Should I Workout While I Have a Cold

Monday December 16, 2013

According to Dr. Richard Besser, author of “Tell Me the Truth, Doctor: Easy-to-Understand Answers to Your Most Confusing and Critical Health Questions,” the answer may actually be YES.

Besser says to follow the “neck rule.” Symptoms above the neck, including sneezing and sinus pressure, generally allow for one to safely break a sweat. As a personal trainer I recommend that my clients listen to their body and understand that they may be able to continue working out, with limitations. In my opinion you can still have a successful workout despite having a cold. Important considerations include hydration, level of rest, and susceptibility to further sickness.

Besser suggests that some of your best options for exercise with a cold include walking, jogging, and yoga.  Walking can provide the benefits of exercise without causing detrimental effects to your energy level and overall recovery. Besser states that “running is a natural decongestant, and it can help you clear your head and feel normal again.” On the other hand, if running is not part of your regular workout routine, it may be best to wait until the feelings of sickness have passed.

While there is no definite answer to this question, one should consider many factors before exercising while sick. Additionally, it should also be noted that exercising in a gym while sick could put others at risk as well.