Cold Tips: Should You Exercise When You’re Sick?
Search "cold remedies" online, and more than 35 million results pop up. But it turns out that one of the most effective ways to beat the sniffles is also the simplest: Get moving! According to a recent study published in the Annals of Family Medicine, people who walk for 40 minutes a day take half as many sick days as their sedentary counterparts. That's because exercise bolsters the immune system, which helps you fight off viruses, say experts.
But when you finally succumb to those sneezes and coughs, is it smarter to soldier on or toss in the sweat towel? To help you decide, here's what the experts have to say about staying healthy:
Cold tip No. 1: Do a neck check.
But if you just have a head cold (runny nose, sneezing and a sore throat) and you've been fever-free for 24 hours, go ahead and exercise if you feel up for it. But dial down the intensity: Instead of your usual run or group cycling class, opt for yoga or a restorative walk. And stash a few tissues in your pocket in case you need to wipe your nose mid-workout.
Cold tip No. 2: Wipe down the gym equipment.
Also wash your hands thoroughly before and afterwards, and make a conscious effort to avoid touching your face during your workout.
Cold tip No. 3: Ease back into your routine.
A smarter move: Start out with moderate workouts to give your body a chance to readjust. If you begin to feel worn down or tired again, stay home to fully recuperate – it could be exactly what the doctor ordered.
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