When cold-season comes around, the age-old question tends to pop up: Is exercising while you’re sick really such a good idea?
It’s a tough question to answer and really depends a lot on how you handle being under the weather. Typically it’s best to abide by the following distinctions:
If you have COLD symptoms
If it feels like you have those generic, run of the mill cold-like symptoms that are above the neck (dry, scratchy or sore throat; runny nose; congestion; sneezing; sinus headache; coughing) then mild or moderate activity is typically fine – in fact it’s encouraged in order to get your body to open the nasal passages and clear out some of the build-up.
Just be sure to reduce the intensity of the workout and stop if you start to feel worse. Take a break for a few days if you need to as you may end up wiping yourself out and lowering your body’s ability to fight off the cold if you go too hard too quickly.
If you have FLU symptoms
If the sickness is more flu-like with the majority of symptoms being below the neck (hacking cough; upset stomach; chest congestion; fever; fatigue or muscle aches) then you probably don’t want to exercise at all. Let your body recuperate before asking it to hop back onto that treadmill belt.
*Remember, these are just guidelines – let your body be your guide. If you only have a cold but still feel miserable then give your aching body a break. Gradually get back into it as you start feeling better and be sure to wipe down all your equipment!