How Long Should I Wait To Exercise After Being Sick?

Is it safe to resume your exercise routine a day after being sick?

Well, it depends on what you were sick with, how sick you were, how you feel now and the nature of your exercise regimen. Without knowing the specifics, I cannot give you a precise answer, but I can pose a few “what ifs” that may help.

Suppose you had an uncomplicated rhinovirus — a head cold — with no significant fever, fatigue or chest congestion. In that case, you could exercise immediately after your illness. In fact, you could work out while you were sick if you felt up to it. A lighter workout would probably be a good idea — no marathon runs or century bike rides. Exercising during a cold may also provide some temporary relief from nasal congestion.

If you have had a full-blown case of the flu, with fever, body aches, fatigue and maybe even some vomiting or diarrhea, then use your body signals as a guide to returning to exercise. Those signals will probably tell you that while you are sick, you should stay on the couch sipping chamomile tea and taking home remedies as needed.

After a nasty bout with the flu, it is fine to resume your exercise routine as soon as you feel better. But again, it is wise to scale back a little, build up to your previous endurance levels gradually and make sure to stay hydrated.

When you are not feeling up to it, do not force yourself. Some people worry that they will lose muscle mass or aerobic fitness if they slack off at all. You will be surprised, though, how quickly you will regain any lost ground, even after a couple of weeks out of commission.

If you have asthma or other chronic illnesses, talk with your doctor about resuming your exercise regimen after being sick.

The information provided on Health Search Online is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.