Exercise when you’re sick:

Should you sweat it out? Or rest and recover?

Everybody gets sick. But it’s tough to know what to do about it. Should you “sweat it out” in the gym? Or get some rest instead? In this article we clear up the confusion. So that next time you come down with the flu or a cold, you’ll know what to do.

Your friendly neighborhood gym. You’re warmed up and ready for a great workout.

Then, all the sudden, Mr. Sneezy walks by. Coughing, sniffling, and heavy mouth-breathing. He’s spraying all over the benches and mats.

“Dude, shouldn’t you just stay home and rest?” you’re thinking.

(And, while you’re at it, stop sharing those nasty germs?)

But maybe Mr. Sneezy’s onto something. Maybe he’ll be able to sweat the sickness out of his system, boosting his immune system along the way.

What’s the right approach? Let’s explore.

The immune system: A quick and dirty intro

Every single day, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parasites come at us. Folks, it’s a germ jungle out there!

The most common invaders are upper respiratory tract invaders, or URTI’s. Yep, I’m talking about

  • colds,
  • coughs,
  • influenza,
  • sinusitis,
  • tonsillitis,
  • throat infections, and
  • middle ear infections.

Luckily, our immune system has got a plan. When faced with foreign attack, it works hard to defend us. Without the immune system, we’d never have a healthy day in our lives.

Our immune cells originate in our bone marrow and thymus. They interact with invaders through the lymph nodes, the spleen, and mucus membranes.

This means they first make contact in your mouth, gut, lungs, and urinary tract.

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