Should you Exercise with a Cold?

Should you Exercise with a Cold?
by George Ponting | November 20, 2012

There is absolutely no shortage of all the possible excuses one can come up with, when not in the mood to exercise. However, what is one to do when they actually feel that exercising may not be the brightest of idea's – yes, what is one to do when they have fallen prey to a cold? Well, studies indicate that if you listen to your body, it will tell you exactly whether you can exercise during a cold or not, in addition to how much you should exercise. Broadly speaking, exercising during a fever is not harmful and sometimes may even help you feel better and heal quicker.

Listen To Your Body:

It is important to identify the symptoms your cold contains and assessing the position and strength of your body according to that. If you are feeling severely feverish and have aching muscles, it is common sense to take a break from working out for a few days. Apart from that, here are some other pointers that you can follow.

  • If your flu symptoms are above the neck, you can carry on working out. These include sore throat, a runny nose, coughing or nasal congestion. The intensity of the workout may be decreased if you are feeling run down but exercise in this case actually helps. This is because it brings about dilation in your air passageways and blood vessels which help in overcoming congestion.
  • If the symptoms originate below the neck, you should avoid working out. Examples of such symptoms are an upset stomach and hacking cough. Exercise may aggravate these symptoms and therefore it should be avoided.

Research:

About a decade ago, there were some studies carried out on this topic when Thomas Weidner, a trainer at Ball State University wanted to know if his athletes could keep training while they had flu. The study involved a large group of men and women who had a cold. The symptoms were registered as was the time that they took to recover. These people were made to exercise daily while there was a control group who didn’t exercise. Results found that there was no difference in the recovery of those who exercised and those who didn’t, in fact some people felt better after working out.

Prevent Your Cold With Exercise?

Exercise is generally essential in keeping your body healthy, toned and functioning well while at the same time helping you feel full of life and vitality. Exercising on an everyday basis also helps prevent chronic illnesses.  This is because the regular workout keeps fresh blood pumping all around your body which helps boost your immune system and thus keeps you away from all kinds of illnesses like the common cold. Exercise has been known to jump start the immune system. This occurs primarily because it helps increase the number and strength of what are known as natural killer cells. When these increase, the chances of you getting flu go down. A study in the American Journal of Medicine reported that women who walked half an hour every day caught half the number of colds as compared to those who didn’t exercise.

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About the Author - George Ponting

George Ponting remains up-to-date with General Fitness! From a young age, he has been extremely keen on and passionate about learning about the best ways to remain fit. George is full of tips, advice and suggestions in the field of fitness! Stay tuned to our General Fitness Section to receive the hottest Fitness information

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