Will working up a sweat help or hurt your immune system? Learn when to exercise and when it would be preferable to rest, drink water, and catch up on your Netflix queue by reading on.

Have Good Gym Etiquette

Our overall philosophy about illness has always been straightforward: avoid the gym if getting there can make others sick. That applies to anything other than normal exhaustion, including coughs, colds, sore throats, fevers, and other ailments. Keep in mind that a day is just a day.

Although you can still work out at home when you\’re sick (more on that below), try to keep others in mind if you have symptoms.

What About Home Workouts?

Most of us have had to train at home at some point in the past few years because of COVID. Since there is little chance of spreading an infection (unlike at your toddler\’s nursery), exercising while unwell is more alluring.

Here is the issue: Your body\’s stress reaction is triggered by your typical workout programme, which involves pushing yourself while breathing heavily. When you\’re in good health, your body responds to stress by adapting and strengthening itself.

However, your immune system is already under stress while you are ill. A strenuous workout (or a long, difficult run) could overload the system by adding additional stress. As a result, you can become more ill.

My rule of thumb? If you feel that your sickness will lead to a less intense workout, then avoid your normal workout routine. At Born Fitness, our training philosophy emphasizes intensity. I’d rather have you be healthy and push the limits during a short period of time, than feel like shit your entire workout.

This doesn’t mean you have to become one with the couch when you’re sick. As long as you’re doing the right type of movement you can continue regular exercise while recovering.

How To Workout When You’re Sick

The first thing to remember is to follow your doctor\’s instructions while you\’re unwell. If they advise against undertaking any exercise, they probably have a good reason. If you are able to exercise, low-intensity activity can help you feel better more quickly and recover more quickly.

What kind of exercise is considered low-intensity? Consider activities like walking or using your preferred cardio machine at a slow pace if you have one at home. You could also perform a mobility circuit. I usually take long walks outside.

The idea is to maintain a lower heart rate during the session. At no point should you be labouring or even gasping for air. And keep in mind that everyone will perceive low-intensity differently. Choose a workout that you can complete at a leisurely speed while paying attention to your body.

Consider these exercises to be a day at the spa. Instead of feeling defeated, you ought to leave feeling renewed and motivated.


Although we think it\’s important to work out hard, being in good health doesn\’t need you to set personal records every time. Your workouts will frequently include \”hard hat\” days. Even if you\’re uncomfortable, exhausted, or in a bad mood, you just put on your hard hat and get the job done. Those were successful days.

On the other hand, it is a waste of time to force yourself to train on days when you are ill out of an unfounded fear of not being able to train. Pick your battles wisely and hold yourself to a high level. And it\’ll almost always result in good health.

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