Can you exercise when you have a cold?

By March 22, 2021

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It’s a nuisance to have a common cold, and sometimes you may have to miss work or school for a few days. But should it keep you from exercising? After all, you don’t feel amazing as usual, but you’re not completely down-and-out, either.

For the most part, it’s best to have a good rest when you aren’t feeling the best, while at other times, it is fine to work out with a cold, provided, of course, that you feel up for it.

When can you exercise with a cold?

Basically, whether you could work out when you have a cold follows the “neck rule”. That is to say, if your symptoms are above your neck, you are safe to work out. If the symptoms are below the neck, you’d better not exercise. For example, if you have a runny nose, nasal congestion, or sore throat, you’re OK to work out.

What exercises are better than others, then?

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However, being permitted to exercise based on the “neck rule” doesn’t mean you could do your most intense exercise routine like cardio and strength training. Besides, it’s not a good idea to go with heavyweights, but lighter weights should be fine. The ideal workouts for you with a cold include:

  • 1, Light jogging
  • 2, Low-intensity walk
  • 3, Exercise bike
  • 4, Elliptical
  • 5, Light resistance training

What exercises should be avoided?

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On the other hand, you shouldn’t do any exercise if you have symptoms below the neck. They include a cough, shortness of breath, body aches, general chest congestion, and a fever. Being sick makes you tired more than usual, and exercising will only add another stress to you. That is especially true when you have a fever. Your body is already warmer than it should be, and exercising will only further increase your temperature.

The worst workouts to do when you have these symptoms:

  • HIIT
  • Rigorous or long runs
  • Heavy resistance training

How to safely work out with a cold

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All in all, if you just have a cold and want to get moving, your home would be the best place, where the risk of getting worse symptoms is lower and you won’t spread germs to other people. You could also exercise outside, but if you suffer from allergies in addition to having a cold, you’d better not. The most important principle: if you feel uncomfortable any time, just call it a day.

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