I am no medical doctor so my opinions are just that, with no real science behind these beliefs. I never get full blown colds, viruses, nor flus. I do get the symptoms of illness from time to time. I have written on this subject and so as not to be too repetitive, let’s just say I veer away from conventional wisdom. I never have been bed ridden for a day or two for 3 decades now, nor do i stop my running routine when i feel the symptoms of colds, flu or viruses coming on. What i do though is cut back my routine if needed, but illness in my non-medical opinion is all tied to the immune system. Fresh chili pepper works for me in my opinion as an antiseptic but it is much more than that in regards to diet, which is not a rigid one. But the discipline of running is essential . When getting congestion, running brings up the mucus and with a spit or two or more, it starts the process of ridding the stuff. This is not magic and it takes time. The more exposure to the imperfect world of germs and other impurities, the more one’s system learns to ward off disease, in my belief. I am not suggesting to drink contaminated water, I am just stating the obvious. When people get flu shots, they are injected with the flu themselves, need I say more. So build up your immune system and experiment. Many times I do the opposite, like running a little more when having a stuffy nose just to spit more mucus. So see what works for you, but I believe the immune system is the key and this is far from conventional wisdom of rest and medicine and the all dreaded antibiotics.
On to the subject of running with more serious illness: Of course you need to go the conventional route and if not, the homeopathic route if that’s your belief, but this is not my area of expertise as I have been lucky and have not been through such an unfortunate ordeal. So if you have vertigo or heart problems or had cancer etc etc, see what a progressive doctor can recommend. Maybe it will be more contrived by your doc to see what happens on a treadmill or a prescribed method of pulse taking after a well laid out run. But i do know this. I know a very good runner with a pacemaker who runs daily. I know bi-pass recoveries and seem not to affect their running in most cases after the initial recovery. Again to repeat, I do not say this as an expert, but I have witnessed folks who have run after serious illnesses, and in some cases got rid of their illness one hundred percent. I assume every serious disease requires intense medical evaluation but i ask the following:
Would you rather lay around in convalescence or take the chance of having a feeling of fighting and building back your immunities even with only half a mile a day? This is way too individualized to give pointed advice in my personal opinion, but it is surely something to reflect on.
So stay well and look at things from a different perspective. Maybe you can fight the less serious illness, or even the life threatening ones, running through more serious illness by helping your body fight back.