Should I Exercise If I Have A Cold Or The Flu?

Dr. Bernstein answers the question: 'Can I Exercise If I Have A Cold or Flu?'

ByLisa Bernstein, M.D., Assistant Professor of Medicine, Emory University
September 25, 2008, 9:18 AM

— -- Question: Should I exercise if I have a cold or the flu?

Answer: Oftentimes when we have a cold or the flu, we're a little too tired or our energy level is so low that we have no desire to exercise. However, if you'd like to and you're feeling up to it, it's perfectly fine. The big thing to remember is to stay hydrated and to make sure that you don't get overheated or that you tire yourself out so much that you feel terrible afterwards.

The other thing to also remember is that if you're going to go to a common gym or share gym equipment, even at home with your family members, you have the potential of transmitting any of these viruses that cause the common cold to anyone else who's using that equipment.

The viruses are transmitted through sneezing or coughing and also through hand-to-hand transmission.

So if you sneeze and then touch a piece of equipment and someone else comes and does so, and you haven't wiped it off, you are potentially going to cause a chain reaction and give that person a cold ultimately in the next few days.

So it's very important to remember that while there's no problem for you to exercise, keep in mind your neighbors and make sure that you don't give anybody else your cold.

Next: What Is A Cold, What Is The Flu -- And How Do They Differ?

Previous: When I Have A Cold, Are There Certain Foods That Might Help Me Feel Better Sooner?

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