Exercising During The Cold & Flu Season
A cough, an ache, a fever... is it still okay to workout to keep up with that pressing resolution that this year is your year to get fit?
Things have been going great for those New Years resolutions: you've eaten right, even re-upped your gym membership and bonus, even showed up to work out throughout the work week. Then like all things this comes to an end when you wake one morning to discover you're not feeling the greatest. A cough, an ache, a fever... is it still okay to workout to keep up with that pressing resolution that this year is your year to get fit?
A lot of people often wonder, especially in the height of cold and flu season, when is it still okay to keep up with their exercise regimen and what are the absolute lines your body is telling you not to cross. Below we have listed some sure fire ways to discern if that run will still be an okay effort and also some tips for getting in a solid workout even if you are feeling a bit under the weather.
1.) A Fever
Everyone has a fairly similar range of basal body temperature, usually in the range of 97 to low 99 is the average. But anything above that? Time to get some rest. If you are experiencing a fever over 101, sit this one out and resist the temptation to raise your internal temps any more than they already are.
2.) Bronchial Tightness
Every cardio addict out there knows, you have to be able to breathe and breathe well in order to get in a solid workout. If you have a tightness in your bronchial passages, it's probably a good idea to wait until the head cold or otherwise has passed. Testing your respiratory system, that is already taxed, is not a good idea.
3.) Neck Check
Generally speaking, if your symptoms are above the neck: sore throat (provided it's not gone on more than 24 hours), slight nasal congestion, sneezing, teary eyes it should be okay. Below the neck: coughing (productive or otherwise), fatigue, muscle aches, chills, fever better wait and rest.
4.) Symptom Severity
If you can take an over the counter medication and get rid of that sniffle your workout should be just fine to proceed. But if you are seeking out a doctor and a prescription for antibiotics, and can't get your head off your pillow? Better wait a couple of days.
5.) Listen To Your Body
A lot of those who love to exercise, can feel even worse when they skip out on those important workouts. But, listen to what your body is telling you. If you can't get in a solid 3.1 run, try to walk instead. If you are missing your cross train day in the weight room try Pilates, Yoga or Floor Barre to really get a nice relaxing stretch into your muscles. If your body is asking you for a break, give it one.
This time of year is an exciting start to many things. A jumpstart on fitness is always something we can appreciate, but not at the expense of your overall health. If you find yourself battling a cold or flu contact your health provider to make sure you are in good hands. And best of luck on those resolutions!