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Can You Exercise with Shingles?

Can You Exercise with Shingles?


You should NOT exercise with shingles.

More Info: Due to the fact that common symptoms of shingles, other than the rash, are dizziness, weakness, and headache, exercise and other strenuous activity should be delayed until medication has been started and the rash beings to heal. Sweating and other stress on the body puts you at risk for dehydration and further lowering of the immune system, which needs to fight the virus.

What Is Shingles?

Shingles, also known as Herpes Zoster is a painful skin rash caused by the varicella zoster virus, which is present in the body after you have had chickenpox. Stress, a compromised immune system, and various medications can cause shingles to develop, though there is no definitive way to predict if an outbreak will occur. Shingles is treated by anti-viral medications and recently, the shingles vaccine became available to adults over 50 years old.

Other Reasons to Avoid Exercising During a Shingles Outbreak

Shingles is contagious to those who have not yet had chickenpox, and small children and pregnant women are at greater risk of complications if they are exposed. Being in close proximity to others, such as in a dance studio or gym, puts both others at risk of contracting chickenpox, and increases the chance of picking up another virus that could further compromise your immune system. Solitary exercise still runs the risk of physically stressing your body that is trying to heal, and of irritating the rash (which can be anywhere on the body) and causing the blisters to open prematurely.




“MedHelp – Health community, health information, medical questions, and medical apps.” MedHelp – Health community, health information, medical questions, and medical apps. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <>.

“WebMD – Better information. Better health..” WebMD – Better information. Better health.. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Oct. 2012. <>.


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