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I don't feel well. Should I still exercise?

Jan 1, 2011

Honestly, if you feel a cold coming on, it's probably your body telling you that you should take a day or two off. Since exercise is a form of bodily stress, you'll need to expend more energy allowing your body to fight off infection instead of hitting the treadmill for your usual heavy sprints. On the other hand, giving exercise a chance while your cold is still in its brewing phase may help keep it from getting any worse. There are a few times when you should take time away from exercise without any questions, however. First, you never want to exercise when you have a fever. Since exercise raises your core body temperature and a fever indicates that your core temperature is already higher than usual, it's not a good idea to add heat to that fire. Also, if your illness is causing you gastrointestinal (GI) problems, take some definate time off until that settles down. The dirty truth is that exercise stimulates GI function by activating digestive enzymes that get certain processes rolling, if you know what I mean. Personally, even if you feel better otherwise, I wouldn't risk any embarrassing GI faux pas just because I didn't want to miss a workout!


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