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When It's Healthy to Skip Your Workout

Exercise won’t make your cramps worse, but it could increase your bounce-back time from a cold. Robert Mazzeo, Ph.D., a professor of integrative physiology at the University of Colorado at Boulder, weighs in on when to sit it out and when to get moving.

>If you have the sniffles…dial down the intensity

“You have less energy when you’re fighting a bug,” says Mazzeo. “Work at an easier level.”

> When you’re congested and achy...take a day off

“Your body is already working overtime to help you recover. Overexerting yourself with exercise will just make it tougher to get better.”

> If you have the worst cramps ever...work out

“Any activity that improves blood flow to the pelvic region can help ease the pain.” Try yoga, walking, or biking, or hop on the elliptical.

> When you’re exhausted...rest up

“If you’re sleep-deprived, exercise may increase the production of stress hormones that suppress your immune system.” Push hard tomorrow instead.

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