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

Calcium and Vitamin D supplements are not associated with risk of heart attacks

February 16, 2018
New research from the University of Southampton has found no association between the use of calcium or vitamin D supplementation and cardiovascular events such as heart attacks.

Study shows options to decrease risk of motor vehicle crashes for adolescent drivers

February 16, 2018
Adolescents who receive comprehensive and challenging on-road driving assessments prior to taking the license test might be protected from future motor vehicle crashes, according to a University of Alabama at Birmingham study ...

Being a single dad can shorten your life: study

February 15, 2018
The risk of dying prematurely more than doubles for single fathers compared to single mothers or paired-up dads, according to a study of Canadian families published Thursday.

Keeping an eye on the entire ageing process

February 15, 2018
Medical researchers often only focus on a single disease. As older people often suffer from multiple diseases at the same time, however, we need to rethink this approach, writes Ralph Müller.

Study suggests possible link between highly processed foods and cancer

February 14, 2018
A study published by The BMJ today reports a possible association between intake of highly processed ("ultra-processed") food in the diet and cancer.

Gov't says health costs to keep growing faster than economy

February 14, 2018
U.S. health care spending will keep growing faster than the overall economy in the foreseeable future, squeezing public insurance programs and employers who provide coverage, the government said Wednesday.

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.