I should have posted this during flu/cold season, but I guess better late then never!
Q: Should you work out when you have a cold? Anything special to keep in mind?
Jillian Michaels A:
The rule of thumb for exercising while sick is called the above/below-the-neck rule. If your symptoms appear above the neck (runny nose, sneezing, sore throat), then yes, you can continue with a low-intensity workout. Studies have shown that exercising at a moderate-intensity level does not intensify cold symptoms or compromise the immune system. Avoid high-intensity exercise, such as heavy weight lifting and high-intensity aerobic training, which has been shown to have a negative impact on the immune system during a cold or any respiratory infection.
If your symptoms are below the neck (diarrhea, intense coughing, vomiting, fever), then the American College of Sports Medicine and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggest you let your illness run its course before resuming physical activity.