Exercising when sick...when is it safe and when is it not?

First let’s review how exercise affects the body when it comes to our immune system:

--Brief vigorous exercise (any kind)  5-10min = Doesn’t cause immune suppressing effects in conditioned individuals 
--Moderate Intensity exercise (walking, yoga,very light weights high reps) - less than 60min = can actually boost your immunity. This is often the best place to be if you want to exercise with safe symptoms. 
--Vigorous prolonged exercise - more than 60min = can depress the immune system for up to 6 hours (average is 2 hours)

Second let’s look at general illness symptoms:

*Safe to Exercise Symptoms: Sore throat, congestion, runny nose
**Semi Safe to Exercise Symptoms: Coughing **This is one where you really need to know yourself. If you have asthma or are prone to lung illness please take that under consideration when exercising with a cough
***Not Safe to Exercise Symptoms: Fever, aches, chills, joint pain, vomiting, headache, diarrhea, and any prior safe to exercise symptoms that are becoming worse and not getting better with time

Knowing what exercise can do to your immune system + general illness symptoms can give you a great formula to keep your workouts on your schedule while you recover:

For instance if you have a sore throat and a runny nose and you want to work out..OK.. Keep it at that moderate Intensity exercise and no more than 60min, it will not cause harm and can actually help your immune system fight off the virus. BUT if you decide to do a more vigorous prolonged exercise understand that this can cause your immune system to depress and you could actually become more sick because of the exercise and make your recovery even longer

Always let your symptoms be your guide but never your excuse!