Can You Workout With Mono in 2024? Experts Explain

Navigate the complexities of exercising with an illness in “Can You Workout With Mono? Experts Explain,” which offers medical expertise on approaching fitness when mononucleosis is present.

Can You Workout With Mono?

Diagnosing Mono

When it comes to health, being informed is key. Your doctor will start with a physical exam checking for swollen lymph nodes, an enlarged spleen, or an inflamed liver—all classic signs of mono.

They’ll possibly order blood tests to examine your white blood cell count, which can become significantly abnormal with mono. A mono-spot test is one specific blood test that often confirms an infection, but further tests might be needed to rule out other illnesses.

Recognizing Epstein-Barr Virus Infection

The culprit behind mono is often the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), a member of the herpes virus family. The main symptoms to watch out for include intense fatigue, a fever, a sore throat that might be mistaken for strep throat or tonsillitis, and sometimes even a rash.

Young people are especially susceptible, but this virus doesn’t shy away from adults either. Remember, if you’re feeling under the weather with these symptoms, it might be more than just the common cold—infectious mononucleosis could be knocking on your door.

Safe Exercise Practices During Mono Recovery

A person with mono rests in bed while a doctor points to a list of safe exercises on the wall

While rest is the cornerstone of recovering from mono, incorporating safe physical activities is possible as you start feeling better. Mono, typically caused by the Epstein-Barr virus infection, can leave you tired with a heightened risk of splenic rupture, especially during the acute phase. Exercise is beneficial, but only when it’s low-impact and your body is ready.

  • Rest: Ensure you have your doctor’s approval before starting any exercise. Prioritize rest, especially if you experience abdominal pain or blurred vision symptoms.
  • Start Slow: Begin with activities that won’t stress your body. Walking and stretching are great starting points.
  • Low-Impact Activities: Later in recovery, consider low-impact exercises such as yoga, swimming, or using an elliptical machine.
  • Listen to Your Body: Stop immediately if any exercise causes discomfort or fatigue.

Contact Sports: Absolutely avoid contact sports like soccer, football, or basketball. Any activity that could potentially result in abdominal injury and splenic rupture is off-limits.

Importance of Rest and Hydration

Your body is fighting a viral infection, making rest and hydration non-negotiable aspects of your recovery routine.

  • Quality Sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to support your immune system.
  • Fluid Intake: Drink plenty of water and fluids rich in electrolytes to stay hydrated.
  • Coping with Fatigue: Take naps and rest whenever you feel tired.

Acetaminophen should be used to manage pain and fever, and corticosteroids in severe cases should be used under medical supervision. Always consult with your healthcare provider about any medications and their impact on your recovery and fitness regimen during mono.

Remember, no exercise is worth risking your recovery or health, so follow any restrictions your healthcare provider advises.

Preventing Mono and Its Spread

A doctor explaining how to prevent mono to a group of students

Avoiding High-Risk Activities

Avoid direct person-to-person contact that can transfer saliva, such as kissing or sharing utensils, drinks, or toothbrushes. Frequent hand washing with antibacterial soap helps safeguard against the virus, especially during the incubation period when symptoms are not yet visible.

As an athlete, remember that contact sports present a risk; you should consult your physician to determine when it’s safe to resume.

  • Do: Use individual towels, lip balms, and eating utensils.
  • Don’t: Share personal items that might carry saliva.

Consulting with Healthcare Professionals

Early dialogue with your family doctor or a physician at a healthcare office is essential for correct diagnosis and treatment. They can offer tailored advice about your recovery, including guidelines on when it’s safe to workout again.

Following mono, symptoms like fatigue can last for weeks; myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, is a rare but severe complication.

  • Ask: Clarify any questions you have regarding mono and its spread, and discuss any concerns about recovering from mono with your healthcare provider.
  • Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is an excellent source for up-to-date information on mono’s spread and prevention.


Can you lift weights with mono?

It’s not advisable to lift weights with mono due to the risk of spleen enlargement or rupture, which can be aggravated by heavy lifting.

How long after mono can you workout?

You can typically resume workouts gradually 3-4 weeks after mono symptoms subside, but always consult with a healthcare provider first.

What not to do with mono?

With mono, avoid strenuous activities, sharing drinks or utensils, and close contact with others to prevent spreading the virus.

Is it OK to go out with mono?

It’s best to avoid going out with mono until major symptoms improve to prevent spreading the infection and to allow your body to recover.

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