Exercising With Cold and Flu Symptoms

Making an exercise routine part of your daily routine can help to ensure that you keep going back to the gym. Under normal circumstances, an exercise routine can be easy to keep up, but what happens when you get sick with the flu or a similar common illness? If breaking the established workout habit is out of the question, then what are the safety concerns and limitations to consider?

A workout routine performed while a person is sick is still possible depending on the severity and the areas affected by the illness. It goes without question that the workout routine will need to be toned down to match the body’s diminished capability. In most cases, breaking a sweat can help improve your condition.

The Golden Rule for Working Out While Sick

health helpThe simple rule to remember is if you have anything above the neck, such as a blocked nose, sneezing and sinus pressure, then having a mild to moderate workout is safe. If your symptoms are things such as stomach pains, a lung infection or joint pains, then exercise should be avoided until your body feels better. The standard period of infection for most flu viruses is 10 days before it can be deemed safe to exercise again. For four days after starting an exercise routine again, the workout should be no more than 75% of your normal workout routine.

Mild Exercises for a Mild Flu

If your symptoms are above the neck and you decide to push through the symptoms and have a workout, then here are some mild exercises to consider so that you don’t push your body too far. If, however, your body warns you that the exercise is too much or any below-the-neck symptoms occur, then you should stop the workout immediately.

Walking and Jogging: For people suffering from a head cold, walking and jogging (if jogging was part of your standard routine) can oftentimes help clear the congestion felt in the nasal passages. Walking and jogging aren’t too strenuous for the body and it is reported by regular joggers to help their symptoms. The time spent and intensity of the workout should be reduced by up to 50% to ensure that the body can cope.

Yoga and Dancing: When people suffer from colds and flu symptoms, a hormone called cortisol is released which can cause additional stress to the body. Studies show that stress reducing activities such as yoga or dancing can help to relieve this stress. Additionally, breathing techniques can help to reduce sinus congestion. The word "Om" repeatedly hummed is suggested to help alleviate sinus congestion. Music naturally reduces stress levels and is therefore useful in reducing cortisol levels in the body.

Routines to Avoid During Illness

Generally, if you have contracted flu symptoms, you’ll want to avoid spreading it to fellow gym members. No one likes being sick, and stopping the spread of flu by not using gym equipment that other people use can help.

Heavy lifting and endurance activities should be avoided until your body’s strength returns. It can put unnecessary strain on your muscles which aren’t running at optimal efficiency while sick. Putting too much stress on your body can make cold and flu symptoms worse.

Naturally, if would be best to check with your doctor regarding exercise during any type of sickness.

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