Should You Train If You Have a Cold?

should you workout if you have a cold

Should You Train If You Have a Cold?

Many people like to work out no matter what. Sometimes you may be injured, but you push through. You may feel bad, yet you still keep it going. Once you get the fitness itch, it is hard not to scratch it. Still, sometimes resilience (or should we say stubbornness) can be a double-edged sword. Given now cold weather is at the doorstep, colds have become commonplace. Should you exercise when you have a cold? Let’s find out!

Use Common Sense

This doesn’t sound like the fitness advice you would expect, but it is extremely important yet absolutely overlooked. We all get from time to time that gut feeling that we may be doing something wrong. If you get that, listen to it. Our intuition is wiser than expected. One thing is mild discomfort, and another thing is to feel rundown plain and simple. If you are not feeling it, skip the workout, get some rest, and go train on another day when you feel better.

Is It Above or Below the Neck?

As the Mayo Clinic suggests, you can engage in “mild to moderate physical activity” while having a cold as long as you don’t have symptoms consistent with fever.

Something worthy of being pointed out is that if all of your symptoms are located above the neck area, you should take it easy. This means that if you only have a runny nose and a sore throat, you might consider very light movement. Provided you feel adverse symptoms such as fever or fatigue, that is a sign of a rather complex situation. If the latter is the case scenario, skip training.

One caveat, though. Given the current context of coronavirus we live in, if you feel any of the symptoms mentioned above, it is a good idea to get tested as a matter of safety.

Things to Consider

On a side note, if you decide to train, there are some aspects to regard. Not foregoing training does not equal not making any adjustments.

When you feel bad, one of the first things to adjust is the intensity. You can’t expect to maintain a high pace at the same time your body is fighting off pathogens. Be aware of your effort outputs and adjust your intensity for the day. Here are some types of workouts you should steer clear from:

  • Heavy weight training
  • HIIT training
  • Arduous, continuous training (i.e., long-distance running at high paces)

Here are some low-intensity workout ideas instead:

  • Light walk 
  • Very light resistance training
  • Elliptical machine(slow)
  • Rowing machine (slow)
  • Cycling(slow)
  • Stretching/mobility exercises

Another thing to have in mind is your water level intake, as you may have to increase the amounts of liquid consumption. When you have a runny nose, extra fluids are being expelled from your body, and if you sweat without refilling your body, you can become dehydrated.

As long as you bear these pointers, you are in for a safe training session.

Get Your Workout On!

With a cold, or without one, it is always a good idea to receive proper personal training counseling. To get help from the best personal trainer and health coach in California and nutrition coach in Orange County, contact us today.