Does Exercising With a Cold Make it Worse?

Does Exercising With a Cold Make it Worse?

Head cold? Scale back a bit. Hacking cough? Wait until you’re better to hit the track.

You’re hacking and sneezing and stuffing as many tissues into your pockets as possible: cold season has hit. It’s enough to make you stay in bed longer and stock up on orange juice and chicken soup.

It’s wise to get some rest and easy up until you feel better but sometimes you just feel like breaking free and doing it: hitting the gym or running that loop in the woods. Exercise can be a great way to relax. When you’re suffering from a stuffy nose though, is it a good idea to indulge?

The doctors at the Mayo Clinic have this bit of advice: if your symptoms are above the neck, going for that bike ride is OK. If you’re stuck with chest congestion or those dreaded muscle aches, take a break.

Related: This is the Best Way to Fend Off a Cold

What does this mean in detail? If you’ve fallen prey to a common cold with a runny nose and a stuffy head, jogging around the block could help you feel better in the moment. It can loosen up the mucous and clear your nose for some temporary relief.

If you have a fever though, you’re body likely needs to rest and use all its available energy to help you fight off those invaders. Exercising when you are seriously sick could result in injury or make your illness worse.

For those who are accustomed to a heavy daily workout, it can be hard to scale things back. Just remember though, what feels like a step forward now, could actually take you two steps back. Rest up and get better.

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