Should you exercise with a cold?

Is it worth it?

The frustration felt when you feel a cold coming on can be so debilitating, especially if you just got into the habit of your perfect workout routine.

No one can listen to what your body is telling you better than yourself. Let your body be your guide. However, there is one pretty staple rule to use as guidance: the above and below the neck guide.


Above the Neck

Exercise is usually okay if your symptoms are all "above the neck." These signs and symptoms include those you may experience with a common cold, such as a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or a minor sore throat.

Consider reducing the intensity and length of your workout. Instead of going for a run, take a walk, or instead of weights do yoga instead.

 Below the Neck

Don't exercise if your signs and symptoms are "below the neck," such as chest congestion, a hacking cough or upset stomach.

Don't exercise if you have a fever, fatigue or widespread muscle aches.


Headaches, runny nose and sore throat- just to list some of the usual symptoms of the common cold, can be reduced to help you achieve a more efficient workout! Oil of Wild Oregano has been traditionally used to relieve and reduce symptoms of the common cold and flu. Think of it almost like a cold & flu "pre-workout"!

Hydration is key! Even when you are not under the weather make sure you get the recommended 2L per day!

"Make sure you are well hydrated. If you are dehydrated, symptoms could intensify when working out. Whether you decide to rest or work out, make sure you hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!"

-Traci Gonzales, APRN, PNP-C, AE-C

Research has shown that when someone has a cold virus, it is generally safe to exercise, says Leah Mooshil Durst, MD, an internist at NorthShore University HealthSystem.

There is no difference in how the body responds to exercising when it is fighting a cold virus. Some of the participants in a study even said they felt better from their exercise session in spite of their colds, however this did not help them get better faster.

However it is important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. Make sure that you take proper care to help yourself overcome the cold.

“Sweating does not help get rid of a cold, rest and staying hydrated by drinking liquids are important in helping you get better.”

-Dr. Catherine Liu, MD

If you ever have doubts always consult your healthcare practitioner.
If you have an underlying medical condition such as asthma, heart disease, or other medical illnesses, you should check with your doctor first, as exercise may worsen an underlying medical problem. 

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