Don’t Exercise When You’re Sick

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We need to be conscious of our health now more than ever.

When you’re living through a pandemic, even if you don’t catch the disease at the center of it all, you tend to become a lot more focused on your general health. This isn’t a bad idea; even in normal times, it’s beneficial to keep a conscious lookout for strange conditions and symptoms in your body, even if you don’t feel overtly terrible. Part of this process is doing your best to exercise and maintain good health, but in the event you actually get sick, exercising stops being good for you and starts being potentially dangerous.

When you’re sick, your body needs to divert resources toward fighting off infection and maintaining your regular processes as best it can. This is why most common sicknesses are accompanied by general exhaustion; there’s no room in the power budget for physical exertion. If you try to force yourself to work out anyway, you’ll simultaneously divert your body’s attention from the viral war effort and stress your already-taxed processes.

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Researchers studying the precise effects of COVID-19 on the human body have recommended that anyone who tests positive for the disease, even if they don’t have any obvious symptoms, should try to take it easy for a week at the absolute minimum. Besides the aforementioned energy diversion, the organ that gets the heaviest use during exercise is your lungs, which is the prime target for coronavirus. If you try to exert yourself while your lungs are already under siege, you could cause long-lasting damage to your body.

I know it stinks to have to miss a workout day, but as important as physical fitness is, your life far outweighs it. When you’re sick, just keep it low-key and let your body’s defenses do their work.