Best And Worst Exercises To Do When You Have A Cold

When you’re down with a cold, exercising is probably the last thing on your mind. However, in some cases, doing moderate physical activity may actually help you feel better. There is a simple way to know if exercising is going to make you feel better. If your symptoms are above the neck and involve sneezing, sinus pressure, stuffy nose, then exercising is generally considered safe. Here are the best and worst exercises to do if you have a cold. However, if at any point you feel too tired, dizzy, or nauseous, stop exercising and make sure to get ample rest.

Best Exercises

1. Walking

will stimulate you to take deep breaths

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Suffering from a cold can bring down your energy levels which is why a walk may be the perfect exercise in this condition. Just a 20-minute walk can help you reap the benefits of regular exercise. If your sinuses are blocked, walking will stimulate you to take deep breaths and can help open up the nasal passages.

2. Jogging

running can help you feel better

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Don’t start jogging if you have a cold but if you’ve been jogging regularly, don’t let the cold come in the way. If you’re a regular runner, running can help you feel better when you’re sick because running is a natural decongestant, and it can help clear your head and feel normal again. But make sure you don’t push yourself too hard since your body is already working in overdrive to help fight off infection.

3. Qi Gong

reduce stress and anxiety

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Qi gong is moving meditation and is perfect if you’re not in the mood to break some serious sweat because of your cold. It can reduce stress and anxiety, improve blood flow, and increase energy. Qi gong practitioners also have better immunity. According to a University of Virginia study, varsity swimmers who did qi gong at least once a week came down with 70 percent fewer respiratory infections that their teammates who practiced it less often.

4. Yoga

yoga and breathing exercises boost immunity

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When your body is fighting infections, it releases the stress hormone cortisol. Stress-relieving techniques such as yoga and breathing exercises may help boost immunity. Also, gentle stretching may help relieve aches and pains related to colds and sinus infections. When you’re sick, go for slower styles of yoga like Hatha.

Worst Exercises

1. Lifting Weights

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It’s definitely not a good idea to go to the gym when you have a cold. Your strength and performance will likely be diminished while you’re battling a cold, especially if you’ve not been able to sleep well. You will also be putting yourself at risk for injury. The muscle strain required to lift weights can cause sinus pressure and headaches. Plus, you might pass on the cold to someone else.

2. Team Sports

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Cold and flu viruses spread through droplets, like tears and saliva and also through hand-to-hand contact. Playing sports that involve physical contact can encourage the spread of illness. You may not even notice when you swipe your nose before throwing the ball but that’s how infections spread. So sit it out if you’re not a pro athlete.

3. Machines At The Gym

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You would not like the person next to you on the treadmill or who finishes before you on the elliptical to be sneezing and coughing and wiping their nose, would you? Germs can spread easily on machines and in the locker room, he adds, so it’s best to stay away while you’re contagious. If you can’t do without your daily workout, do some body weight exercises at home.

4. Anything Outdoors In The Cold

People blame the bug on the weather but cold weather in itself will not lower immunity or cause you to get sick. However, the cold, dry air can restrict or irritate airways, triggering a runny nose, cough, or asthma-like symptoms. If you’re sensitive to these conditions, it’s better to avoid winter activities like skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing when you’re nursing a cold.