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Exercise when you have the flu

If you've got the flu, should you still push yourself to do your usual workout or fitness routine?

And if you exercise regularly, does this help prevent flu? Get the facts here.

Can exercise help prevent flu?

Exercise doesn't just tone your muscles - it is important for overall health and your body's defences against infections - the immune system.

Exercise is just part of healthy living - good diet and nutrition, sticking to a healthy weight, having plenty of sleep and avoiding stress are all part of the equation.

The NHS recommends 150 minutes of exercise a week - spread out across the week. It doesn’t have to be a hard workout in the gym - but it should be enough to get you a bit out of breath.

On the other hand - elite athletes can end up doing so much exercise that they weaken their immune systems - making them more likely to come down with an infection like the flu.

Can exercise worsen flu symptoms?

If you have flu, rather than a cold, it is very likely you really won't feel up to doing any exercise at all.

If fact experts advise resting if you can while your body fights off the flu virus.

Exercise can also make you dehydrated at a time when the body needs plenty of fluids to help with recovery.

Listen to what your body is telling you and swap trainers for slippers for a few days until you feel up to it.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on November 07, 2016

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