A sore throat, achy muscles and a runny nose can make you miserable, but if you still have the energy to exercise, should you? Aside from infecting everyone else at the gym, what’s the real danger?
Well, the good news is that fit people recover from illnesses quicker and experience milder symptoms than couch potatoes.
Here are a few suggestions for exercising during and after a cold or flu:
When you feel a cold or flu coming on, should you change your regular workout routine?
If you feel that you are coming down with a mild cold, you can still exercise without significant limitations. If you begin to feel worse after your workout then you should cut back and take it easy. Take a few days off or reduce your effort to 50% of your normal capacity.
Always keep in mind the above the neck rule: if your symptoms include a runny nose, dry cough or sneezing then you should be fine to exercise. But if symptoms are below the neck, such as chest congestion, muscle aches and upset stomach make sure to rest.
Always listen to your body, colds usually last for a week to 10 days but you may need 1 or 2 weeks to recover from the flu, make sure that you get the necessary rest that your body needs. If you go back too soon, you may just end up prolonging recovery phase and the long term consequences may not be worth the risk.