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Should you Workout When You’re Ill?

Lots of people get ill this time of year, and it’s no wonder – you’ve been around a bunch of other people – at office parties, nights out, and Christmas family congregations; with all those germs floating around in a confined space, you’d be lucky to get away sniffle-free.

Add to this the total disregard for a healthy diet in favour of processed meats and fatty, sugary snacks, and you’d be forgiven for practically expecting to be struck down with a bad case of man (or woman) flu.

man flu
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For most people this means endless mugs of Lemsip, some trashy movies and a few day off work – not bad huh? Not for us gym rats. For us, not being able to eat properly, or hit the gym for several days means paranoia that you’re accumulating fat, losing muscle; or both.

The truth is, a few days, and even a week off the usual routine won’t make a huge impact, but we still struggle into the weights room despite every fibre of our being telling us to stay firmly planted on the couch.

So should we still be training when we’re under the weather? Surely it’s good to sweat out a cold right? Not so fast. Getting ill means your body’s immune system is depleted, and you should be putting all your resources into help your body get back to normal – wrenching 150kg off the floor in an effort ‘sweat it out’ (if you can stop sneezing long enough) will do no good whatsoever – this will only drain the body’s precious resources – and extend the length of your illness, meaning you won’t be able to perform at your peak for even longer than if you’d stayed away from the gym completely.

So what should you do when you’re ill? Well, I’ll tell you;

Stay hydrated – Drink loads of water (try to get at least 2 liters per day) – this will aid you body in defeating the virus more quickly and effectively.

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Keep protein consumption high – if your appetite is decreased, keep your protein high – it will help regenerate you cells more quickly

Scoff fruit and veg – feast on a huge variety of fruit and veg to flood your system with micronutrients

Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

Rest – Get plenty of sleep, do not hit the gym – if you do any exercise, make sure it’s nothing more strenuous than a brisk walk

Do all this and your body will see off the flu in double quick time, meaning you will be fighting fit for a gym comeback sooner than you thought.


Helping you make more informed choices for your family at our Private Hospitals in Manchester.

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