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lifting weights while sick

Should You Be Lifting Weights While Sick?

So you are feeling a bit under the weather and your body seems to be telling you to just keep sleeping. But should you ignore that, go to the gym and be lifting weights while sick?

I’m just recovering from a bad cold that lasted about a week.

I was feeling tired, had a bad throat, and my muscles were feeling sore as well.

So I was wondering whether I should wake up and go to the gym or just give myself a couple of days of rest?

Maybe you are facing the same dilemma of whether you should just rest when you are sick or keep lifting weights will sick?

Maybe lifting weights will make your body recover quicker? Or will it?

So let’s have a look and try to answer the question of whether you should be lifting weights while sick.

Should you be lifting weights while sick?

The answer to that question depends on a variety of factors and so it is not that clear.

However, one way to know whether you should be working out when you are sick is by taking a look at the symptoms you are facing due to the illness.

Maybe you have fever

If you have a fever, then your body is telling you to give it a lot of rest and you should not be lifting weights or doing cardio either.

This is because when you have a fever, the temperature of your body has increased beyond what it normally should be.

So, when you try to exercise, your body temperature will rise even further.

This is bad because it will hamper your recovery even further and make you feel even sicker.

In addition, you will not be able to give your all in the gym and so your workouts will suck as well.

Maybe you have a bad chest congestion

One of the essential factors to a good workout is your ability to control and focus on your breathing as you perform the heavy exercises.

When you are suffering from a bad chest congestion, it will restrict your ability to control your breathing as your chest feels constricted and your breathing becomes uncomfortable.

So, if you have a bad chest congestion, stay away from the gym till it clears out after a few days.

Maybe your muscles are sore

This is not the post-workout soreness.

Rather, we are talking about the soreness your muscles may feel when you have a bad case of the flu.

This is your body telling you to rest and allow your muscles sufficient time to recover.

So, when your muscles are really sore due to sickness, avoid going to the gym. Instead, give your body sufficient rest and it will recover faster.

You may be not feeling too hot

On some days, you just might not be feeling up to going to the gym.

If you do, you might end up getting an average or a bad workout.

The choice, in this case, is entirely up to you. But this does not mean that you should be skipping your workouts frequently.

Personally, I try to go to the gym even if I am not feeling the motivation. I find that once you enter the gym, in most cases, you tend to have a good workout as you start getting into the flow.

Should you be going to the gym when you are sick?

There are also some other factors that you should consider when you are sick and need to decide whether to go to the gym.

Is your illness contagious?

If you have just got sick, then chances are that you may still be contagious.

No one wants to get sick because someone was spreading germs at the gym. So don’t be that person and avoid going to the gym for a few days till you recover somewhat.

If you are restless and still want to go to the gym then be considerate and try avoiding coughing on the gym equipment that people are going to be using.

Also, make use of a gym towel to wipe off the equipment after your use so that you can avoid spreading germs as much as possible.

You can be even careful and make use of something like a hand sanitizer so that you are keeping the gym equipment as germ-free as possible.

Are you coughing a lot?

It might be that you are no longer contagious but still coughing a lot.

This could be because you had a sore throat that turned into a runny nose and later into a cough.

Most people will be aware of you when you cough a lot at the gym. And that can tend to happen because when you have a cough it will get aggravated at the gym as you lift weights and exercise.

So, it would be good if you can take some sort of a cough suppressant before you hit the gym so that you can avoid coughing too much.

How soon should you get back to lifting weights after your illness?

This completely depends on the type of illness you are suffering from and the symptoms associated with it.

If you have the flu, then it goes away in about a week so you should be fine after that.

If it is the cold, then it could take from a week to a couple of weeks till most of the symptoms are gone so that you can get back to the gym.

Again, it is your call when you should be going back to lifting weights. If you feel terrible, then it is a good idea to spend some more time away from the gym and resting.


So now you should be clear on whether you should be lifting weights while sick.

To summarize, it entirely depends on your illness and the symptoms associated with it. If you have a fever, bad congestion, muscle soreness, or just feel horrible, then it would be better to stay away from the gym for a few days.

You should also be considerate of other gym members and avoid the gym if you are contagious or coughing too much.

Rest your body for a few days and you can go back to the gym as soon as the symptoms subside and you start feeling better.

If you have any questions about lifting weights while sick, please comment below.

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