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When cold and flu season hits, many people wonder if they should stick to their exercise routine or take the day off. Dealing with a stuffy nose, headache, or cough can certainly make the idea of staying in bed appealing, but is that best for your body? The answer depends on the symptoms you're experiencing and the type of exercise you had planned. However, certain guidelines can help you decide whether or not to hit the gym when you're feeling under the weather.

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1. Listen to Your Body

Most doctors and exercise professionals recommend following the neck rule when deciding whether to work out while sick. The neck rule states that if symptoms are limited to above the neck, exercise is fair game. So, a stuffy nose, headache, or sore throat may not rule out a workout. If symptoms are below the neck, including coughing, joint aches, tight chest, and an upset stomach, it is best to take it easy.

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This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.