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Should You Workout When Sick? – Yes or No

Today’s question is ✨ should I workout when sick? ✨ The answer is no. You should not work out when you are feeling sick.

I’m going to get into the reasons in this post, but first let me introduce myself.

My name is Kola. Just like Coca Cola, I am certified as a Personal Trainer and Nutritionist.

And I’m just here to help you out as much as I can.

Workout When Sick: Let’s clarify 3 things

First of all, I’m not a medical doctor. I’m not giving you medical advice.

Number two, let’s talk about what a workout is and what sickness actually is.

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Just to clarify: a workout, is anything that’s going to leave you exhausted or anything that elevates your heart rate.

Going by this definition, certain things will be a workout for you.
And they will not be a workout for me.

Certain things will be a workout for me, and they will not be a workout for the next person.

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To give a concrete example, walking is technically a workout, but for me it’s not a workout. Why?
Because it does not have my heart rate elevated like that.

And it doesn’t leave me exhausted.

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So, for me, I wouldn’t consider that to be a workout, even though it technically is.

Maybe swimming is not a workout for you. You just love being in the water because you’re a fish. 😅 Then you know, maybe that’s what you want to do.

So I’m not saying don’t move.

It’s okay to still be active, but I would say don’t do anything that’s going to leave you exhausted and have your heart rate super elevated.

Like don’t go and do an intense Tabata workout or anything like that.

The second thing I want to clarify before I go into the details is what is sickness?

Listen, if you have tuberculosis, any kind of chronic condition, anything like surgery, listen, this post is not addressing those kinds of things.

I’m referring to the run of the mill headache, cold, basic stuff. That’s what I’m talking about here.

If you have a cold, if you have a headache and it’s like really like getting to you and you’re not feeling good, don’t work out.

Why do people want to workout when sick?

In my experience, it is usually some kind of fear causing this urge.

We’re afraid of what will happen if we don’t do our workout.

Afraid of losing momentum.

Scared of breaking our consistency.

TERRIFIED of gaining weight.

Yeah I said it. Did I lie? No 🙂

Also the self-talk that we have when we don’t work out is not pretty.

These are the things that are driving us to workout when sick.

Now, I’m not going to lie to you and say that if you don’t work out for two weeks, you might not gain weight.

You might.

I’ve had that happen to me where I wasn’t feeling that great. I’m not going to say I was sick necessarily, but let’s just keep it real.

…let’s just say I went through a little something.

And I didn’t work out for a few days, you know what I mean?

And yes, all my fears came true. Okay? All those fears, they all came true.

I lost my consistency, and my rhythm.

Was talking trash to myself in my mind.

I gained weight. The whole shebang.

But guess what?

I’m still here.

Did I die? No.

That’s honestly, the bottom line question: but did you die, though? No 😄.

And then you realize that it’s okay.

It’s actually okay to not do this fitness thing perfectly.

The key is to understand that your bounce back game is always available to you. So. Yeah, you missed a week. Okay. Bounce back, start again. Do it over.

Now, if you’re in a situation where you’re constantly sick, that’s an immune system issue and that needs to be checked out.

  • Do you have a mold situation in your apartment?
  • Are you in a toxic relationship?
  • Is there some infection in your digestive tract that needs to be cleared?

Fix it at the root instead of being in this conundrum of trying to figure out “should I work out when sick?”

Should You Workout When Sick? 5 Reasons to Consider

Let me come back and talk about some of the specific reasons why I personally will advise to not work out when not feeling well.

Number one, most sicknesses don’t actually last that long.

Let’s have some perspective here.

The worst headache without any kind of medication to help it go away will last three days max.

So that’s three days max of not working out.

The worst cold will last ten days max.

So three to ten days in the context of a whole year where we have 365 days.

It’s actually not that much for an otherwise healthy person that just has the occasional sickness once or twice a year.

And this is the key.

The key is to just develop those habits and already be in a really good routine the rest of the year.

That way, when there’s the occasional sickness, it’s actually okay to take that time to rest.

Should You Work Out When Sick? : second reason

The second reason is related to what I said at the beginning of this post. A lot of us, when we want to work out when we’re sick, it’s usually motivated by some kind of fear.

But the thing is, and this is the catch 22, fear is stressful on the body.

And stress causes sickness.

It’s better to let go of that fear. Exist in a state of trust. And just let it go. Relax.

This is a hard thing for me to. Say to you, because it’s a hard thing for me to hear.

I’m scared of everything. The wind is blowing, I’m afraid. LOL

Number three.

Working out can make the sickness actually get worse.

The immune system is already burdened with fighting off viruses, bacteria, and toxic fumes.

Adding the stress of a workout in the midst of that, it can actually make things worse.

It can actually make the sickness last a long time.

Should You Work Out When Sick? : Number four

Some sicknesses reduce the strength of our muscles and our ability to have endurance during the exercise.

When we’re wobbling and we’re not really quite getting the exercises, there is a higher risk of injury.

Imagine having a cold. Forcing yourself to workout. Finding out it’s actually a fever.

Still forcing yourself to workout. And then twisting an ankle.


Sit down, drink some soup, watch some Koboko Fitness videos.

Take the quiz on the homepage, Entertain yourself.


But have that self-trust that when this sickness is over, you are going to get into it.

You are going to do your workout.

You are going to eat right.

And maybe you’re not going to get it perfect, but who does?

I can’t think of one person that does this thing perfectly.

Nobody’s perfect.


Number five

Working out when we’re not feeling well can increase our risk of dehydration.

This is especially true if the sickness involves diarrhea, vomiting. Don’t mess with it.

Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water.

This is so ironic because this whole post, I’m basically convincing you not to work out.

And then I’m going to end by saying click here to explore my workout site.

Koboko Fitness is the best workout program if you want to be consistent.

I can say that with my full chest and I am so proud of all the KokoPuffs that are doing their workouts, changing the game, changing their lives.

Should You Workout When Sick? TLDR (summary 🙂)

  • For our purposes, a workout is defined as anything that leaves you exhausted or elevates your heart rate.
  • Common reasons for working out when sick: fear of losing momentum, consistency, and gaining weight.
  • Stressful situations can cause sickness and working out while sick can make the sickness worse.
  • Some sicknesses can reduce strength and increase the risk of injury during exercise.
  • Working out while sick can also increase the risk of dehydration.
  • Develop good habits and routines to make occasional sicknesses easier to manage and prioritize fixing any underlying health issues.

 should I work out when I am feeling sick? _Pin 1

Should You Workout When Sick? : Video