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Is It Safe to Exercise When You're Sick?

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Hi, I'm Dr. Mike Clark. If you enjoy working out as much as I do, you probably want to keep right on doing it even though you're sick. Is that safe? That depends on whether your symptoms are above or below your neck. Generally speaking, if you have a sore throat, running nose, sneezing, or other above the next symptoms, it's OK to exercise as long as you keep the intensity low.

That means walking at a pace that's comfortable enough to have a conversation with someone. Low intensity workouts won't compromise your immune system or intensify cold symptoms. But skip high intensity workouts like heavy strength training, vigorous cardio, or interval training, those can be hard on your weaken your immune system.

If your symptoms are below the neck, such as chest congestion, coughing, vomiting, total body aches, fever, or diarrhea, you need rest. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends letting your illness run its course before gradually returning to exercise. For more ways to stay well, watch and share all our smart tips right here.