Return to sport after a flu

During the winter, viruses find an environment particularly conducive to their spread! Influenza, gastroenteritis, or rhino-pharyngitis viruses are particularly active.

A good part of the population suffers these infections, and even if the physical activity increases the immune efficiency, the sportsmen have also entitled to their lot of winter pathology.

When the infection is there, the consequences are twofold for athletes since the pathology forces rest and puts the body « flat ». In the end, much of the effort in upstream training can be lost, especially if the stopping is very prolonged.


There is no miracle method for suppressing winter virus-induced diseases, however it is possible to limit the risks with a few simple measures.

Basic measures have an important role in terms of prevention: regular washing of hands, avoiding public places confined during epidemic periods, etc.

Nutrition is a good way of prevention. It is especially important to avoid « clogging » the body with toxic and / or useless food: alcohol, sweets … etc. As such, it should be noted that end-of-year festive meals have a negative impact on the digestive tract and predispose to the appearance of various pathologies. To strengthen immunity, nothing replaces a good cure of probiotics to strengthen the intestinal flora. Do not hesitate to take a cure of ginseng or eleutherococcus during the winter. These « adaptogens » will help the body fight viral infections, especially if the training is intensive. Always favor products of good quality, richer in active substance (ginsenosides).

In addition, cooling often acts as the triggering factor, therefore it is particularly important to adopt a suitable attire during and especially after training. We will take special care to keep warm feet, and the head.

In terms of training, do not overload during times of epidemic or weaken the immune system and increase the risk of getting sick.


Fever is the symptom that translates the infection. When it is too high, you should not hesitate to use paracetamol or ibuprofen to reduce the fever.

Anyway, do not hesitate to use the advice of your doctor, if the symptoms are important and especially persistent (fever, headache, cough, sore throat … etc), because the viral pathology can quickly turn into bacterial pathology. 

Only in this case should the use of antibiotics be considered. If this is the case, increase your consumption of yeast beer or yogurt rich in lactic ferments. Indeed, these foods are rich in pre-biotic substances and will help restore the intestinal flora that has been destroyed by the action of antibiotics.

In the case of recurrent pathologies, it may be interesting to carry out a dental, osteopathic or micronutritional check-up to make sure that the source of the problems is not related to an additional problem: dental infection, food allergy, or vertebral displacement (fruit of an old fall by bike for example).

Resumption of training

The resumption of training is essentially conditioned by the evolution of symptoms. One thing is certain, the recovery must be extremely progressive or it will relapse.

In addition, it is vital not to engage in high-intensity training too early (especially if fever is present) or else cause irreversible cardiac damage (myocarditis).

In the case where the symptoms are not associated with any fever (ENT, digestive …), it is possible to continue to talk, taking care not to aggravate things, so we will limit ourselves to short sessions , little intensive.

It is traditional to count a number of training days equal to twice the number of days off, before returning to its state of pre-illness form: it will take two weeks of training to return to the original form following a stop of a week.

Finally, keep in mind that losing a little time in the convalescence phase can save a lot of time in the end.

So patience, patience!






Recovery program following a 7-day stoppage

J1: 30 min home-trainer without forcing

D2: rest

J3: 45 min home-trainer without forcing

D4: rest

J5: 1h bike outside (well covered) staying in endurance

J6: rest

J7: 1h30 bike outdoors well covered (well covered) staying in endurance

From J8 resumption of the usual training …

Jean-Baptiste WIROTH
Doctor of Sport Sciences, PhD
Founder of the WTS coach network (

The expert answers you:
« Is it good to ride when you’re feverish? « 

The answer is binary.
If the fever is high (> 38 ° C), do not force it under pain of damaging your heart (myocarditis). Rest and wait for it to resume cycling.

If the fever is moderate (<38 ° C) it may be good to sweat a little on your home-trainer. You can roll 20 to 30min without forcing to evacuate the toxins. Remember to hydrate yourself …




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