Are your workouts making you sick?

Happy Monday, not! The good news is that Monday is over already!


So, as you have heard me griping lately I am on my second cold of the season and I had stomach flu around Thanksgiving. I NEVER get sick. I usually get a mild cold (if that) in March and it’s usually over in a week. I don’t know what’s going on this winter. I have been working out more than ever and am sicker than ever.


WTH?! Excuse my French, but shouldn’t I be feeling even better now that I am working out more and eating better?


According to Steve, not necessarily…  


 “Karen, I’ve seen this a million times – you start working out more intensely and your immune system works overtime to recover post-workouts… Making it more vulnerable to germs. Again, long term- the workouts are beneficial!”


I got pissed (not at Steve) and then curious about this so I am going to give you one guess what I did? Right, I Googled it.  


I found a message board where people asked the same question. “Why am I getting sick while working out more?”


Clearly, I am not alone.



I did find a lot of people say similar things to what Steve did.  


Here are some responses to the question:


“Your body is doing something new which is an additional stress on your system. Once your body is accustomed to higher levels of exercise, you probably won’t have this problem.”


“I train with a bunch of marathoners. The people new (or returning) to marathon training all get sick about 8-12 weeks into the training season. It happens like clockwork every marathon season – a wave of the illness comes through and wipes out the newbies. Those of us working at a steadier state usually avoid the cold or get just a touch of it. We’ve been out training with the sneezy and coughy people, but our bodies fight it off a bit better.”


Apparently, after working out it is super important to rest & recover. There are many things that you can do to rest & recover but the one that caught my eye was getting too little sleep.


I read was that if you get too little sleep (re: less than 6 hours) you will get sick because in doing something new and strenuous it takes your body longer to recover.


Hello? Me who goes to bed at 10:00 is up at 3:00 and am lucky to fall back to sleep until 5:15.


I am thinking that my working out with strength training and getting very little sleep these past few months is taking toll on my health.


The bottom line is it sounds like recovery is the key.  Your body needs ample time to recover from a strenuous workout. I may not be the best at working out but I have been giving it my all.  After hearing Steve’s comment and reading about R & R I am going to do my best to start trying to get a better night’s sleep.


Or, I can use this as an excuse for Steve to take it easier on me. What do ya think?


Here are some more related articles to recovery after a work out.


Question of the day: have you ever gotten  sick after a workout? 

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2 Responses to Are your workouts making you sick?

  1. Kent says:

    And all this time I assumed we get sick from germs in the gym.. I never took time to see if there could be another reason like working hard whittling our immune system down..

    • karenmregan says:

      I wouldn’t have thought of another reason either, Kent, but the more I looked into it the more it seems it could be. Sleep is a huge factor me me and many articles talked about how getting good, quality sleep is important to workout recovery.  

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