I was recently sick for the past week with the flu and a minor sore throat. I am not one to easily get sick, but I guess it is that time of the year. Every time there is a rapid change in temperature, I tend to get sick and let’s face it, I live in the prime city of germs. From holding handles on the subway and bus to sitting in a class breathing in the air that someone just sneezed in. Let’s face it, it’s inevitable to get sick while living in NYC (or any city). I was just getting into the rhythm of continuously working out without skipping any days and BOOM. I got sick. I know, just my luck, the universe is clearly not on my side. After some research, it seems to be that a small workout isn’t so bad for your body.
I know my innate and adaptive immune system were severely overcome this time. I guess it couldn’t handle all the microorganisms attacking my system because I was so ill I didn’t attend class that day. On the plus side, my T and B cells were there to recognize the pathogens so my body is better prepared next time.
I don’t know about you but throughout high school and college, I was always told that working out sick helps your immune system so no matter how hard I tried to get out of practice I couldn’t. After a few years, it has come to my attention that my coaches stretched the truth. It turns out that one is not supposed to participate in workouts that would strain their bodies.
When sick, it is best to not stress the body. You have to just get your body moving a bit more than usual. This doesn’t mean you walk to the kitchen for ice cream and drown your sorrows with a pint of ice cream while sitting on the couch for the rest for the day. Doctors recommend low intensity cardio; a quick mile or two jogging, walking, or biking outside. By doing so you are boosting your immune system and aren’t straining your body. So get out there but don’t over do it. Avoid heavy weight training, sprinting, team sports, exercise in extreme temperature.
Just remember that brief vigorous exercise how low to no effect suppressing the immune system. Moderate intensity exercise session boost immunity and vigorous exercise depresses the adaptive immune system.