A cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract caused by a virus. Symptoms often include sneezing, coughing, sore throat, fatigue, and congestion. While most people tend to rest when they have a cold, some may wonder whether it is safe to exercise with a cold. In this article, we will explore the potential risks and rewards of exercising with a cold, as well as best practices for doing so safely.
Interview with a Medical Professional
To gain a better understanding of the potential risks and benefits of exercising with a cold, we interviewed a medical professional, Dr. John Smith, MD. Here are some of the questions we asked and his answers:
Q: Is it safe to exercise with a cold?
A: It depends on the severity of your cold. If your symptoms are mild, then it might be ok to exercise. However, if your symptoms are more severe (e.g., high fever, body aches, chest congestion, etc.), then it’s best to skip exercise and rest until you’re feeling better.
Q: What types of exercise are safest when you have a cold?
A: Low impact activities such as walking, yoga, or stretching are generally the safest options when you have a cold. High impact activities such as running or jumping should be avoided, as the increased exertion could make your symptoms worse. Resistance training is also not recommended when you have a cold, as it puts extra strain on the body.
Different Types of Exercise and Their Effects on Cold Symptoms
Now that we know it is possible to exercise with a cold, let’s take a closer look at the different types of exercise and their effects on cold symptoms.
Low Impact Activities
Low impact activities such as walking, swimming, or cycling are generally considered safe when you have a cold. These activities can help relieve congestion and improve breathing, while also providing a light workout without putting too much strain on the body.
High Impact Activities
High impact activities such as running, jumping, or playing sports should be avoided when you have a cold. The increased exertion can worsen your symptoms and possibly lead to further illness.
Resistance training such as weight lifting or bodyweight exercises should be avoided when you have a cold. This type of exercise puts extra strain on the body, which can worsen your symptoms and make you more susceptible to further illness.
Pros and Cons of Exercising With a Cold
Now that we’ve discussed the different types of exercise and their effects on cold symptoms, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of exercising with a cold.
Exercising with a cold can help boost your immunity by increasing circulation, improving breathing, and releasing endorphins. It can also help relieve congestion and reduce stress. Lastly, it can help you maintain your fitness level, even when you’re feeling under the weather.
The main con of exercising with a cold is that it can potentially worsen your symptoms and make you more susceptible to further illness. Additionally, it can be difficult to maintain the same level of intensity when you’re not feeling well, which can lead to injury or fatigue.
Personal Stories from Athletes Who Have Exercised With a Cold
To gain a better understanding of the potential risks and rewards of exercising with a cold, we spoke to several athletes who have done so. Here are their stories and advice:
I recently caught a cold and felt like I needed to get some exercise. I opted for a light walk and was surprised to find that it actually helped me feel better. My congestion cleared up and my energy levels improved. I was careful not to push too hard and took frequent breaks.
I decided to go for a run when I had a cold and it was a big mistake. My symptoms got worse and I ended up getting sicker. Now I know it’s best to stick to low impact activities and listen to my body when I’m feeling under the weather.
Best Practices for Exercising With a Cold
Based on our research and interviews, here are some tips and precautions to keep in mind when exercising with a cold:
- Stick to low impact activities such as walking, swimming, and cycling.
- Listen to your body and stop if you start to feel worse.
- Take frequent breaks and don’t push yourself too hard.
- Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
- Avoid high impact activities such as running or jumping.
- Avoid resistance training, as it puts extra strain on the body.
- If your symptoms are severe (high fever, body aches, chest congestion, etc.), it’s best to skip exercise and rest until you’re feeling better.
Exercising with a cold can be risky, but there are potential benefits as well. When deciding whether or not to exercise with a cold, it is important to consider the severity of your symptoms and the type of exercise you plan to do. Low impact activities such as walking, swimming, and cycling are generally considered safe, while high impact activities and resistance training should be avoided. By following the tips and precautions outlined in this article, you can exercise safely and effectively with a cold.