A Cold Needn’t Freeze Out Exercise

It might be the tail end of cold and flu season, but don’t consider yourself out of the woods yet. If the sniffly-sneezies get a grip on you, don’t let it put a wrench in your workout.

If you have a fever or are really weak, then by all means take a break from your workout. But if you’re experiencing less severe cold symptoms — a bit of congestion, minor cough, sneezing, or runny nose — research supports exercising. One study found no decreased lung function or exercise capacity; another reports exercise doesn’t affect the time it takes to recover.

Some tips to keep in mind:

Avoid the gym. Gym equipment is shared by so many people; it’s just considerate to avoid the possibility of spreading your cold.

Stick close to home. If you enjoy walking or jogging, alter your route to stay near home so you can get back soon if you begin to feel fatigued.

Take it down a notch. There’s no reason to have your most intense workout ever; take it a bit easier if you need to.

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