With winter here, it is that time of the year for the cold and flu season. Getting sick and taking time off of training / exercise can be a real setback for anyone who has put in the hard work throughout the year in achieving their fitness goals.
The question often arises, ‘how do I know if training will make me even more sick’? A general rule is the “neck check”. If you have symptoms in the head or throat, it should be ok to do light / moderate intensity exercise. If the symptoms are below the neck, it is best to rest.
Following the neck check rule, you can exercise when suffering from:
- Runny / stuffy nose
- Watery eyes
- Mild headache
- Mild sore throat
It is important to remember that you need to keep the intensity to moderate. Do not try and attempt a record weight or perform reps to fatigue. Stay hydrated and ensure adequate rest after exercise.
Avoid exercising when suffering from these below the neck symptoms:
- Chest congestion
- Coughing up mucus
- Joint/muscular aches
The benefit of exercising throughout the winter months – it helps to prevent respiratory infections. A 2012 study from Barret et al, found that moderate aerobic exercise of 30-45 minutes duration can half the risk for respiratory infections. Examples of exercises can be walking, running or cycling. So one of the best preventative techniques for avoiding the cold/flu this winter is to get moving!
- Meditation or Exercise for Preventing Acute Respiratory Infection: A Randomized Controlled Trial. Barrett et al. Ann Fam MedJuly/August 2012 10 no. 4 337-346
Mitchell Roberts – Chiropractor