Can I exercise if I have a cold or the flu?
By Michael Castleman for Live Right Live Well
It's not a good idea. When you have the flu -- marked by sudden fever,
muscle aches and physical collapse -- there's no way you can exercise.
You simply don't have the energy. Plus, it's never a good idea to work
out when you have a fever. So don't try to exercise, advises Pamela
Rockwell, D.O., a clinical assistant professor in the department of
family medicine at the University of Michigan. In fact, don't exercise
for a week or maybe longer. Wait until your temperature has returned to
normal, your muscle aches have subsided and you feel well on your way
to recovery. Then start with light workouts. If you usually run three
miles, start with walking for 20 minutes. If you usually do a
strenuous, hour-long workout at the gym, start with a light workout for
20 minutes. As you feel yourself returning to normal energy and
stamina, slowly increase your workouts until you can comfortably return
to your pre-flu routine.
Colds, on the other hand, rarely cause
fever or muscle ache. It's often possible to exercise when you have a
cold -- but it's still not a good idea, says David C. Nieman, Dr.P.H.,
director of health promotion at Appalachian State University, in Boone,
N.C., and a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. Even
though the common cold is a "minor" illness, it still takes
considerable effort for the body to combat the infection. That's why
colds cause fatigue. So while you may not need to climb into bed, it's
still prudent to take it easy for a few days until you feel your energy
returning. Feel free to take walks or engage in light stretching. But
don't push yourself. As you begin to feel better, slowly return to your
usual exercise program.
To feature this article:
- please select all code below (Ctrl. + A)
- copy to your clipboard (Ctrl. + C) and
- paste (Ctrl. + V) into your website