The Cold Dilemma…
Written by: Emma Anius
Runny nose, sore throat, watery eyes and sneezing are just some of the dreaded symptoms you experience while suffering a cold. No one enjoys being ill but it happens to all of us all at least once a year. Most colds usually come and go within a matter of days. But if your cold is hanging around for a couple of weeks it can leave you feeling unmotivated, lazy and can slow down your exercise regime.
A lot of people believe that sweating out a cold will help you feel better, contrary to popular belief exerting yourself to the point of sweating does not help get rid of a cold, it in fact does the direct opposite, staying hydrated by drinking liquids is important to helping you feeling better. That being said engaging in moderate intensity exercises won’t prolong your illness or make your symptoms worse, and exercising with a cold can even break up congestion, if you’re generally well hydrated.
Although exercise may relieve a stuffy nose it may not shorten the symptoms you have, the most important thing to do is listen to your own body. Don’t push it to do anything it is not ready for, everybody has a fitness goal but if you push yourself to reach it when your body is not able to, you risk the chances of making yourself worse.
If your symptoms are above the neck such as runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or minor sore throat, exercise is ok to engage in as long as you reduce the intensity and length of your workout. If you start feeling better as you exercise, you can gradually increase the intensity of your workout. However, if you feel yourself becoming dizzy, weak or nauseous then you should immediately stop exercising.
If your signs and symptoms are below the neck; such as chest congestion, hacking cough or upset stomach exercise is not advised, also try to stay away from working out if you have a fever or are experiencing fatigue.
Your body fights infection via the immune system and although research studies show that a moderate fitness program can helps boost the immune system, lessening the chances of you falling ill with a cold or flu. Stressing the immune system by working out when suffering the flu will cause it to not work as efficiently therefore potentially worsening or prolonging the cold.
Ensure you give your body enough time to recover before you return to exercise after a serious illness like the flu. If you begin to exercise before your body has fully healed and you may actually send yourself into a relapse of the illness, which will further slows your return to everyday activities.
Remember if you do choose to exercise when you’re sick; reduce the intensity and length of your workout. If you attempt to exercise at your normal intensity when you have more than a simple cold, you could risk more serious injury or illness.
Looking after your body is the key to healthy living.
If you have no time to exercise or don’t know where to begin:
Side lunge x 10, squat thrusts x 15, plank x 30 sec, push ups x 10, side raise x 10
Side lunge x 15, squat thrusts x 25, plank x 60 sec, push ups x 20, side raise x 20
- For help with the exercises go to www.facebook.com/cyanfitness and view the photos.
Note: Emma Anius is a Personal Trainer for Cyan Fitness promoting a ‘healthy life and a better you.’