Should You Workout While Under The Weather?

Nora Zelevansky
4 min readOct 28, 2022

I asked the experts whether exercising while sick helps you heal…

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

If you’re like me and too many others right now, you’ve been dealing with a lingering cold or virus, assuring strangers and friends through coughing fits that, “IT’S NOT COVID! I DON’T HAVE COVID! I’M NOT EVEN SICK! I SWEAR!”

Suddenly, every basic cold and strange ailment that was lying dormant while we masked up to protect ourselves from coronavirus has come home to roost. Basically, we’re all at least a little sick.

So, how do we get better, when these colds, for example, aren’t simply hitting us hard, but are hanging around for weeks and even months? How do we handle the prolonged symptoms? Of course, we’ve all got our healing hacks from turmeric and ginger teas to Zinc bombs. And we’ve all heard the expression, “starve a cold, feed a fever.” But the rules on exercise seem way less clear.

When you’re semi-sick, is it better to move your body or give it a rest?

According to Heather Hart, Myrtle Beach-based ACSM certified exercise physiologist, CSCS, and founder of Relentless Forward Commotion, I am not alone in my confusion. “I often joke that I wish our bodies were like cars with check engine lights,” she says, “so we’d know when it was OK to keep going, or when we needed to stop and repair ourselves…



Nora Zelevansky

New novel: COMPETITIVE GRIEVING (Blackstone). New nonfiction: ROLL RED ROLL (Hachette ). Bylines: NY Times, T&C, WSJ etc.