise will actually help to kill many viruses. Over-exercising will place more stress on your body, however, which can suppress your immune system, so you should keep the intensity of your workouts on a low-moderate level if you’re sick (such as taking a brisk walk). It’s generally advised that you avoid exercise if you have symptoms that are “below your neck,” such as:
Coughing or chest congestion
Fatigue Widespread body and muscle aches
Vomiting, upset stomach, and/or stomach cramps
But no matter what your symptoms, you need to be very careful and listen to your body. If you don’t feel up to it, and all you want to do is get some rest, then that’s what your body needs. And we can’t stress enough that if you don’t feel well, you should not do your full, normal exercise routine, as that could clearly stress your immune system even more and prolong your illness if you are not careful and wind up overdoing it. By all means, high-intensity exercise should be avoided when you’re sick because any kind of intensive exercise boosts production of cortisol, a stress hormone that inhibits the activity of natural killer cells—a type of white blood cell that attacks and rids your body of viral agents.