High performance athletes on campus are taught by elite performance managers to manage sickness in order to meet requirements for their physical health and wellness. The average ORU student works to create a healthy and dynamic lifestyle with active workouts. But as cold and flu season shows up this fall, many students are caught in the dilemma of whether or not to work out when they are under the weather in order to meet HPE requirements.
Brian Rios, graduate assistant athletic trainer said, “We usually check [athletes] for a fever no matter what. If they have a fever we are not allowed to let them participate. This past year, our team’s doctor has come up with research that says anyone who has symptoms below the neck should not exercise (such as coughing, stomach issues, body aches.) Anything above the neck, headache and things of that nature, and they are still allowed to work out.”
Average students trying to reach a fitness goal while being sick need to understand what illness does to the body during activity.
“It all comes down to a fever,” said Tyler Whitmer, ORU director of sports performance. “A fever indicates infection, and if you are coughing severely that can be a problem with high intensity work because your lungs are not at full capacity.”
Although working out when sick is possible when the issue is not below the neck, there are several other factors that determine our ability to remain healthy during this season.
Sleep quality makes a remarkable difference in health. When a person sleeps for less than seven hours their chance of catching something increases. Eight to nine hours a night should be the goal for a steady immune system.
Proper hydration is an essential component as well. Each individual should consume at least half an ounce of water per pound of body weight. That means a 200-pound person should drink 100 ounces of water daily.
The amount of fruits and vegetables eaten on average also greatly affects a person’s recovery rate to minor sickness, and immune system health overall.
“[While] sleep is one of the best ways to overcome any illness,” said Whitmer. “If it’s a cold or allergies and you are not contagious, then you are probably able to train. Work up a light sweat, the quality might be down-regulated, but you want to stay on routine to recover faster.”