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Should I Exercise When I Have a Cold?

The general rule of thumb is if your cold is above the neck – runny, snuffly nose, sore throat, slight nasal congestion and a few sneezes, it’s ok to partake in moderate exercise. In fact a walk or jog may make you feel better (just take your tissues).

If your symptoms are below the neck – chesty cough, fever, stomach pains, wheezing, widespread muscle aches and fatigue it’s NOT OK to exercise.

These symptoms are already stressing your body and we don’t want to stress it anymore with exercise.

If your breathing feels compromised it’s best to walk if anything, and a GP visit is a good idea whenever our breathing feels compromised.

It’s best to AVOID THE GYM whenever you are sneezing or coughing – it’s not fair to spread your germs in an environment where other people are healthy and exercising. You should perhaps avoid work for the same reason.


What even is the ‘common cold’?

The common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract, often referred to as an URTI (Upper Respiratory Tract Infection.)

Symptoms often include sneezing, a runny nose, coughing and a sore throat. Sometimes you may experience a mild fever, mild aching joints and a headache.

Is a ‘cold’ and the ‘flu’ the same?

No. The Flu is much more serious, especially for the very young and the elderly. This is why we have flu vaccines.

The flu is actually one of the inFLUenza viruses.

The World Health Organisation defines influenza as,

‘a virus that attacks mainly the upper respiratory tract – the nose, throat and bronchi and rarely also the lungs. The infection usually lasts for about a week. It is characterized by sudden onset of high fever, myalgia, headache and severe malaise, non-productive cough, sore throat, and rhinitis. Most people recover within one to two weeks without requiring any medical treatment.

In the very young, the elderly and people suffering from medical conditions such as lung diseases, diabetes, cancer, kidney or heart problems, influenza poses a serious risk. In these people, the infection may lead to severe complications of underlying diseases, pneumonia and death’

How do I prevent getting the common cold?

Science shows people who exercise or meditate not only reduce their risk of getting a cold but they also suffer for fewer days!

Regular, moderate intensity exercise improves our immunity.

So, do elite athletes get fewer colds?

Not necessarily, it is generally accepted that prolonged bouts of intensive exercise training can depress our immunity.

Why Else Should I exercise?

Regular, moderate exercise incorporated into our daily lives decreases our risk of osteoporosis, obesity, depression and anxiety, certain cancers, heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes.

Walking is also the best exercise for low back pain.

How can I get Moving More?

Simple ways we can increase our ‘steps’ and get moving are:

Walking or riding to work;

Getting off a train/tram stop earlier and walking the rest of the way;

Taking the stairs and not the lift;

Walking at lunch;

Park further away from your destination;

Meet friends for walking dates rather than coffee and cake.


If you would like to learn more about our team of practitioner’s click  here or you can book an appointment online here.

Alternatively, you can call us at the clinic on 03 9908 2844.

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