How Soon Can I Start my Exercise After Being Sick?

Date: 04/05/2023

”How sick is too sick to exercise? When can I resume my workout?”, these questions can haunt anyone who strictly follows an exercise routine. No questions about the health benefits of exercising, however, strenuous exercises while recovering from a serious illness can be hazardous. Returning to exercise after sickness can be strenuous on the body and even intensify the symptoms of a sickness. Overtaxing your body after a prolonged illness can be risky. Your muscles would have been idle for weeks and will get sore a lot quicker. One could risk a muscle sprain or a tear.

Ideally, suffering from a common cold with the usual symptoms of a runny nose, or a sore throat is not a good reason to skip your exercise; instead exercising in this condition can help speed up your recovery. On the contrary, after a week or maybe a month-long of nasty illness, returning to regular exercise regimens can be a challenge.  It is a known fact that after a long illness, your cardio-respiratory fitness has drastically diminished and all your body energy is drained fighting the infection and jumping back to routine can do more harm than good. One’s immune system isn’t back to its full strength after fighting off an illness. Routine exercise increases immunity, but overtaxing your body could lead to a drop in immunity for the next 24 hours. 

Ideal Time To Start Your Workout

The answer is to Wait. Wait until your symptoms have disappeared. Wait until you have gained enough strength. Wait until your body decides you’re ready for it. For e.g., while recovering from a respiratory illness wait at least 2 weeks after your symptoms have resolved to start your workouts. Avoid working out even when you have a fever. Your body temperature is already high and exercising will not only cause your heart rate to increase but also dehydrate your body. You may also consult your doctor for advice on when you can start your workout and the intensity of workouts.

When you finally do start with your workouts, avoid being too harsh on yourself. Do not try to make up for all your missed days at the gym. Rather start with a workout plan that is of shorter duration and lower intensity. Over-working after a prolonged illness can result in elevated cortisol level which is an anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive thus preventing the immune system from fighting infections towards repairing muscles and thus making your muscles sore. The depression of your immune system can cause the illness to come back, sometimes stronger than before. Make sure to stop when you feel dizzy or nauseated.

The aim should be to resume your workouts slowly and at the same time learning to listen to your body and in knowing when to stop considering your present health condition. Here are a few tips you can follow to resume your workouts:

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Follow the above-mentioned healthcare routine to resume your exercise schedule smoothly. Make a complete recovery and there won’t be anything keeping you away from returning to your previous levels of fitness.

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Disclaimer: The above information has been prepared by a qualified medical professional and may not represent the practices followed universally. The suggestions listed in this article constitute relatively common advice given to patients, and since every patient is different, you are advised to consult your physician, if in doubt, before acting upon this information. Lupin Limited has only facilitated the distribution of this information to you in the interest of patient education and welfare.