Ahh, cold and flu season: that wonderful time of year when the only thing that seems to be running is your nose. I myself have been dealing with congestion and coughing in the last week. Coming down with the common cold, however, doesn’t mean you have to resign yourself to your couch or bed until the sniffles stop. Evidence shows that it is safe for someone with the common cold to work out. (Source)
Not sure if you should hit the trails or not? Here are a few general rules of thumb to follow.
Green Light on Work Out:
- You want to and have the energy
- Your symptoms are relatively mild (i.e. a runny nose)
- No fever
Red Light on Working Out:
- You have a fever
- You are coughing excessively and have difficulty breathing
- You have body aches
- You have flu symptoms (i.e. vomiting, diarrhea)
- You have additional health issues that require medical attention (i.e. heart disease, asthma)
These are rules that I generally follow for working out with a cold. Remember, I am NOT a doctor: if you have any major concerns, please consult yours. As always, listen to your body. Unfortunately, there is no way to “sweat out” your cold. The best cure is to get plenty of rest and stay hydrated. Consider saving the high intensity workouts for when you’re feeling 100%. I spent two days on the bike rather than the treadmill, and I was able to pick right back up on my training routine today. Exercising hasn’t helped me get over the cold faster, but it has helped me feel better by relieving some of the congestion.
If you decide to hit the gym, remember to wash your hands frequently and take extra care to clean any equipment you use. Consider keeping a bottle of hand sanitizer with you (I’m a big fan of Bath and Body Works
pocket-size sanitizers, I have one in every bag).
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