If you’re taking antibiotics for any reason, doctors suggest that you stop sporting activities for the duration – and take a break afterwards too. But just how long should you wait to be active again?
Heribert Brueck, a cardiologist and specialist for internal medicine, says ceasing such activities helps the healing process. “The drug is effective when treating the germs, but the body uses up a lot of energy to handle the inflammation,” he says. Exercise robs the body of the strength it needs to handle all this, according to Brueck.
In fact, rest is necessary even after completing the course of the drug, he says. The length of time you need to heal depends on the illness you had. If you suffered from a urinary tract infection, for example, ease back gently into exercise two to three days after you’ve finished taking the drugs, says Brueck.
But if you were taking antibiotics to treat pneumonia or purulent tonsillitis, for example, then “I would be more careful,” says Brueck. If you’ve had a fever, the rule of thumb is for each day you had a high temperature, take a day off from sporting activities.
That applies to taking antibiotics too: After completing the course of medicine, for each day you took the drug, take a day off sports.
That means if you took antibiotics for a week, you should wait another week afterwards before starting to exercise again. Brueck adds that it’s really important to start back very gently, rather than dive right back in at the level of sport you were doing before.
The body needs time to regain its strength after such bacterial diseases, he says.