Sometimes, just the faint inkling of a headache — or remembering that you definitely sneezed (twice) earlier this morning — is enough to make you want to skip your workout. That’s fine. Just make sure you're not finding a daily excuse not to work up a sweat. We all know exercise is necessary, and it's been linked to boosting your immune system — whether you actually enjoy doing it or not.
But, if you’re legitimately battling a case of the sniffles, should you work out? Maybe. As performance coach and exercise physiologist Pete McCall tells us, this is a time when it’s OK to skip your workout to give your body the time it needs to heal. If you can’t imagine missing your SoulCycle class, use the neck rule: If your symptoms are above the neck (sniffles, headache) you're fine sticking with your routine. Of course, use your judgement — you know your body best — and be extra-sure to wipe down any machines you use. You might also want to opt for a moderate walk instead of a high-intensity boot-camp class.
However, if the symptoms exhibit below the neck (for example, nausea), go ahead and take a few days off to recover — because nobody wants to bring a barf bag to the gym.