Should I Exercise If I Have The Flu?

Photo Credit: mcfarlandmo CC-BY-2.0

Regular exercise combined with a healthy diet and sufficient sleep can help keep your immune system strong. Moderate exercise daily or at least every other day helps enhance your immune system’s flu-fighting power. To keep your immune system in peak condition and fighting off infections, try to get at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise daily. Walking, riding a bicycle, running, jogging, swimming and dancing are  ideal ways to get in a challenging aerobic workout. But, should you continue to exercise if you do catch a cold or the flu?
If you do catch a cold or the flu, go easy on yourself. See your doctor before continuing your regular exercise routine. You  may be able to continue to exercise if you feel well enough, but do mild exercise instead of your moderate to vigorous routine. If you normally run for 30 minutes every day, walk for 20 minutes instead. Mild exercise can help relieve body aches and get your blood flowing to move the disease-fighting white blood cells through your system faster. Rest if you feel too ill to exercise. 
If you have a fever, you should not exercise. Fever is a sign that your body is trying to fight off an infection. Your body needs energy to fight the virus. Exercising can strain your immune system, which can exacerbate your symptoms and slow recovery. You can be susceptible to dehydration when suffering from a cold or the flu, so be sure to drink plenty of water. 

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