If you have a cold or flu that is just affecting your upper respiratory tract, you’re safe to do exercise. If it’s in the lungs or you have a fever, you want to stay in bed and take time off for your body to heal.
One thing that can be highly beneficial and help aid recovery from a cold or a flu—as well as provide some of the benefits of movement—is a hot hyperthermia bath. Pour a bath as hot as you can stand it. Add four cups of Epsom salts optionally. Soak in the tub until you can’t—until it gets too uncomfortable. Then get out and wrap yourself up in sheets and blankets, get in bed and sweat.
The heat will increase blood flow throughout the body, giving you somewhat of a metabolic stimulus. Also, viruses and bacteria do not like hot environments. It’s one of the reasons why our body mounts a fever in response to infection. So this will often delay or decrease the duration of a cold or a flu. Plus you get some of the benefits of exercise.
When you have a cold or the flu that’s bad, it’s a great opportunity to give your body good quality healing. Don’t make the mistake that most people make and decide it’s time to eat a bunch of junk food. Instead, consider illness is an opportunity for a metabolic reset. Feed your body correctly, with nourishing foods that are easy on the digestion like chicken soup and things like that. One supplement you can use when you’re sick to support your immune system is glutamine powder. Glutamine is a fuel for the immune system. We use anywhere from 5 to 20 grams per day of powdered glutamine clinically.
If you have to take a break from exercise there’s nothing wrong with just picking right back up where you left off if it’s only been a week or two. But if it’s been longer than that, you should start from the beginning.