One of the things I see a lot is people training when they’re ill.

The old school mentality of ‘I’ll sweat it out’ still seems to be quite popular and you’d be forgiven for thinking that this would work. However, you couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, this way of thinking could actually make your condition a lot worse.

I read an article once about a squash player that decided to ‘sweat out his cold’ with a game of squash and the additional stress this placed on his body caused him to have a heart attack. He actually died as a result — true story.

When the body is fighting infection (cold, flu etc.), it is working a lot harder than it normally does and to then put it under even higher levels of stress as you do when you exercise, could have serious consequences.

The best thing to do when you are ill is rest.

Rest (after training), is more important than the actual exercise, as it’s during this rest period that the body recovers from the stress and intensity you put it under while you train.

To not rest after training leads to a condition known as ‘overtraining‘ which results in fatigue, hindering any further training as you never fully recover before your next workout.

When you are ill, your body undergoes additional stress as it fights the infection, however, by resting, you ensure that all of the energy you have available is used to fight the infection.

To exercise on top of an illness adds additional work and even more stress to the body, which results in you being ill for much longer as well as setting yourself up for something potentially more serious — as in the case of the squash player.

So the next time you feel a little a ‘groggy’… take a few days off doing anything strenuous and get some quality nutrition in you and you’ll be back to fighting fit in no time.