With it being cold and flu season there is a lot of misinformation about when it is and when it isn’t safe to workout. Sometimes working out with a cold can make you feel better because it can open your nasal passages. If you aren’t sure whether to hit the gym or not, follow these general rules of thumb to help you make the decision. Also, as a gym courtesy, be sure to wipe down any equipment you may have touched during your workout to ensure others remain healthy.
WHEN NOT TO WORKOUT:
If you have a fever
If your symptoms are below the neck (hacking cough, chest congestion, or an upset stomach)
If you have body aches or fatigue
WHEN TO STOP YOUR WORKOUT:
If you become dizzy, lightheaded, or have a loss of balance
If you find your chest tightening
If you are having trouble breathing
WHEN IT IS OK TO WORKOUT:
If your symptoms are above the neck (stuffy or runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or a minor sore throat)
There are a few things to consider when working out while under the weather. The first is that decongestants and other cold medicines can affect your heart rate and make your heart race. The second is to be aware of how you feel. If what you are doing makes you feel worse then you should stop. Finally, remember to decrease your intensity and possibly shorten your duration of your workout. However, with that being said, remember that working out regularly reduces the number of colds you get because it increases your body’s immune system. The best way to feel better from a cold is to never get one!