To the gym with a cold?

Autumn is the season when we often catch the virus… If you are sick, should you “sweat” in the gym or skip a few classes? Who does not know for himself how annoying a sneezing and coughing person in a public place is? But not everything is so simple, and you can be in his place. It is normal when the sick person continues to train, because physical activity improves immunity.

A little about immunity

Every day our body is attacked by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. The upper respiratory tract is most sensitive to them, in a word, we get sick with cough, flu, tonsillitis, etc. Fortunately, the immune system is not dormant. Faced with external attack, she tries hard to protect us. These barriers can be:

  • Physical (mucous membranes of the nose)

  • Chemical (stomach acid)

  • Protective cells (leukocytes)

The immune system is a complex combination of cells and processes that kicks in when it is necessary to prevent the invasion of an infection.

Do you exercise when you are sick?

If you don’t feel like you’ve been run over by a tractor, low-intensity exercise with a low heart rate during the first few days of illness is recommended. When we are sick, the stress of intense training can be overwhelming for the immune system. But there’s no reason to stay on the couch when you’re showing signs of a cold. We are talking about unstressed movement, like:

  • Walking

  • Slow cycling

  • gardening

  • Jogging

  • Swimming
  • Цigun
  • Yoga

This activity will not impose an unbearable burden on the body. The ability to fight the disease will only increase. Studies show that even one session of moderate exercise improves immunity, and it is better to do it regularly.

Prolonged vigorous exercise, on the contrary, makes a person more susceptible to infections. After a marathon, the immune system “sleeps” for up to 72 hours. It is noticed that athletes often get sick after grueling workouts.

Of course, physical activity is not the only factor affecting the immune system. We are subject to other stresses:

relationships, career, finance

heat, cold, pollution, altitude

bad habits, nutrition, hygiene

Stress can trigger a cascade of hormonal shifts that undermine the immune system. Moreover, short-term stress can be good for health, and chronic (from several days and years) brings big problems.

Other factors affecting immunity

There are many other reasons to consider when deciding to exercise when you are sick.

the older, the weaker the immune system. The good news is that this can be compensated with regular exercise and proper nutrition.

the female hormone estrogen tends to boost immunity, while the male androgen can suppress it.

lack of sleep and its poor quality compromises the body’s resistance.

studies show that obese people may have immune problems due to metabolic disorders.

some scientists have theorized that cold air suppresses the immune system, causing a vasoconstriction reaction in the nose and upper airways.

the less time you keep in shape, the more stressful exercises will become for a sick body.

From all this it follows that training during illness can and should take place. But you need to think about the possibility of infecting others. You should not spread the virus to the gym, while you are sick, it is better to exercise in the park or at home and avoid team sports.



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