"I'm feeling sick but can I still workout?"
I get this question frequently, which continues to surprise me because...you're SICK! No, you shouldn't exercise. You should rest!
But for some reason, people hate the idea of resting. If you really feel you MUST exercise when you're under the weather here are a few tips....
First, I'm not a doctor. If you're sick go to the doctor first to get released to exercise.
Generally, if you feel under the weather above the neck (like a runny nose, headache) you can do light exercise.
If you're feeling congested in your chest, below the neck, then you should
absolutely let your body rest and skip your workout. It's hard enough to breathe when you're exercising hard and feeling 100%! You don't want to tax your respiratory system by working out hard when you have chest congestion.
An important thing to remember - if it's been several days or a week that you've been ill then start back slow. Don't just jump back into your regular workout routine. Start back at 50% your volume (instead of 4 days exercise on 2 days).
Keep your heart rate low. Try not to exercise to breathlessness. Choose lighter weights. Choose easy walking or cycling or stretching instead of high intensity training. Give your body time to fully recover. Gradually increase your intensity over a week until you're back to full capacity.
Remember: fitness is a lifelong thing. You'll get farther in the long run by resting than trying to push yourself too soon, which may lead to larger complications or a relapse. Be kind to your body!