Should You Train BJJ When You Are Sick?

Should you do BJJ when sick

I am often asked by my students if they should still train when they are sick. Whether they have a common cold, the flu, or a stomach bug, I give them the same answer.

You should not train BJJ when you are sick. It is a bad idea since the close contact you have with your teammates provides a high chance of you spreading the infection.

Moreover, with an already weak immune system, it increases your chances of contracting other diseases and viruses.

This article will explore the factors you should consider before deciding whether to exercise or not when sick.

It will also look at other similar questions that include the risks of training when ill, what to do when not in practice, and how to ease your way back to training after taking a sick break.

Respect Your Training Partners

While it is common for people to fake illnesses to get a free day from work, BJJ is the absolute opposite. Some people do not allow getting sick to hold them back from attending a training session.

The love for the sport may be commendable, but you pose serious health risks to yourself and others if you opt to train still when sick. So be a good teammate and stay away from the mats if you are feeling sick.

Though the goal is for you and your teammates to get as much mat time as possible, in the long run, training when sick can lead to less overall mat time for you and your teammates.

The last thing you want to do is spread an illness to a teammate. This is especially true if they are preparing for a BJJ tournament.

When Are You Too Sick To Train BJJ?

Straining your body when sick only hurts you more than helps. The best thing you can do is to get better as soon as possible and get back to BJJ sooner. When you are truly sick just stay home and rest.

A minor cold may not be a serious enough ailment to stop you from training. Taking part in some mild exercises may be gratifying to your body since it helps boost your immunity. You may end up feeling better when you perform some light exercises rather than completely stopping.

You only need to decrease your intensity and avoid going past your body limit. However, you must consider all other participants since infections, like a cold, can spread very rapidly once you come in contact with other people.

Should You Train BJJ When You Have A Fever?

Like any other sport, it is best not to work out if you feel under the weather or have a fever. When struggling with a cold, you should get more rest to allow your body enough time to heal from the stress of high-energy training exercises.

Depending on your illness, taking part in BJJ training can make it harder for your immune system to fight back, reducing your recovery speed. The best option you can make is choosing to rest until you fully recover.

It would help if you did not beat yourself up for taking time off from your BJJ training. Instead, focus on letting your body heal since it is the most important.

If you have the flu, it may take about three to five days to beat the symptoms, including chills, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Taking part in any physical exercise may increase the time it takes for the symptoms to taper off.

Health Risks Of Training BJJ When Sick

As you train during periods when your body is fighting an infection, your immune system suffers from the kickbacks. First, when your body starts to exhibit symptoms, it means that the virus causing the condition is already in your bloodstream.

As you train while sick, your body pumps the same blood to your body muscles. Moreover, your metabolism rate increases to levels the body cannot fulfill since much energy is spent fighting the virus in your body.

Therefore, your immune system becomes exhausted, exposing your body to more infections on top of the viral infection you have. When it gets even more serious, you may become even sicker and require even more time to recover.

The health risks do not only fall on you alone. Viral infections spread very quickly, depending on their strength and several other external factors. Due to the close contact of BJJ training, it, therefore, becomes a high-risk problem that can affect the members of your training facility.

The worst-case scenario is endangering everyone in your class to the infection you are carrying. To make matters worse, you are not only exposing the members of your BJJ academy to the illness but also their family members too.

When Should You Resume BJJ After Being Sick?

You should only resume training when your body is strong enough to train again, and you are free from any contagious infections. There is no specific recovery time frame since it varies depending on the type of illness and your immune system.

However, it is best to consult a physician who can advise you on the best time to return to training. If you want to avoid any problems, it is best to return to practice when you are no longer sick.

It takes common colds about one week to completely disappear. If you have a cold or flu, you may start spreading the disease a day before the symptoms occur and continue for about a week.

However, if you have a cold, you can quickly resolve the problem within seven days without the need for any medical assistance. On the other hand, flu is a serious infection that can lead to bronchitis or sinusitis, which can last for a whole two weeks.

The best course of action to take is to stay home away from everyone until the temperature subsides on its own. If you do not take immediate action once the cough symptoms develop, they can last for several more weeks, placing you in danger of spreading the infection.

Remember that training BJJ should resume only when the symptoms have disappeared. Rather than making the matter worse and increasing the time it takes to recover, you should take some necessary time out and focus on rebuilding your health.

Won’t Missing Class Hurt My Progression?

When sick, you will likely get forced to leave your BJJ academy and take some time from training. While the timeframe of recovery may be different for various people, your progression will not slow down from missing a few days or weeks of training.

Moreover, the few days you are out of training can be beneficial to the body and mind since you get the chance to rest and recover after a series of serious exercises. It may feel like you probably will never catch up with the others if you miss one class.

However, you can easily catch up since the BJJ concepts you may miss out on often get re-taught. Your teammates and instructor can also offer you much help if you ask them to recap what was taught when you were not present.

What To Do When You’re Too Sick To Train BJJ

Nobody ever wants to get sick when training since it can interfere with their daily routine. The moment you get sick, you may have to pause your regular practice.

But even with enough care, sometimes we cannot control how our bodies react to the environment around us. So, what are some of the activities that you can do when forced out of training?

Take A Rest

You may not like it at first, but your body also requires rest if you want to make a full recovery from your illness. You can make matters worse if you choose to exercise prematurely.

Instead of focusing your thoughts only on improving on Jiu-Jitsu, you also need to think about how you can take good care of your body. With that in mind, you can use the time not exercising to sleep more and eat more healthy meals.

Watch BJJ Videos Online

One thing you can do is invest in some BJJ instructionals or watch some free videos on youtube. You can check out my YouTube channel William Tackett to get some free tips. Or check out my free jiu-jitsu instructionals and community!

It can be surprising how much you can learn just from watching free content online. This could be a good time to focus on something you have been wanting to improve on.

Practice Light Drilling

It may not be exciting to sit around without doing anything the whole day. Your muscles may also ache for some exercises. You can, therefore, spare some time to perform light drills on your own.

The intensity of the routines should be soft enough for your body to accept. You can make friends with a grappling dummy and use it as your training partner during the period you are not actively training.

Though you cannot compare a dummy to a live partner, it can help you refresh your muscle memory and allow your body to get back to shape.

Perform Light Unrelated Exercises

If your body is still not in shape to take on regular drills, you can always perform some light exercise. You can start with anything as simple as walking or even yoga. Anything physical can work provided it allows you to stretch your muscles.

Ease Back to Training BJJ

The type of illness you have may impact your likelihood of easing back into training with the same intensity you had before you became sick. If you only had a cold or a minor illness, you are highly likely to resume practice with a high intensity quickly.

However, if you had the flu or any other serious illness, the time it takes to recover can have a toll on your body. Therefore, regaining the intensity and vigor you once had can take some time.

When you feel ill, drink a lot of hot fluids, rest, and seek comfort from over-the-counter medications to help with the symptoms. You should gradually return to training at a recovery pace until all the symptoms have disappeared.

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