Do or don’t: exercising with a cold?

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Oh yes! It’s that time of the year again: tissues, nasal sprays and a lot of tea are currently our best friends. And I have a cold as well. It feels like my body is producing snot at a record time, but is it an excuse to skip my workout? There’s an easy way to know if you’re sick enough to skip a workout or not. 

If you’re sick but still want to work out, ask yourself one question: are your symptoms above or below the neck?


Symptoms above the neck

If your symptoms are above the neck, think: sore throat, a stuffy nose or sneezing of a common cold, you can continue light activity. 

Don’t push your body and forget about the marathon you have planned to run tomorrow, but if your energy level feels good enough, you can head to the gym, try a mild jog or jump on your bike. Just dial back the intensity of your workout. 

Tip: if you’re able to go to the gym: think about your fellow gym-goers! Make sure to wash your hands, wipe off your equipment after use and try to sneeze or cough into your shoulder or elbow instead of your hand to reduce the risk op spreading germs. 

It’s only cold when you’re standing still


Symptoms below the neck

If your symptoms are below the neck, think: nausea, vomiting, coughing, shortness of breath, or do you have a fever or joint aches, well, forget about that workout!

It’s a sign your body gives you that it’s fighting an infection. Our body needs energy to fight it and it’s not a good idea to put all that energy in exercising. It can also put you at risk for dizziness, dehydration or even passing out. 

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Which workout is the best? 

The type of exercise you perform while sick isn’t that important, the intensity however, is! If you normally do sprints: try jogging instead. If it’s gym-time, dial back on your weight, do more reps and make sure to take longer rest breaks than usual between sets. Skip the group workouts and do a solo session, this way you won’t spread germs by sneezing in a crowded class. 

So, only symptoms above the neck? No excuse! Stop being a pussy, put on your favorite sportswear and bring lots of tissues.

I will skip my workout the next couple of days, because when I cough, I sound like a horny polar bear.

But I’ll be back, pinky promise!

This article has been written by @NASRIENCNOPS

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