Ease up on workouts to aid flu recovery, expert says

January 9, 2014
Ease up on workouts to aid flu recovery, expert says
Intense exercise will stress the immune system even more.

(HealthDay)—Exercising when you have a cold or the flu can cause more harm than good in some cases, an expert warns.

U.S. health officials recently reported widespread flu activity in 25 states.

"Depending on where a person experiences symptoms of illness can make or break his or her workout and recovery," Karin Richards, acting chair of the kinesiology department at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, said in a university news release.

"For instance, those who experience above-the-neck symptoms such as stuffy noses and sneezing are generally fine to continue their ," she explained. "However, those with symptoms below the neck, such as a fever, nausea and muscle aches, are urged to stay in bed and recover."

If you have the flu, you need to avoid and stay home from fitness centers so that you don't spread the virus to others, she said. If you have minor , you can still exercise but should lower the intensity of your regular workout. For example, if you typically run, switch to walking, she suggested.

"There is a fine line between a minor cold and the flu, and it's important for individuals to stay in tune with their bodies," Richards said. "A person's body is stressed when fighting the infection, so placing additional stress through only suppresses the immune system even more."

Exercise at home or outdoors until your symptoms disappear. If you do go to the gym, avoid sneezing and coughing on workout equipment, she noted.

Sometimes, yoga and gentle stretches can make you feel better and relieve congestion and pressure, said Richards.

Although halting your while you're sick may seem like a major setback, most people are able to return to their workout routines fairly quickly once they've fully recovered, she added.

"Of course, individuals are encouraged to seek the advice of their or a health care professional if they have any questions regarding continuation or resumption of their exercise routine if they are sick," Richards said.

Explore further: Got the flu? Rest first, exercise later, experts say

More information: The American Academy of Family Physicians has more about colds and the flu.

Related Stories

Got the flu? Rest first, exercise later, experts say

January 22, 2013
(HealthDay)—Although regular exercise has been linked to a strong immune system, people with flu symptoms, such as fever, extreme tiredness, muscle aches and swollen lymph glands, should avoid physical exertion while sick ...

Tips on exercising, or not, when you are sick

November 8, 2012
Stuffy noses, hacking coughs and aches all over—cold and flu season has arrived. Though your body may be aching and your nose running like a faucet, it can be difficult to decide if you should continue your exercise routine ...

Tips for safe winter workouts

December 22, 2013
(HealthDay)—If you exercise outdoors during the winter, be sure to do so safely, an expert says.

Cold and flu sufferers should ease back into fitness routine

February 20, 2013
(HealthDay)—Although physical activity can help boost your immune system, people who are sick should tone down their workout or skip it altogether, experts advise.

With flu season here, docs offer tips to stay healthy

November 1, 2013
(HealthDay)—With another flu season fast approaching, those in the know offer ways to guard against infection or deal with the flu if your efforts fail.

Vigorous workouts give more bang for buck

November 15, 2013
A one hour high-intensity workout provides the same fitness benefits as 50 hours of walking, a major Flinders University study has found.

Recommended for you

Number of older people with four or more diseases will double by 2035, say researchers

January 23, 2018
A study published today in Age and Ageing, the scientific journal of the British Geriatrics Society, reports that the number of older people diagnosed with four or more diseases will double between 2015 and 2035. A third ...

Placental accumulation of flame retardant chemical alters serotonin production in rats

January 22, 2018
A North Carolina State University-led research team has shown a connection between exposure to a widely used flame retardant chemical mixture and disruption of normal placental function in rats, leading to altered production ...

Marijuana use does not lower chances of getting pregnant

January 22, 2018
Marijuana use—by either men or women—does not appear to lower a couple's chances of getting pregnant, according to a new study led by Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researchers.

Women run faster after taking newly developed supplement, study finds

January 19, 2018
A new study found that women who took a specially prepared blend of minerals and nutrients for a month saw their 3-mile run times drop by almost a minute.

Americans are getting more sleep

January 19, 2018
Although more than one in three Americans still don't get enough sleep, a new analysis shows first signs of success in the fight for more shut eye. According to data from 181,335 respondents aged 15 and older who participated ...

Wine is good for you—to a point

January 18, 2018
The Mediterranean diet has become synonymous with healthy eating, but there's one thing in it that stands out: It's cool to drink wine.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.