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Are You Too Sick to Workout?

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Winter sniffles and colds can make you feel miserable, but are you too sick to exercise?

When you should skip a day of exercise in favor of rest?

Staying motivated to exercise is definitely more difficult when you are under the weather, but how do you know when to power-through and when to take a break? Here are some tips:

Got the sniffles? Tough it out.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it is safe to workout if your symptoms are “above the neck.” Happily, exercise may make your runny nose, stuffed-up sinuses, or sore throat feel better.

Are you coughing? Give it a rest.
Postpone your workout if you have chest congestion or tightness. That hacking cough will likely get worse with exertion. Wait until your symptoms improve to resume your workout routine.

Is your stomach upset? Take a break.
Vomiting and diarrhea can easily lead to dangerous dehydration. Don’t stress your system further with exercise.

Got a fever? Stay in bed.
Mayo Clinic physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist Edward Laskowski, M.D., indicates exercising with a fever can be dangerous and could cause inflammation of the heart muscle. If you have a fever, extreme fatigue, or widespread muscle aches, sleep and allow your body to heal before resuming your routine.

Use common sense.
Listen to your body when you are under the weather. Slow down or stop if your symptoms get worse. When you feel better, ease back into exercise, especially if you are weakened after a long bout with the flu or a fever.

Eliz Greene is the Busy Woman’s Guide to Health. Drawing on her experience surviving a massive heart attack while seven-months pregnant with twins, struggling to lose the 80 pounds gained during her pregnancy, and her background as an adaptive movement specialist, Eliz developed simple strategies and tips to help other busy women be more active, eat better and manage your stress.

As the Director of the Embrace Your Heart Wellness Initiative, Eliz travels the country energizing and inspiring audiences in keynotes and workshops on women’s heart health. She writes one of the top 100 health and wellness blogs. Find more at www.EmbraceYourHeart.com.

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EmpowHER Guest

After I finished my drug rehab period and could call myself clean for the first time in my adult life, I felt sick even to get out of bed. It took me a while to get back on my feet and stat working out again. I'm glad I did. It gave me another perspective on life, I don't feel so useless and helpless anymore. I feel like a brand new woman.

April 2, 2009 - 8:55am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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