No one likes to get sick, but it happens. Knowing when it is safe to play sports or exercise when you’re sick and how to do it can be very difficult for dedicated athletes.

First of all, use caution with exercise when you’re sick. One day off won’t kill you or wreck your fitness.

If you do want to train, decide if it’s safe to do it. If you have a fever, especially one greater than 101°, you should rest. If you have respiratory issues, the general rule of thumb is that exercise is acceptable if your symptoms are above your neck. If your symptoms are below your neck – cough, muscle aches, etc. – then take time off. If there is any question, check with your doctor.

If you do exercise or train when you’re sick, make sure you drink plenty of liquids. Losing body fluids through sweat when you’re likely already dehydrated can be dangerous.

Don't exercise when you’re sick

Work out at lower intensity for shorter periods of time. If you’ve already missed a few days, gradually increase your training over several days.

Also read:
Should you exercise when you have a fever? 7 points you might consider
Concerns for athletes and active people taking antibiotics

Lastly, the best approach to exercise and sickness is to avoid getting sick in the first place. Eat a well-balanced diet. Maintain regular exercise. Get adequate sleep each night. Try to keep stress in check. Even consider using hand sanitizers when you come into contact with people who appear to be sick, including those at the gym.