Is it best to rest or sweat it out when you’re sick?

Should you rest or sweat when you’re sick?

Regular exercise has been proven to keep your body healthy, decreasing the risk of chronic disease like diabetes and heart disease, while boosting the immune system.

Like anything, moderation is key, while some exercise can improve immune function, some can suppress it and this is why we must seek to find the happy medium between good and bad.

Our immune system can be suppressed when we are overexerted, it’s not that we over train, its that we under recover, and this is the biggest point (same thing goes for every day training). Remember, when we train we are creating, and adding our current stress state.

So if you are sick, and wanting to exercise, you should always question whether this exercise will overexert my already fighting body, or will it help break things up?

Here is what the science says.

You CAN exercise with symptoms above the throat; sore throat, coughing, runny nose, congested nose. However, training should be steady and of low intensity.

Steady cardio (walking, biking, tai chi, yoga, stretch)
If you do choose to exercise, please be cautious and practice good hygiene (frequent hand washing/ covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough).

You CAN’T/SHOULDN’T exercise with symptoms that extend below the throat; productive/frequent cough muscle/ joint pain, headache, fever, malaise, diarrhea and vomiting.

Allow your body to rest, and use the energy that you would normally train with to heal your body.

Courtney’s Healthy Soup:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1-2 chillis
  • 1 medium diced brown Onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 diced swede
  • 1 diced turnip
  • 1 diced parsnip
  • 2 diced carrots
  • 2 diced white potatoes
  • 2 corn cobs
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 3 tbs of tomato paste (can add more for taste)
  • 1 Capsicum
  • ½ diced celery bunch
  • 500ml of good quality bone broth (or as much as you want)
  • 500g-1kg of your chosen meat – I use good quality beef mince or chicken – or you could even have it vego 🙂


I recommend slightly roasting all the root vegetables (swede, turnip, parsnip, potatoes), capsicum and corn before cooking, however if you are short on time just roast the corn while everything else is cooking.

Add oil to the pan and add garlic, chilli, onion and cook till soft with mild brown colour.

Add diced swede, turnip, parsnip, carrots, potatoes and cook till soft. You can add water during this stage to soften the vegetables. Add any herbs that you like depending on what type of taste works for you – cumin, curry powder, italian herbs, you can be creative as you like!

It should start to look like a soup with the water that you have added to soften the veg.

Add your diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.

Taste time. Get your consistency with the flavours that you want. Remember that you haven’t added the bone broth in, so hold on the salt.

If you’re like me add the mince, I put this in first because I notice that it will suck all the moisture, and I don’t want it sucking all the goodness from the broth just yet.

Once cooked, add the broth, and create the consistency of vege to liquid by adding more broth or water.


When you’re about 20 mins from serving, add corn (cut off cob), celery and capsicum.

Taste and add any more flavours you wish.

Finally, enjoy.

Your root vege along side your bone broth are packed with immune boosting goodies.