Can You Workout If You Have a Cold?
- Understanding the Cold
- Working Out with a Cold
- Types of Exercise to Avoid
- Types of Exercise to Do
- Tips for Working Out with a Cold
Read this before your next workout: can you workout if you have a cold? We consulted experts to get the best answer.
Understanding the Cold
When you have a cold, one of the most important things to understand is what a cold is and what the effects are. A cold is an infectious illness caused by a virus, which is spread by contact with an infected person or an object that has been touched by an infected person. Symptoms of a cold can include a runny nose, sore throat, coughing, and a headache. Knowing the signs and effects of a cold can help you decide if it is okay to exercise or not.
What is a cold?
A common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract caused by a variety of different viruses, including rhinoviruses, coronaviruses and adenoviruses. It usually begins with a sore throat, followed by nasal congestion, coughing and sneezing. Other symptoms may include low-grade fever, headache, body aches and general fatigue. Colds are most common in autumn and winter months but can occur at any time throughout the year. Most people recover from colds without treatment within 3-7 days; however, in some cases symptoms can last 2 weeks or more.
Although cold viruses are spread through droplets that are released into the air when someone coughs or sneezes, they can also be spread through contact with contaminated surfaces or objects. The virus typically enters the body through either the nose or mouth; therefore, it is important to wash your hands well to prevent infection. Additionally, good hygiene practices such as avoiding close contact with infected people and avoiding touching your eyes or nose may help reduce the spread of colds.
How long does a cold last?
The average cold will last anywhere from 4 to 10 days, and can vary depending on your age and underlying health conditions. While mild cold symptoms may resolve in as little as 4 to 7 days, more severe colds can take up to two weeks or longer to fully recover from.
It’s important to note that cold symptoms can be experienced differently from person to person — some people might only experience a sore throat for one day, while others might battle a runny nose for the entire duration of their illness.
Most adults will experience two to three colds each year, although this number can go up if your immunity is compromised or if you don’t practice good hygiene (for example, not washing your hands or not getting adequate rest). On average, children will have between 6–8 colds each year due to their still-developing immune system.
It’s important that you take the time necessary for recovery when experiencing any kind of viral infection like a cold; although over-the-counter medications may provide temporary relief, they cannot reduce the length of time it takes for the virus‚ and its symptoms‚to completely clear up.
Working Out with a Cold
Working out with a cold can be a difficult but necessary decision. If you have a cold and are thinking of exercising, there are a few things you need to consider. Exercise can help you to loose and build muscle, but it can also be detrimental to your health if you have a cold. Let’s explore the potential benefits and risks of working out with a cold.
What are the risks of working out with a cold?
Working out with a cold involves certain risks to your health and can worsen the symptoms of your illness. If you develop any new signs and symptoms, you should immediately stop exercising and seek medical attention.
It is an indisputable fact that physical activity can build and strengthen your cardiovascular system, but when the body is unwell it is not recommended to exercise. This is due to the increased stress put on the body while exercising which can put additional strain on a weakened immune system already fighting against an infection. Experts suggest that when you are ill, it’s best to rest, take in extra fluids, get plenty of sleep and consume nutritious meals in order to give your body time to heal itself.
Some common signs that indicate you should not work out with a cold include: high fever, severe aches or pains (especially in the chest or abdomen), heavy nasal discharge that does not clear itself up after five days, coughing up phlegm or blood, exhaustion or feeling “flushed” during exercise. You should also reschedule any planned workouts if you have recently been vaccinated for a virus (for example flu shots).
In addition to the increased risk of developing more serious complications from physical exertion while already battling an illness, working out with a cold can also take away from future performance by forcing unduly harsh recovery periods afterward. Since viruses may continue floored in our bodies even after we think we have conquered them, taking preventive measure like ceasing physical activities while under its burden can help ensure stamina remains unhindered weeks down the line when real progress needs to be made.
Is it safe to workout with a cold?
Staying active when you’re feeling under the weather can be tricky. It’s not uncommon to reach for the treadmill with a stuffy nose or sore throat, but it’s important to know when to hold back or risk exacerbating your condition.
First and foremost, if you have a fever, chest congestion, shortness of breath, or any other symptoms that suggest more than just a cold virus, you should avoid exercise until you feel better. This also applies if your symptoms are severe enough that they interfere with regular daily activities.
If your cold does not seem so severe, then it is usually safe to do some low-impact activities such as walking or yoga at a very low intensity. Listening to your body and stopping immediately if you start feeling worse is very important in this situation. During workouts (or any physical activity), pay close attention to how much effort you are having to put into each exercise and how long it takes for the effort to pay off in terms of fatigue. If sticking with a usual level of effort leaves you exhausted after only 10 minutes, this could be an indication that exercising may not be advisable for now.
If however, your energy levels and performance remain relatively unchanged from what would usually be expected of yourself then it is possible that working out can provide some relief from certain symptoms related with respiratory illnesses such as postnasal drip and occasional coughing fits; though this should only take place without aggravation of current issues i.e abdominal pain or dizziness etc. Ultimately, if in doubt at any step along the way it is best practice both medically and personally to rest until all signs of illness have completely subsided before starting up any sort of physical activity whatsoever again.”
Types of Exercise to Avoid
Colds and other minor illnesses can greatly affect your energy levels and make it harder to complete a workout. Knowing which type of exercise to avoid when you’re feeling under the weather can help ensure you don’t make your illness worse. Keep reading to find out more about the kinds of exercises to avoid when you have a cold.
High-intensity exercises should be avoided when you have a cold due to the stress they put on your body. Examples of high-intensity workouts include sprinting, HIIT, weight lifting, bootcamp-style classes, and CrossFit. Doing these exercises when you have a cold can make your symptoms worse and slow down your recovery time. Plus, they can be dangerous if you’re not feeling well due to the increased risk of fainting or passing out from lack of oxygen and fluid loss.
Low- to moderate-intensity exercises like walking, light jogging, yoga, stretching and Pilates can be safer for some people with colds as long as their symptoms are mild and their energy level is not significantly impacted. It’s important to pay attention to your body’s signals so that you stop working out if it starts feeling more difficult than usual or you start experiencing more intense symptoms during exercise. Listening to your body is essential for avoiding injury when doing physical activity while ill.
Contact sports, such as football, rugby, soccer and basketball require close contact or physical contact with other players. If you have a cold or upper respiratory tract symptoms, it is best to avoid these types of sports. This is because your risk of secondary bacterial infection from being in close contact with other people increases. In addition, the increased physical exertion associated with contact sports may worsen the symptoms associated with a cold.
It is recommended that you take at least one to two weeks off from contact sports once you start experiencing cold symptoms. However, if competition rules mandate that you participate in a game or match during this time period, such as in professional sport teams, then extra precaution must be taken to avoid further spreading the virus among members of the team and opponents. This may include wearing facemasks during practice and games.
Types of Exercise to Do
Exercise is an important part of staying healthy and fit. But when you’re feeling under the weather, it can be hard to know what types of exercise are safe and beneficial for you. Generally, you should avoid strenuous exercise if you have a cold, but there are still some types of exercise that you can do while feeling a bit under the weather. Let’s go over the types of exercise you can do while having a cold.
Low-intensity exercises are the safest type of exercise to do while you are battling a cold. Low-intensity exercises help you maintain a healthy immune system and keep your muscles loose. Low-intensity exercises include:
These types of exercise involve gentle movements, such as extending and contracting your muscles, which can help reduce the severity of common cold symptoms such as congestion or muscle ache. Low-impact exercises involve minimal physical exertion and therefore don’t put a strain on your heart or lungs, meaning that they can be performed safely even when you’re experiencing mild cold symptoms.
Yoga and stretching
Yoga and stretching are two types of exercises that can help you stay in shape, regardless of whether or not you are feeling under the weather. Yoga helps to improve cardiovascular health, flexibility, posture enhancement and increased body awareness. Additionally, it can help improve mental clarity and relaxation as well as reduce stress. Because yoga requires focusing on deep breaths while your body stays in various positions, it is an excellent exercise for those who have a cold and need to take it easy.
Stretching offers many of the same benefits as yoga with less intensity due to the controlled movements that you perform when holding each pose for a few seconds before transitioning. Stretching includes dynamic stretching or active stretches that gradually move into each new pose slowly, as well as static stretching which involves moving seamlessly into each stretch continuously even with smaller movements involved. Stretching’s goal is to increase flexibility by lengthening muscle fibers while improving relaxation and posture correction. Both yoga and stretching are beneficial forms of exercise that are suitable for those with colds who must take special care not to overstress their bodies too much when going through their fitness routines.
Tips for Working Out with a Cold
Working out with a cold can be risky. Depending on the severity of your cold and the type of exercise you are doing, it could worsen your symptoms and even lead to more serious problems. However, there can be many benefits to exercising if you have a cold, as well. Before starting any exercise routine when you are sick, it is important to follow a few tips to make sure you don’t make your condition worse. This article will cover some tips for working out with a cold.
Listen to your body
When it comes to working out with a cold, it’s important to listen to your body and be mindful of how you are feeling. Working out when you are sick can lead to further complicating your health, injury, or worsening of symptoms. Therefore, it is important that you make sure that you take it easy and assess your fitness level before engaging in physical activity.
If you have a low-grade cold or the aches and pains of a cold have not worsened in 24 hours, moving your body is an effective way to boost energy and increase immunity levels. Exercise has been shown to stimulate circulation which potentially can reduce the severity and amount of time spent dealing with the symptoms of a cold. However, if your cold symptoms worsen during exercise or afterwards this is an indication that your workout may be too much for your body at this time so take care when continuing any type of physical activity while recuperating from illness.
Ultimately, exercising while experiencing the early stages of a cold may help clear congestion without any real harm. However, if you are deeply fatigued or weakened by intense chills or headaches then it is inappropriate for someone who currently has a cold to engage in strenuous exercise until their symptoms have cleared up entirely—it would be wise for them seek medical advice in such cases.
Drinking plenty of fluids is key when exercising with a cold. Dehydration has been found to increase mucous production, thus making congestion and other cold symptoms worse; staying hydrated, in turn, can reduce these symptoms. If you experience any of the following signs, it may be time to take a break from exercise and sip on some extra fluids: headache, feeling of discomfort or fatigue in the muscles.
It is important to stick to water while working out with a cold; caffeinated and sugary drinks can dry out your nasal passages and worsen any congestion you may have. If you feel yourself succumbing too quickly to exhaustion during workouts or want additional electrolytes for sustained hydration replenishment, try drinking sports drinks or coconut water. Also consider having an oral rehydration solution at home so you can easily replenish lost electrolytes!
Take time to rest
When your body is fighting off a cold, it needs rest in order to heal itself. Before attempting to continue with your usual workout routine, take time to assess the severity of your symptoms. If you’re running a fever, feeling dizzy or shaking uncontrollably, then you need more than rest — talk to a medical professional.
The goal should be more of taking extra care for yourself rather than continuing with an intense workout. Your body will benefit from gentle activities like walking and stretching. Consider light exercise on a regular basis that is easily managed within the confines of your home or local park. If you do feel up to hitting the gym, then take it slow and stick to low-impact exercises such as yoga or Pilates for better energy management until you can make a full recovery.
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