How to Eat and Exercise When You Have the Flu

eat and exercise when you have the flu

The cold and flu season is here in full force, and you may have noticed that a lot of people around you have been getting sick. Perhaps you’ve even been hit with the flu as well, causing you to take some time off to rest and recuperate. But you don’t have to stop everything when you have the flu. You could still eat right to nourish your body and help it heal, and you could even exercise to stay active. Check out the tips below to learn how.

Diet and Activity for the Flu

Nutrition Tips

To help your body maintain its strength when you have the flu, consider eating foods that will give you some protein. Vitamin-rich foods are also a good idea, especially if they contain energizing B vitamins. And zinc and selenium could also support the immune system. Plus, you’ll need to drink plenty of fluids.

You may not have a big appetite, but foods like nuts and beans will deliver protein, vitamins, and minerals. Antioxidant-rich veggies like broccoli and kale could also give your body’s immune system some much-needed glutathione, while citrus fruits could give you a dose of flavonoids that boost the immune system.

Know When It’s Best to Exercise

Knowing when to exercise once you have been hit with the flu is the key to doing it right. First off, you want to definitely take it easy, so if you are not feeling enough energy to exercise, don’t. The last thing that you want to do is strain your immune system when it is already trying to do its best to heal you.

Another reason to skip your usual workout routine: you have a fever. When you come down with the flu, it is likely that you will have a fever for two to five days because your body is fighting infection. When you have a fever, moisture is removed from the body, so you don’t want to exercise and sweat even more, as that could dehydrate you and delay recovery. Plus, you’ll probably be too miserable to exercise when you have a fever.

A final reason to just skip your workouts when you have the flu: you’re contagious. Did you know that you could spread the virus to others for up to a full week after your initial symptoms? That’s not the time to go to the gym.

Once your symptoms are no longer severe and you are able to breathe with greater ease, you can start adding in some low-intensity workouts, such as yoga or easy weightlifting with light dumbbells at home.

Ultimately, when you have the flu, it’s time to give your body rest and nutrition, so taking it easy is recommended until you’re all better.

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