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You will probably experience times when you are unable to perform your exercise program due to illness or personal changes. When this occurs, you may require a return visit to your physician for re-evaluation or referral to a formal rehabilitation program to re-establish safe performance levels. 

The basic rules of thumb for exercising during an illness or infection are as follows:

  • When you are seriously ill, a very low level of activity may be all that is appropriate. This would include self-care, sitting in a chair for meals, and minimal walking.
  • When you have had a recent hospitalization or setback, restart your exercise program slowly and increase the pace and resistance as it is defined as safe by your physician or therapist. Recent evidence suggests that an early return to your exercise program can be beneficial to your recovery.
  • When you are experiencing unusual symptoms, decrease your intensity of exercise. Call your doctor and wait to increase the intensity until it is defined as safe to progress.

YES: Safe to exercise

I feel tired.
I feel shaky.
I have a headache.
I am coming down from a steroid burst.
I am having a bad day.
I have a headache.
I am too busy.
I am bored and feeling lazy today.

NO: Not safe to exercise

I feel nauseated.
I am experiencing leg pain that I cannot explain. 
I am experiencing chest pain.
I am out of oxygen.
I have a fever or strep throat.