Wondering whether one should continue exercising with a cold? Read on, to learn how to continue working out, and when to stop working out when affected by a cold.
An average adult suffers from two or three upper respiratory infections each year. While suffering from a common cold or cough infection, one often wonders if he/she must continue exercising. Many health experts say that exercising with a head cold is okay, however, if you are showing extreme symptoms like fever then you should discontinue exercising. Here are some reasons why one should continue working out when affected by a cold.
Why One Should Continue Exercising?
Helps Improve Immunity
Exercise helps boost immunity and it is usually safe to exercise when affected by a cold. Continuing your workout can help you breathe better. A research confirms that moderate exercise can help to increase immunity and resistance against common respiratory infections. However, athletes who push their physical activity with intense workouts without sufficient recovery might actually decrease their immunity.
Habit of Skipping a Program
Discontinuing your workout when affected by a common cold can become a habit. Also, this can make you skip an exercise program, and thus your aim of joining the exercise program will not be achieved.
No Symptoms Difference
A small study with a group showed that while working out with a head cold, the group performed normal physical activity and had the same stamina. The subjects were later on asked about their symptoms and physical activity, the investigators found no difference in the symptoms and there was no difference in time which took them to recover from the cold.
Why Should One Discontinue Working Out?
If you are using medications like nasal decongestants which increase your heart rate, then the combination of exercise and decongestants can pump your heart very hard. This might lead to shortness of breath and one can have difficulty while breathing.
People with asthma condition, while exercising with a cold can however get symptoms like coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. Such symptoms might require to use more than asthma medication to open the airways, use of more medication can lead to increased heart rate.
More Than a Head Cold
If you have more than head cold symptoms, which means the infection has spread to your throat or your lungs; then you should discontinue working out. In such cases, it is better that you listen to your body and rest instead of working out while suffering from a cold.
When to Seek Medical Help
If you continue exercising and show symptoms like increased chest congestion, difficulty with balance, difficulty catching your breath, lightheadedness or dizziness, coughing or wheezing, trouble breathing or excessive shortness of breath, or chest tightness or pressure, then contact your doctor.
Additional Tips to Recover Faster
To recover fast eat a well-balanced diet. Especially, eat foods rich in vitamin C, as it greatly helps to fight and prevent colds. Drink plenty of water when working out to keep your body hydrated. To recover faster, get enough rest. To prevent catching cold or other infections, wash your hands frequently, this is the best prevention against many common infections.
These were the reasons which is why one should continue exercising, and some situations in which one should avoid working out while suffering from a cold or flu. Also, remember the situation when you need to seek medical help, to prevent any complications.
Disclaimer: This FitnessVigil article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.