When you catch a cold, skipping your workout until you feel fully fit for the groove again makes the most sense. But if you think breaking your perfect exercise streak will leave you in the dumps, Brooks Running has a word of advice for you. Keep reading to discover whether it's possible to power through or if it's better to take a break and give your body the rest it needs.
How do you decide if it is safe to exercise with a cold?
Remember "the neck rule" to determine if exercising with a cold is okay for you. If you are experiencing mild symptoms above the neck, getting in your cushioned shoes and breaking a sweat is mostly all right. You can browse our range of running shoes for men and women online. These mild symptoms include:
- Runny nose
- Sinus pressure
- Stuffy nose
- Sore throat
But, anything below the neck suggests a more severe infection, indicating the need to allow your body to rest and recover. It includes symptoms such as:
- Body pain
- Wet cough
- Chest tightness
What are the best and worst exercises when you have a cold?
Are your symptoms above your neck? Excellent, you got your ticket to exercise. But don't be in a hurry to wear your cushioned shoes and kickstart your usual exercise routine. According to your schedule, it may be a 10k run day or a powerlifting day at the gym. However, when battling a cold, cutting back on intense and lengthy workouts is ideal. Instead, you can switch to low to moderate activities. We have some ideas:
- Go for a brisk walk or a light jog for 20 mins. Focus on taking deep breaths during your workout, which can help clear the congestion.
- Perform relaxing yoga stretches. Some poses, such as standing forward bend, downward dog, camel pose, legs up the wall, bridge pose, and child's pose, can help relieve cold symptoms.
- Do Tai Chi or Qi gong. The slow, mindful movements can promote relaxation, blood circulation, and energy levels.
- Engage in low-impact strength training exercises.
Remember to avoid sprinting, distance running, high-intensity interval training, heavy resistance training, weightlifting, power yoga, and anything else that can make you tired and uncomfortable.
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Here are a few more tips to remember before you sweat it out
Now that you know it is possible to exercise with a cold, Brooks Running has some more key caveats for you:
- Listen to your body: While the neck rule is an excellent guideline, you should still decide whether to exercise based on your feelings.
- Stick to at-home workouts: Strictly avoid the gym, yoga class, and other group workouts to avoid spreading your germs to others.
- Consider the weather conditions: If you plan to venture outdoors in your favorite cushioned shoes, ensure the temperatures are comfortable enough for your situation. Wet and cold weather during monsoons and winters can worsen your cold symptoms.
- Don't set new goals: Working out involves pushing your limits, but not when sick. So no aiming for personal bests, trying out a new exercise, or increasing those reps.
Above all, prioritize recovery!
Remember, your health is above everything else. Yes, even your exercise routine. You do not have to feel guilty for taking a break from the drills when you're under the weather. In fact, resting will help your body channel the energies to fight off the germs and help you recover faster. But if you absolutely cannot resist working out even with a cold, remember to take it easy!
Before you get back on track, you may want to check if your workout gear needs an upgrade! Brooks Running offers complete activewear ranging from apparel and accessories to running shoes for men and women.