Posted by: Andries | 2009-04-20

Returning to excercise after illness

Hi there,
I am a recreational rugby player, currently in mid-season, and experienced flu-like symptoms for (in total) 6 days (I was diagnosed by my GP with URTI on day 3 and medicated accordingly).
How soon can I return to light running and ' shadow' -practice sessions after the symptoms have subsided without risking damage to my heart/respiritory system?
Are there any ' rules-of-thumb'  or indicators of when it is safe to return to sport after illness?

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Our expert says:
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Hi Andries

Pretty much as soon as you're over the symptoms. If it was flu-like symptoms as in body aches and pains, then that's more serious,a nd probably you should give yourself a few days after the symptoms disappear.

However, if it's just a cold, and the only symptom was a blocked nose and/or sore throat, then it's usually okay to train almost straight away when your strength returns. You'll soon no if you're training too hard, because it will feel super difficult. THe only "rule" is to avoid training when you have muscular aches and pains, because that's a sign of a viral infection and it can be dangerous to train with that. But the rest is just a guideline, and you need to play it on its merits

Good luck

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