QUIZ: Should You Exercise When Sick?

01/06/2012 08:38 am ET
  • Sarah Klein Senior Editor, Health & Fitness; Certified Personal Trainer

When you've got a serious case of the sniffles, you may not feel like hitting the gym (and other gym goers may not want you there sneezing on them, anyway) but should you?

Breaking a sweat can protect you from runny noses and sick days. In a 2010 study, David Nieman Ph.D., director of the Human Performance Lab at Appalachian State University, and colleagues found that regular exercisers experienced 43 percent fewer sick days than people who didn't exercise. They also reported less severe symptoms during the days they did have colds.

If you've already come down with something, you're out of luck. "There's no human data that exercise will knock the cold out or shorten the duration of a cold," Nieman tells The Huffington Post. "In the only two studies ever done in humans, it didn't help and it didn't hurt."

If you're in the middle of an exercise plan (New Year's resolution, anyone?) and don't want to lose steam, but find yourself feeling a little under the weather, take our quiz to find out if you should push through or throw in the towel.

For more on colds and flu, click here.

Are You Too Sick To Workout?

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