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Running with Sickness - Are You Doing the Right Thing?

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Runners and fitness enthusiasts don’t really like to skip their training routine no matter what happens. Whether it’s rainy or cold outside or they’re suffering from fever and cold, staying in bed isn’t an option when it’s time for a workout. If you are much into fitness, you can very well relate to this! But have you ever wondered if running with sickness can do you harm instead of anything good?

“I’m feeling feverish? Will I catch a cold? Naahhhh….. Let me just tie my laces and hit the track right away!”
It’s a common misconception that running/working out can cure you of that dreading cold or fever.

So then, can running make you sick?

While a short, easy running routine can be good in case of minor colds, exerting your body with too much running when you have symptoms of fever or something more, can lead to severe, prolonged sickness. As when you are down with fever, your body’s temperature shoots. And when you run with a fever, your body temperature further rises, thereby worsening your health condition.

However, running and immune system are very much related and there are numerous benefits of running. Research says that running regularly can improve your immune system and lower the possibility of falling sick very often. This is because there happens to be an enhanced circulation of the body’s vital immune cells while you run/work out and three hours after the activity. And more movement of immune cells means they’re more active and ready to fight the viruses. So rather than running while sick, a regular exercise routine will ensure your good health.

Table of Content

  • Check Your Immune System
  • 5 Reasons That Running Can Make You Puke
  • How to Boost the Immune System When Sick

Let’s see the pros and cons of running with sickness and the intensity of training allowed when running with chest congestion.

Running with Sickness: Check your Immune System

When you fall ill, it’s got more to do with your immune system rather than the virus itself. Even if you’re affected by a virus, you fall sick only because your immune cells fight the viruses constantly.

running with sickness
Allergies can affect your running

Chances are that if you’ve suffered from common cold and fallen sick this season, you’re likely to stay unaffected the next year because your immune system fought it previously and is much stronger now. So, is your immune system stronger after a cold? Well, experts say that cold takes its own time to leave your body and once it does, you’re left with a stronger immune system.

However, if you are down with cold and sinus, strictly don’t run for next three days. During worse cases, sinus infections can lead to respiratory complications.

Though there will be a drop in the functionality of immune cells during heavy workouts, you’ll still be able to fight infections. Therefore, it’s best to keep your training/running moderate and easy during sickness. You should know about the changes resulting in your body during running.

It is a clear fact!

If you have symptoms of fever or severe cold, avoid running altogether. Recover completely and then get back to training and of course, a few days of rest will certainly not affect your fitness. Make sure that you avoid running with sickness as it creates a negative impact to your health.

5 Reasons that Running Can Make You Puke

Have you ever puked while running or felt nauseatic after a long run? Due to certain reasons and body conditions, you may feel the urge to throw up while running or after a marathon. Here are 5 reasons or conditions that can make you puke while running:

running with sickness
Puking

1. Digestive System Issues

What happens when you run immediately after having food or consume too much food soon after the activity?

It can result in uneasiness and make you throw up. Same will be the case if you run in the super sultry weather. This is because the body directs blood flow from all other areas to your skin in order to cool down your system.

Get this: You should know that during intense workouts or marathon running, the body focuses more on the heart, lungs, and muscles and transfers oxygen-rich blood to them.

Running with sickness
Upset Stomach

Due to this, the stomach and other organs receive a much-reduced supply of oxygen-rich blood. Therefore, your stomach won’t have the necessary efficiency and nutrients to digest heavy foods at that time. You can prevent this by getting into the habit of healthy fueling during your training sessions, much prior to the big day. It will give you an idea about the diet to be followed on the day of the race.

You can check out how to beat the heat in summer and stick to your running routine.

2. Dehydration

You are aware of this!

Feeling nauseous while running can also be a result of excessive loss of body fluids. When running, if your stomach isn’t in a position to efficiently absorb liquids, you may tend to feel dehydrated much before there’s a need for replenishing body fluids. This is all more the reason why you should involve in running with sickness.

You definitely do not want to keep running with that uneasy feeling and end up losing the race. Therefore, make sure you have fluid refills at regular intervals in order to keep your body well hydrated and to avoid puking.

running with sickness
Overtraining

Livingit Tip: Keep in mind that too much water intake while running can also make you nauseous, so take only small sips of water/fluids.

3. Stopping Abruptly

When you’re on a long race or intense running routine, your body gets used to the activity after a while. Your stomach won’t be ready to accept any sudden alteration in exertion (unless you’ve trained your body well).

running with sickness
Exhausted Runners

Therefore, if you stop movement abruptly at the end of your running session, your stomach tends to react abnormally. This can cause some kind of nauseous feeling.

So, what can be done?

You can continue walking or jogging for a few seconds in the end before coming to a complete halt. This will give your body some time to prepare for the change. Also, avoid eating or drinking too much as soon as you finish running. Sip water slowly till your body cools down and resumes its normal state.

4. Pressure On Stomach

It’s a known fact that when you apply much pressure on your stomach, the possibility of contents from your stomach going back up the food pipe increases.

This usually happens if you have consumed more food/liquid before running. When working out or running at high speeds, your core is at the peak of its use and your breathing gets heavier. During this time, the inside of your abdomen experiences high pressure, sometimes giving you a nauseous feeling.

running with sickness
Pressure On Stomach

Furthermore, if you suffer from GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease), you’re more prone to vomiting under such conditions. You can avoid these issues by consuming only light and a requisite amount of food/liquid before the workout, and don’t forget to take the required medication for GERD.

5. Choice of Food/Beverage Before Running

You must be careful of what you consume before going for a run since wrong foods can have adverse effects.

So what are the foods to avoid?

Say no to junk foods, acidic products, as well as foods rich in fiber, protein, and fat. Since these foods require more time for digestion, your gut will continue to work on them even when you’ve started with the activity.

running with sickness
Choice of Food

This can cause a nauseous feeling while running. So before you run, snack on something light/healthy in small amounts and keep that pukish feeling at bay! It would be good to know the effective hydration tips for runners.

How to Boost the Immune System When Sick

The big question that troubles every runner when they are sick – How do I build my immunity? Well, here are the answers!

  • For quick relief go for medicines and vaccinations.
  • Make your gut stronger by consuming foods rich in probiotics such as kefir, kimchi, etc.
  • Want to know which foods can boost your immunity? Then munch on zinc rich foods such as nuts, spinach, beans, pumpkin seeds and stay healthy and stronger always.
  • A good night sleep is highly important to keep going with your workout routine.
  • Stay away from processed foods and consume more nutrient and antioxidant-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, salmon, berries, leafy greens, etc.
  • Keep your surroundings and frequently-used surfaces clean using Tea tree oil (or other antibacterial liquid), to avoid contact with contamination.
  • Allow healthy circulation within the house by keeping the windows open for sunlight and air. Decorate your house with indoor plants as they help filter out certain unhealthy compounds.
  • Wash your hands often and carry hand sanitizers (natural ones with Lavender oil) wherever you go.

We would also like to add that if you have recovered from cold or fever, don’t exert your body for missed workouts. As your body and the immune system is still recovering. Give some time to your body, start with light runs and after a couple of days, rear back to your form.

If you keep these points in mind before hitting the tracks, it can help a great deal in maintaining good health. So the next time you think of high-intensity workouts, make sure you include proper diet, rest, and breaks in your routine, and avoid running with sickness. Always ensure that you avoid over-training, follow a healthy diet with vitamin C foods/supplements, keep your hands clean, get enough rest and sleep between workouts, and keep mental stress away.

Go ahead, enjoy running, and come back to us with your story!

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