Should I work out when I’m sick?

By Nancy Andrews

Should I work out when I’m sick?

Oct 22nd, 2010 | By Nancy Andrews | Category: P90X FAQ

I was thinking about this question because today I am fighting off a cold. I felt tired, achy and just plain out of it when I got up this morning. And when Chris said I could take the day off and he’d work out by himself, I have to admit I was tempted. However, if you want big results you need to commit – even when it’s not easy.

Truth is that if you are just fighting off common colds or viruses, you probably can and should work out. Just back off a bit in the intensity of the effort and do a few more reps at lower weights. If you are scheduled to do cardio, keep you heart rate below 60% of your maximum. What you will likely find is that you actually feel better after a modest workout. And you’ll mentally feel better knowing you didn’t shirk your workout for the day.

When you should not work out is when you are running a fever and/or are throwing up or having significant bouts of diarrhea. These latter two symptoms of flu can get you dehydrated quickly and to work out on top of that isn’t recommended.

As always, eat right and focus on a bit more water consumption and try to eat another serving of fresh fruit for increased energy for your day. I also like to take the effervescent vitamin C drink ‘Emergen C’. You’ll feel better for it.

51xcNr8vCUL. SL160  Should I work out when Im sick? Emergen-C Vitamin C Fizzy Drink Mix, 1000 mg, Super Orange, 0.3 Ounce Packets (Pack of 36)


P.S., After working out day 2 of being sick I want also to add that you need to be careful that you don’t get dizzy when working out. This happened to me this morning and I had to sit down a bit and then modify the workout when I was ready to resume.

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  1. I’m currently fighting off a cold in the end of my first month of p90x, gotta love family time when the nieces have colds. Anyway I was wondering the same thing due to the fact that I didn’t want to throw off my rhythm. So today for chest and back I went through each of the work outs but held off on the second round. When I went to AB ripper X I set my goal to 15 instead of 25. I feel drained and pretty tired right now, but I do feel like I got a good work out. The nose is running but I’ll live. On the first day that I felt the cold coming on I did my work out full tilt to try and “sweat it out”, and I felt great after the work out but later that night I felt like crap. I could barely move and it took everything inside me to sit up and sip my hot tea. I understand that everyone has their own sense of what they can do, but based on my experience I say cut your work out in half. Better to be out a week instead of 2 weeks because you over did it.

  2. Hi Mike,

    Sounds like you’ve figured out what will work for you. This morning Coach Chris came over to workout with me and he had a cold also. He brought his ‘all’ but there were a few exercises where he had to back off just a bit from his previous best.


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