Can exercise worsen common cold?

Fact Checked

Various symptoms can be linked with the common cold such as nasal congestion, runny nose, headache, sneezing, muscle aches and sore throat. Most of these symptoms vanish in a few days and are not serious.

For some individuals, they are wondering if exercising with a cold is possible or not harmful in any way. Even today, there is no indication that exercise can aggravate common cold. An individual can exercise even if he/she has common cold as long as the following guidelines are taken into consideration.

No deterioration of the symptoms or illness

An individual who exercises with common cold will not negatively affect the duration or severity of the condition. In a study conducted, it was discovered that the common cold symptoms remained the same between those who exercised and those who were able to get enough rest. In addition, exercise has no whatsoever effect on the recovery time.

Common-cold
In case the symptoms are above the neck such as runny nose, nasal congestion, minor sore throat or sneezing, exercise is allowed.

Exercising during illness

When exercising with common cold, the individual should use his/her body as a guide. If the individual starts to feel miserable, try to skip exercise or reduce the intensity of the workout. Mild to moderate exercise is allowed if the individual has common cold without fever, but follow the above and below neck guidelines.

In case the symptoms are above the neck such as runny nose, nasal congestion, minor sore throat or sneezing, exercise is allowed. The individual should not exercise if there are symptoms below the neck such as stomach upset or chest congestion. In addition, avoid exercise if the individual has fever or generalized muscle aches.

Spread of germs

Even though the individual feels well enough to resume his/her workout routine while having a cold, it is vital to bear in mind that he/she can spread germs especially when working out in the gym. Remember that germs are spread by sneezing, coughing as well as those that linger on the hands after blowing the nose.

If the individual works out in the gym, he/she must wipe all equipment in contact with and try to cough or sneeze into the interior of the forearm or elbow instead of the hands. Always wash hands as often as possible and bring along a hand sanitizer to minimize the spread of the germs.

Secondary health issues

Common cold can trigger symptoms of asthma in some individuals. A cold can also lead to bronchitis, ear infections and pneumonia. The individual should get enough rest especially those who are prone to develop other conditions as well as complications from common cold.

If an individual is eager to resume his/her exercise routine even if the symptoms of common cold have not fully subsided, it is best to consult a doctor first. If possible, it is still best to take some time off any activity to allow the body to rest.

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