Sweat & Sniffles: Guidelines For Fitness During Sickness

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My son loves to play at Monkey Business. Bouncy castles, club houses, jungle gyms…it’s an awesome place for kids to run around, play, climb, fall, cry, get back up, play, etc.


However, I also lovingly refer to it as Germy Business. It can be a place where germs love to run around, play, climb…etc. We have escaped unscathed from sickness a number of times, but, boy, my kid has picked up some serious bugs from an impromptu handrail kiss, bounce house face plant, or rubber ball taste test. Heck, sometimes it’s a freshly inhaled cough from a fellow playmate. Kids are gross.


This is by no means any fault of Monkey Business. Sure, it could probably be cleaner (my house could be cleaner for that matter) but, like I said, kids are gross. And it’s not JUST Monkey Business. A friend of mine declared our local library as the Parker Virus Center. Germs hang out at schools and daycare like teens at the mall. (Do teens still hang at the mall?)


Of course we try our best with the hand washing, sanitizing, burning of clothes…but sometimes we get sick. And by we, I mean we. Sure, my son may bequest the bacteria…but we will ALL get sick. I’m sure most households can relate.


Being sick is the worst. Being sick and having to work or care for kids or do anything is downright ridiculous. So how about a little exercise?


Are you kidding me?


No. I am not. Well…maybe…who knows?


I’m on the rebound from a nice cold I’ve had for about two weeks. Symptoms: congestion, runny nose, and sore throat. I was doing SO GOOD with my exercising that I was extremely angry when I woke up sick. My progress was in jeopardy, but I wasn’t sure if I could/would/should keep going with my regimen…so I did a little research.



Below is a list of guidelines for exercising while you are sick:


  1. DO NOT exercise when you have a fever, diarrhea, vomiting, body aches, and/or coughing. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think I’d like to risk running with the runs…
  2. It’s ok to exercise with symptoms such as sore throat, congestion, runny nose, watery eyes…anything “above the neck” is deemed suitable for activity.
  3. Keep workouts low impact. These activities increase blood flow and revitalize the body, helping you feel rejuvenated. Some exercises you can do include:
    • Yoga
    • Walking
    • Jogging
    • Bike Riding
    • Tai Chi
  4. Avoid vigorous activity. While you are sick, your immune system is hard at work. Exercising the body with a high intensity workout only increases stress on the immune system, which will interfere with your recovery.
  5. Regardless of the type of sickness, it is generally recommended by health and fitness professionals to steer clear of the gym. Spreading germs in a place like the gym is so easy and so not cool.
  6. Sweat it out” is not a thing. Don’t try to exercise your sickness away, it will not help and can potentially be dangerous. I’m gonna be honest, I totally thought that you could sweat it out. (FYI I also learned that you can’t and shouldn’t sweat out a hangover either…but that’s another story…)


Ultimately, it is best to listen to your body and evaluate your own symptoms. From my research, I’ve learned that, in general, it is best to just rest and let your body recover…as frustrating as it can be to take time off of exercising. There is no scientific fact that working out will help you get better, and it could quite possibly do the opposite.


Now, if you’re stubborn like me you may be worried about losing your progress. Stick to low impact workouts when your symptoms allow!



Ok, so you have the sniffles…I have a list of a few things you can try to address your symptoms, get better faster, and get back to your workout routines:


  • Emergen-C – I start taking this at the first signs of a cold and before airplane rides…you can even take it all the time just in case! It’s packed with Vitamin C (obviously), Vitamin B, Antioxidants (like Zinc and Manganese), and electrolytes.


  • Zicam – I love the Zicam you shoot up your nose. You just squirt it up your nose and your snot disappears. It’s amazing…it’s conjured from the same magic that made my butt disappear. I would probably marry it if I wasn’t already married. It’s homeopathic, provides nasal congestion relief, and is proven to shorten colds. I prefer the nasal spray, but it comes in tablets, swabs, and even a powder that you eat like Pixie Sticks.



  • Ginger – It’s mostly known for helping with upset stomach, but can also provide cold relief as well. It stimulates blood circulation and is full of antioxidants to boost your immune system. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to help with a sore throat. Ginger can be mixed into herbal concoctions, teas, and be taken as tablets. Sushi restaurants probably have some too.

  • Elderberry Syrup – Elderberries contain anthocyanidins, chemical compounds that stimulate the immune system for safe, inexpensive, and effective cold treatment. Studies have shown that when taken at the first signs of cold, sufferers felt better four days sooner!


Bonus Info: If your baby/toddler is full of snot, and can’t even sleep because they are so congested GET THE NOSE FRIDA! It’s downright weird and a little creepy, but it’s the most effective way to clear their nose and get rid of some of that congestion. The Nose Frida people aren’t even paying me to say this…I just love it THAT much.



Do you exercise when you’re sick? Any remedies we need to add to the list?



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8 thoughts on “Sweat & Sniffles: Guidelines For Fitness During Sickness

  1. Yeah I always hate exercising when I’m not feeling well, but there is something to be said if the benefit of continuing to stay active. I’ve been wondering about the nose Frida…I couldn’t bring myself to use it with my first but I think I may need to get over myself with my second, she’s got too much snot going on hah.

    1. Yep, exercise may be the last thing on your mind when you’re sick…which can definitely be ok! Resting is the BEST way to recover! I swear by the Nose Frida, it is a little horrifying and my husband still won’t do it…but it has been a great tool for snot filled kids!

    1. It really is! My little girl is going through the worst cold right now, and I’m so thankful to have the Frida!

  2. The nose frida was a life saver for me when my baby was little and couldn’t blow her nose!!! Ugh I hate when babies are sick😞 it’s so hard to see them not feeling well and not really know how to help them, but that tool helps so much. And I love this list of tips for working out when you’re sick! I need to find the motivation to work out period haha.

    1. Yes!! I still use it for my toddler when he can’t blow his nose! It’s terrible when they are sick! Finding motivation in general is so tough, and when you aren’t feeling good it’s near impossible! You’ve inspired me to do a post on finding motivation 🙂

  3. My daughter loved hee nose frida too! Its my life saver when she’s still a baby. Good thing she only gets sick once a year. Great read and really helpful products! ❤

    1. Yes! The Nose Frida really is a life saver! That is incredible that your daughter only gets sick once a year…keep it up, Mama! What is your secret?!

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