Despite our best efforts, even the fittest people can fall sick. What inevitably follows is the struggle whether or not to work out based on our condition – can we push through? Should we take a rest day? Will we make ourselves feel worse?
The best way to determine whether or not you should be hitting the gym while ill is to follow the neck up rule, which stipulates that if your symptoms are mostly felt from your neck up (sore throats and coughs, runny noses and congestion, headaches and so on), then you’re good to push through a moderate workout – modify where you need to, but don’t be afraid of getting your sweat on.
If, on the other hand, your symptoms fall below the neck (chest congestion, nausea, stomach flu, etc), then you’re better off taking an extra rest day to recover rather than make yourself any worse. The one exception to this rule that need be noted is a fever: if you have a significant fever, skip the workout to prevent overheating your body.
Follow this simple rule, and you’ll be back on the path to consistency in less time than you’d expect!