Mild to moderate physical activity is usually harmless when you have a cold and no fever. In order to keep your workouts safe it is recommended that you reduce the intensity and duration of the workout. If you are used to doing a 30-minute run, you may want to replace it with a jog or brisk walk for 20 minutes instead. Exercising indoors is best because the cold weather can trigger exercised induced asthma and the cold air can make it more difficult to breath.
Keep in mind, if you are an exerciser with asthma make sure you keep up on your medications and inhalers, or consult with your doctor before exercising. If you are taking any cold medications make sure to check the side effects before working out. Some cold medications have side effects such as dizziness, or drowsiness. These may be medications you want to stay away from if you are plan on exercising.
If you have a fever along with a cold, it may be best skip the workout until the fever breaks. Raising the body temperature when you already have a fever can be dangerous
Exercising when you have a cold can actually be beneficial for your body because low intensity cardio can help to clear the lungs. Exercising can also help open your nasal passages and provide some temporary relief for nasal congestion. Some studies have even show that those who work out are less likely to get colds and the flu because regular exercise can actually help to strengthen the immune system to fight off illness.
If you do decide to hit the gym with a cold keep a few pointers in mind:
- Make sure to thoroughly wipe down your equipment when you are finished to remove any germs you may have left behind.
- Remember to wipe down the surfaces where you set your towel as well.
- Washing hands and using hand sanitizer will help prevent spreading germs to others or equipment.