Working out while under the weather? Doctors say take it easy - KPTV - FOX 12

Working out while under the weather? Doctors say take it easy

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A lot of people work out regularly to stay in shape or keep up with New Year's resolutions, but with flu season in full swing, health experts are concerned about when people should hit the gym.

Officials at the Mayo Clinic say mild to moderate physical activity is usually okay, even if someone has a cold with no fever.

Researchers suggest using the "neck rule" to determine when someone should work out.  If their symptoms are above the neck, like a runny or stuffy nose, sneezing or a sore throat, moderate activity is okay.

If the symptoms are below the neck, like a tight chest, persistent cough, upset stomach, and muscle aches, many doctors advise patients to take a break from the workout.

A recent flu case out of Pittsburgh demonstrated how important it is to pay attention to the warning signs, even for those in good physical shape.

A 21-year-old man who was going to school to be a personal trainer died after getting the flu.

It is unclear if he was working out after falling ill, but his family said he continued to go to work. They said in just two days his health quickly declined, and the man died of organ failure due to septic shock by influenza.

Doctors advise people should let their bodies be their guides, and if they feel miserable they should take a break, noting that a few days off won't affect their overall performance.

For people that decide to still work out while under the weather, doctors suggest reducing the intensity and length of workouts.

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