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Do You Exercise While Sick?

Monday, September 6, 2021

Is it possible to do sports when the patients who regularly get flu and colds that we encounter with suppression of colds are sick? causes the question more often.

In this article, we will examine the dilemma that you have heard from many places for years, you should rest while you are sick and you should sweat while you are sick, should you exercise while you are sick? We will find the answer to the question by examining the defense mechanisms of the body and we will examine the types of exercises that can be performed while the patient.

How does the immune system (immune system) work?

Your body is attacked by millions of bacteria, viruses and fungi every day. I will examine the immune system, which has overcome these attacks, eliminates many of them and fights them when they infiltrate the body.

In addition, I will examine how exercise affects the immune system, and I will have the opportunity to more clearly explain the benefit / harm of exercising while sick.

The immune system consists of two main structures. These are barrier systems and cellular protection agents.

Barrier systems

There are protective cells in all parts of your body that come into contact with the external environment (eyes, nose, mouth and so on). These cells try to neutralize all harmful pathogens (harmful – disease) at the first contact.

It often does this by producing antimicrobial (killing germs). Cellular protection is activated if the barrier system cannot provide adequate protection or if the pathogen (harmful structure) crosses the barriers.

Cellular protection

At the cellular level, the structures that protect our body from diseases mature in the thymus gland and bone marrow and are distributed throughout the body. These cells have many subtypes and each subtype has separate tasks.

I can roughly say that these cells have a memory. In this way, it recognizes and defeats the pathogens (harmful – disease) that it has seen before.

The vaccine mechanism is also associated with cellular protection. By vaccinating, these harmful factors are introduced to the body and it is ensured that it is destroyed in the future.

As a result, many external factors are made harmless by these means.

Should I exercise while sick?

Should I exercise when I’m sick for my impatient readers? I want to answer the question now. Then I will examine this issue in more detail.

If there are 2 or more of the following symptoms of intense weakness, fever, chills, cough, sore throat, headache, diarrhea and sweating, do not exercise and rest.

Rest helps you get through the disease faster at this level.

If you see fewer than 2 symptoms in the table below, you can start doing light exercise.

Light exercise will stimulate your immune system to help you get rid of the disease faster.

If you don’t have a fever. If you have a fever.
If you do not get cold. If you are constantly cold.
If you do not cough. If you have a cough.
If your nose is not stuffy. If your nose is stuffy.
If your head does not hurt. If your head hurts.
If your throat does not hurt. If your throat hurts.
If you don’t have diarrhea. If you have diarrhea.
If you have mild fatigue. If you have intense fatigue.

Throat rule

Do you do sports while sick? Another solution to the question is the throat rule. This rule is simple and effective.

The rule determines the location of your complaints according to your throat level and whether you are suitable for exercise.

If above the throat

Cough from the larynx
Runny nose
Tears in the eyes
if you complain about such problems. You can exercise.

So if you’re down the throat

Abdominal pain
Cough from your lungs
if you complain about such problems. You should not exercise.

You can use the two methods presented to you above.

What exercises should I do while I’m sick?

When you are sick, you should prefer light exercises instead of heavy ones.

This is a very important factor to strengthen your immune system and help you recover faster.

Otherwise, and if you try to exercise hard while you are sick, your body will use its strength, which is very valuable to fight the disease, for recovery after exercise. This leaves you vulnerable.

Exercises that can be done while sick

It can be listed as T’ai Chi and bike.

Exercises you should not do while sick

Weight exercises
Endurance exercises
Team sports
Extreme sports
Heavy cardio
and sports in extreme cold / hot environments.

Exercise and immune system

Now you know what kind of exercises and when should be done.

Would you like to dig deeper? Then read on.

Heavy exercise

Your body goes into an alarm state during heavy exercise. The alarm condition (stress) tries to suppress your immune system in your body. It does this with the hormone cortisol, which it secretes. While healthy, your immune system can cope with this pressure.

If you are sick, your exercise will beat and suppress your immune system. With your suppressed immune system, you will be completely vulnerable to disease.

This makes it difficult for you to fight the disease and makes it easier for you to be sick while you are healthy.

Heavy exercise lasts longer than 40 minutes, significantly raises your heart rate, causes you to sweat and get tired, and exercises that involve intense movement.

Heavy exercises can be listed as weight and endurance training, team sports, extreme sports, sports performed in very hot or very cold environments.

Light exercise

During light exercise, your body does not go into an alarm state. In addition, the immune system is activated by many mechanisms that act.

This makes it easier for you to fight the disease and prevents you from getting sick while you are healthy.

Light exercise lasts less than 40 minutes, does not increase your heart rate noticeably, does not cause you to get tired and sweaty, and are generally stable exercises.

Light exercises can be listed as walking, yoga, cycling, dancing, t’ai chi and jogging.

How much exercise?

We have defined light and heavy exercise. So how much should you exercise to strengthen your immune system?

In the researches,

The immune system of athletes running marathons was suppressed for 72 hours. This marathon explains that many of the athletes running are hospitalized at the end of the competition.

The immune system of athletes who perform regular strength exercises has been shown to be stronger than people who are completely immobile. This is strong evidence that proper exercise can positively affect your immune system.

Athletes who practice 3 times a week (medium intensity) reduce the risk of getting sick. This shows that the right intensity exercise strengthens the immune system.

People who do 4 or more exercises (high intensity) per week are more likely to get sick. This shows that high-intensity exercise weakens your immune system.

Those who do not do any sports have an increased risk of infection. Evidence that this exercise strengthens the immune system.

Also, how many days a week should I train? You can have more detailed information about your routine by reading the article.


Learning to listen to your body is the only habit that will guide you in your sports life. For this reason, whether you are sick or healthy, you should listen to your body and act.

Is it possible to exercise while listening to your body? will give the best answer to the question.

With the hope of staying healthy.

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