Thursday, August 9, 2012

Working out with a cold?

To workout or not workout?... that is the question.

This is me today... ok, this is me for the last 3 days. Yeah, I caught a nasty summer cold. It started in my head (sneezing, runny nose) and is also now settled in my chest (coughing).  When you get sick people always tell you "you need to rest".  Well, resting just isn't an option for my fitness regiment!  I have been to the gym the last 2 days, but while blowing my nose into my gym towel the thought goes through my head.... should I really be here right now?  Is it really ok to work out with a cold?  Is working out making my cold worse?  It definitely feels more challenging to work out with a cold and I find myself more fatigued than usual, but I never feel like exercising makes me any more sick.  To ease my mind and answer my questions, I turned to the experts at and also did some research on the topic.
Here's a summary of what I learned:
  • You can workout with a common cold (nasal congestion, sore throat)
  • You should NOT workout with severe chest congestion/cough
  • You should NOT workout with a fever
  • Listen to your body, scale back the intensity of your workout if you need to
  • Working out can actually be good for a cold... exercise boosts the immune system!
  • Intense daily workouts and exercise can lower your immunity and your body's ability to fight infection.. so if you are training hard (or in "beast-mode" as I like to call it), make sure you are getting lots of vitamin C
  • Drink LOTS of fluids
  • Sanitize! Make sure to wipe down machines thoroughly so you don't infect others
Bottom line.... you don't have to let a cold throw you off your fitness routine! :)

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