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Should I exercise when I’m Sick? An INSANITY Asylum Update


Hello Everyone!

Workout when sickFor those of you who are following INSANITY: The Asylum challenge journey, you’ll know I’ve been rather quiet this week. Why? I GOT SICK! Talk about ultimate disappointment right? You’re kicking as much butt as possible, trying to lose weight, get ripped, etc. etc. Then, out of nowhere comes this sickness that puts you out of commission of a few days (or maybe even a week or two!). Blasphemy!

But the strong person you are asks “Should I exercise when I’m sick?” Which is what I was doing this entire week of what should have been Week 3 of INSANITY: The Asylum workout program. If you saw my first post on my Asylum journey, you’ll know the goal is for me to get six-pack abs by the end of my 30-days! So, should I still work out anyway despite the sickness? I decided to do some serious research first, and I figured I’d share with you what I found, especially if you are asking “Should I exercise when I’m sick?

Should I exercise when I’m sick – A trainer’s approach and opinion

According to Jillian Michaels (the great host of The Biggest Loser and personal fitness trainer), it really depends. Jillian discusses determining if your cold is above the neck or below. If it’s above, you are good. If it’s below the neck, don’t do anything. Rest in bed and chill out. In fact:

Studies have shown that exercising at a moderate-level does not intensify cold symptoms or compromise the immune system. -Jillian Michaels

So what does that mean for me and INSANITY the Asylum? It means, quite frankly take a break! In fact, considering the quote above, I would recommend slight walks, an easier workout such as Slim in 6 or Power 90. Doing something to an intensified perspective is bad both from the perspective of Jillian Michaels and Jeffrey Woods, PhD. The reason behind this, according to my research is that high-intensity workouts kill your ability to recover.

WHY? Well, here is what I found out:

Should I exercise when I’m sick – Low Intensity versus High Intensity

What I have found out is that when you work out at a high-intensity level, your body uses a lot of energy (duh, right?). Well, the energy you use for your workout DOES deplete your energy that you need to fight off the cold. So, P90X, INSANITY, and TurboFire fans – hate to break this to you but: NO, you should NOT exercise when you are sick. Instead, focus on building yourself back up.

So, what does this mean for my 30-day INSANITY the Asylum journey?

Well, it’s going to be, in all, a 40-day journey. Sure, I’m disappointed, but my spirits are high. I’m feeling better and will be back in action tomorrow. I plan on giving it my all and coming back full force. There really is NO sense in stopping, giving up, failing, or starting over. Let’s pick up where we left off.

Sound good?

Until next time, stay away from those colds and flus!! And join Coach Bob Sharpe the SharpeFIT community on Beachbody for free by clicking here


Bob Sharpe


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