Having just come off an illness myself, I can say with confidence that “YES, being sick is a valid excuse for skipping a workout.”
Now believe me, I’m not one for excuses and as a trainer and a mom I have heard them ALL! But exercising while you are truly trying to fight off an illness is not a good idea and here’s why:
If you have a respiratory illness: further taxing your lungs and your heart with cardio can increase the severity of your symptoms. This is especially true if you engage in cardio activity in cold weather. If you are suffering from a respiratory illness you may want to consider a workout that incorporates stretching and light strength training.
If you have a stomach virus: your body may already be depleted of fluids so further exerting yourself could result in dehydration. The best thing to do with a stomach virus is to flush your body with fluids and take it easy. If you can bear to miss a workout, again stretching and light strength training are your best bet.
If you have a cold or flu: your body already aches and is weak so avoiding any type of exercise for a couple days is probably the best thing you can do to get on the track to feeling better. Get as much rest as possible.
With any illness make sure you listen to your body. You know when you truly don’t feel well enough to exercise and when you are just using it as a “poor” excuse to not exercise.
If you come down with anything this winter season, get your rest, drink plenty of fluids, and be sure to call your doctor if symptoms persist.
I’m happy to say after three days of rest and hydration, I’m looking forward to easing back into my routine with some stretching and light strength training.