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Can You Run When You're Sick?

by Jacob Riff |

If you're a runner, you understand the feeling of needing to run. When you're sick or injured, the burning desire to get out there and keep running (or perhaps simply a fear of losing muscle tone) can make you run when you shouldn't.

If you're sick, and a doctor or a test has confirmed that you don't have Covid-19, then whether you should run or not depends entirely on the location of your cold.

Head Cold vs. Chest Cold

Essentially, if your cold is from the neck up, such as a sore throat and the sniffles, it's okay to run. It may even be beneficial, helping to clear up your nose and make you feel better. Some doctors even recommend a short run followed by a hot steamy shower to relieve congestion.

On the other hand if you have a fever, your lungs feel wet or congested, or you feel severe flu-like symptoms, it's time to give it a rest.

This is especially the case if you have a fever. Fevers are a sign that your body is fighting a bacterial or viral infection. If you do a hard workout that raises your temperature even more, it could actually lower your body's immune system and make it easier for the infection to worsen.

On top of this, running requires additional nutrients and calories from your body, which may be drained from fighting the infection.

The result? It could take you days or weeks longer to get better than it normally would. If you run during severe illness, it could result in long term physical consequences for your body.

Listen to Your Body

If you really feel bad, you need to rest. Your body will let you know. If you're worried about losing the fitness you've worked so hard to gain, don't worry. It takes about 10 days before you start seeing a decline in fitness.

Rest your body, drink plenty of fluids, and focus on healing. If you're really feeling under the weather, you may make yourself worse by convincing yourself to push through a run anyway.

The Best Course of Action? Avoid Getting Sick.

While you're probably reading this article because you're already sick, in the future, avoiding illness is the best possible course of action. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, regularly disinfect door knobs and other high contact areas in your home, and focus on building a strong immune system.

There are many wonderful supplements you can take packed with immune boosting powers that can both keep illness at bay when you are healthy, and also reduce the amount of time you are sick. This includes supplements such as bee propolis and olive leaf extract.

Getting sick is never any fun, but it doesn't have to ruin your fitness routine. By listening to your body and doing what is best for your health, you can enjoy running and also preserve your health as well. After all, the main reason most of us run is for just that—good health.

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