Should You Exercise When You Are Unwell? – Sports Medicine Weekly | Dr. Brian J. Cole
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Published on: 18-Nov-2021

If you are maintaining an exercise routine, then you no doubt know that consistency is key. However, keeping things up here can become more challenging should you become unwell. 

Additionally, the pandemic has also killed motivation levels in many people, so there are numerous forces to overcome. Still, so long as you remain resolute, it may be possible to continue your efforts with minimal disturbances. 

That being said, every person has a limit in terms of how much they can tolerate. Making a call as to whether you continue with your regime may be challenging, as well. 

Here are some ideas on how to exercise when you are unwell and when to recognize your limits. 

Investigate Remedies

Exercise can be uncomfortable enough without having to contend with illnesses too. 

The internet is a valuable research tool. If you look around long enough, you can find a supportive service or product to guide your quest to success. Of course, you should only engage with legitimate websites, so be sure to check references and read reviews online to ensure that you are doing so. 

You may not think much of a sore or itchy throat. If symptoms are above the neck, you should be able to exercise without issue. However, if they are below the neck, then that means you may need a remedy to resolve the situation so that you can get working out sooner. In these situations, go online and look for the best drink for a sore throat.  

If other afflictions are giving you trouble, then you should try to mitigate those too. Band-aids for blisters can make a huge difference. If you are asthmatic, it may be worth visiting your doctor to see if you can get an inhaler. You may find a solution or remedy to many of the problems you experience, so try to stay positive and proactive. 

Look for Inspiration

Many people have faced many different kinds of adversity in their quest for exercise. Reading their stories may help energize you if your motivation is low. 

For instance, you could look to Team USA’s Paralympic team to see what they go through daily. Further research might help you dig up inspirational quotes on their mindsets and determination. Depending on the severity of how unwell you are, these insights may just give you a bit of a reality check if you are still able to do some measure of physical activity. 

Of course, every sporting legend achieved success with heroic figures in mind. That level of inspiration can be fuel and carry you through not only your daily exercise routine but your entire active lifestyle. Always try to keep in mind what is possible, and it will seem like anything can be.

Try to keep your mentors in mind too. If you are part of a club or team, you may have an instructor or teammate who can will you into action with their presence alone. There are many leaders in health and fitness, so try to find yours and follow their example. 

Think About Mental Wellbeing

Not all illnesses are on the surface. If depression or anxiety are prohibiting you from exercising, then solutions need to be found.

Remember that if you are inactive for long enough, your mental well-being may start to impact your physical health negatively. Know that exercise as can help combat stress effectively. Try to be proactive when combatting these issues. You could seek out a therapist to get the route of your problems or confide in friends and family for support. 

It may also be prudent to have loved ones in tow with you as you exercise. If you’re feeling a sense of loneliness, their presence will surely make a difference. Their company may alleviate many of your struggles and strengthen the bonds you have with them. 

Keep in mind that many forms of exercise lend themselves to social contexts, too, especially in sports. You could join a basketball, soccer, or ice hockey team, for example. In these situations, you could make new friends and 

Evolve Your Workout

You could always attempt a workout and then finish early if it becomes too taxing. After all, some activity might be better than none. 

Consider walking somewhere instead of running. Additionally, you could shorten the length of existing workouts to accommodate any illness you have. An indoor training session may be more prudent if you have the flu instead of venturing out into winter weather.

Use your own best judgement, or get the input of those around you who may be more knowledgeable and experienced on these matters. How do they adapt when their body temporarily lets them down? Some of your peers will likely have anecdotes to share, so try to gain some insights here from their personal experiences. 

Having a versatile approach to your exercise may do wonders for your confidence. That sense of achievement will be much sweeter when you have overcome additional hurdles. Try to be flexible wherever you can and celebrate your exercise victories, whether big or small. 

Know Your Limits

Obviously, you should not push yourself to levels of great discomfort. If you feel so ill that you cannot exercise, it is best to rest. 

Try to listen to your body. Delay your schedule if you feel light-headed, nauseous, and excessively achy pre-workout. Remember that you are in control of your routine. Try not to let your pride or feelings of failure get in the way. Your physical fitness is only part of your general health, so it may be time to reassess and revalue your priorities in these circumstances. 

Consider if your exercise routine itself is the cause of your woes too. After all, if you adopt poor posture or do not stretch effectively before your workout, it will surely take a toll on your body. Double-check that everything you are doing is up to standard, and go from there. 

If you are professional and you are uncertain about your capabilities, a trip to your doctor is strongly recommended. After that, they can advise you on whether to continue your routine or not. Take their advice seriously, and hopefully, you will be back to your usual exercise regimen in no time.

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