This is a question I struggled with a lot when I started living a more active and healthy lifestyle. My first reaction was to shut everything down, curl up with a blanket and hot soup on the couch and let my body rejuvenate. Although after a day or two I felt so pent up and wanted to get back into my routine. After googling every way to ask if exercise is good or bad for your body when its fighting something off and finding so many conflicting answers, the real answer became clear. Stop asking google, and ask your body. The human body and its functions are much smarter than the internet!
Dr. Schachter, at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York, offered this rule of thumb: “If your symptoms are above the neck, including a sore throat, nasal congestion, sneezing, and tearing eyes, then it’s OK to exercise. If your symptoms are below the neck, such as coughing, body aches, fever, and fatigue, then it’s time to hang up the running shoes until these symptoms subside.”
I’ve found this to be quite accurate. I am an avid Yogi, which means I go upside-down a lot! The thought of going upside-down while dealing with a stuffy or runny nose is not as appealing at first thought. Although I always came out of a class feeling decongested and able to breathe better.
In conclusion, honing in on your listening skills will get you the answers you need. Our bodies are smart, and only want whats best for optimal health. If you practice listening to your body more often, you will find that it communicates with you more than you thought. Before hitting that Yoga class, or strapping up those running shoes, think about what you’re doing and take a minute to see if you feel open and light and at peace then your body is ready for that, if you feel constrained or like its and obligation than like Dr. Schachter said, hang em up!