We all get sick from time to time. But should you be working out when feeling under the weather?

At Belmars, our policy requires sick students to take time off from the gym until their symptoms have abated. Although it can be tempting to not break an exercise routine, pushing your body beyond its limits can actually be counterproductive to your recovery.

If you’re uncertain of whether you’re in the best condition to work out, please keep the following guidelines in mind:

Consider your symptoms. A simple case of light sniffles is generally harmless—but if you’re feeling congested in your chest and lungs, sneezing and coughing up phlegm, running a temperature, having feverish body aches, feeling nauseous, or showing other symptoms that indicate substantial illness, your body is telling you something. Which brings us to the next point…

Listen to your body. If you're feeling ill, don't try to "tough it out" and work though your sickness. Your energy levels will be low, and overexerting your body may actually hinder your recovery. For your own benefit, allow your body to regain its health; this way, you can get the most out of your workouts. Don’t be impatient and rush back into an exercise regimen before you’ve recuperated. Although taking time off can be frustrating, remember: your body needs time to heal, and the gym will still be here when you’re ready.

Respect your fellow student. Keep in mind that in a gym that uses shared equipment such as pads, weights, and gloves, working out with an illness means the likelihood of transmitting your symptoms to other students at the facility. If you’re not feeling well, ask yourself: would you want to work out with or near someone in your own condition? Show consideration for your classmates by resting and recovering before returning for exercise in a group setting.