Know whether it is safe to exercise when you’re sick

Washington: Whether a person should exercise or not while sick can be disease specific, an expert says.

When sick our bodies already are battling against an illness and that takes energy. So, adding the extra stress of exercising while sick can be dangerous for a person with a heart condition, said Keith Veselik, MD, director of primary care at Loyola University Health System.

On the other hand a person with diabetes may need to monitor blood glucose levels more often, especially if one is not eating and drinking normally, as being ill may raise glucose levels and exercise may lower them.

If you do have a medical condition and are not sure if you should exercise while sick Veselik suggests you call your doctor.

Still, Veselik said a general rule is that it’s ok to exercise if your symptoms are above the neck, such as a sore throat or runny nose.

“If you aren’t feeling well, but still want to exercise, lower your expectations about what you can do. You don’t necessarily need to be in bed all day, but you can’t expect to have the same level of energy as you would if you weren’t sick,” said Veselik. But, it could be dangerous to exercise if you have the following symptoms:

• Fever
• Shortness of breath or chest congestion
• Body aches
• Diarrhea or Vomiting
• If you feel dizzy or light-headed when you stand up.


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