Being sick can halt your daily routine, but should the common cold keep you from being active? When it comes to muscling through your illness, exercise can be a double-edged sword.
When you’re not sick, exercise can help keep illness away. Aerobic activity, such as running and weight training, increases white blood cell activity and boosts the immune system. But some doctors warn that exercising after flu-like symptoms appear may increase the severity and duration of the illness.
When Should I Throw in the Towel?
- When you have a fever. Increased heart rate and body temperature are your body’s way of telling you to rest. The less activity the better when you feel feverish, nauseated or abnormally fatigued.
- When you are getting over the flu. Feeling better doesn’t mean the infection is gone, and exercising too soon may invite the illness back. The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports recommends waiting two to four weeks after severe flu symptoms subside before hitting the gym.
- When you are training for an event. Athletes should avoid intense weight and endurance training during a cold. Such exercise can lead to an upper respiratory tract infection or a more serious condition such as post-viral fatigue syndrome—a debilitating state of exhaustion that can last for months.
When Can I Lace Up?
If you are experiencing a “neck-up cold”—head cold symptoms without a fever—some aerobic activity is OK. Try light to moderate exercise such as brisk walking or yoga. As symptoms decrease, increase the duration of the exercise, but stop if symptoms worsen.
Is it a cold or the flu? Not sure? Immediate Care of Paintsville and Immediate Care of Magoffin County are here to help. Our clinics are open extended and weekend hours. So when you need convenient, walk-in medical attention without an appointment, come see us.
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