Posted by: Shells | 2008/09/15

Work outs when sick

Hi there

I recently had the flu and an upper respiratory tract infection (chest infection) and although I am off the antibiotic (have been for 4 days now) I still have a productive cough and quite a bit of phlegm and my chest sometimes hurts after coughing. The doc says the infection itself appears to be gone, but that I will still have a cough and phlegm for a week or 2.

I have heard that it is dangerous to work out when you are still ill as it can cause heart problems. My question is, with my symptoms still persisting (although not as bad as before) is it okay for me to resume exercise?

I work out at home (45 min cardio and 15 min weight training) of course now that I have been out of action for nearly 3 weeks (this being the 3rd week) I will probably only do 30 min cardio and work my way up to 45 again.

Please advise if this is alright

Thanks very much!

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Our expert says:
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Hi Shells

Yes, it can be dangerous to train with you have an infection. It can affect the heart muscle, and that's the big danger. However, it sounds to me that you have overcome the infection, your doctor feels it, and you have already been off antibiotics for 4 days.

So that considered, I think you can probably safely start training at an easier level than you did before. A safe rule of thumb is to say that you'll take 2 days for every 1 you were sick and spend that time building up to where you left off. So you may have missed out on 3 weeks, which is a long time, and so that means you don't have to take quite as long off. I think that 2 weeks of gentler exercise will be in order, and then you can build up again to where you left off.

The trick is to understand those symptoms - if it's just a cough and tight chest, then those are remnants of your infection, not the infection itself. So they are uncomfortable, but not dangerous. Just take care though, don't push your body too hard coming back, don't force anything, because you will only delay your recovery. So just take it easy, and see how things go moving forward.

Good luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Our users say:
Posted by: Trace | 2009/01/27

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