Level 1: Elementary
Exercise helps to keep us in good health. Doctors at the American Heart Association suggest getting at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week.Many people have an exercise routine. They exercise for a few minutes every day or every other day. So, getting those 150 minutes is easier.
But what about those times when you are sick? If you do not feel well, should you keep following your exercise routine? Will physical activity help you to feel better more quickly or will it delay the healing process?Health experts answer these and other questions on the Mayo Clinic website. The Mayo Clinic is a nonprofit medical center in the United States.
Edward R. Laskowski is a doctor at the clinic. He notes that “mild to moderate physical activity is usually OK if you have a common cold.”Dr. Laskowski and other experts have a general rule of thumb about exercising when you are sick. It is usually fine to exercise, he explains, if your symptoms are all “above the neck.” These signs may include a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or a minor sore throat.
In fact, Laskowski adds that exercise may make you feel better by “opening your nasal passages.” This may temporarily reduce congestion and help you to breathe more easily.The American health website WebMD offers similar advice.
Geralyn Coopersmith is a physical fitness trainer who has written several books on exercise and nutrition. Coopersmith told WebMD: “The general rule is that if it is just a little sniffle and you take some medications and don’t feel so sick, it’s OK to work out.”However, both Coopersmith and Dr. Laskowski suggest taking a break from exercising if signs of your illness appear “below the neck.” Be on guard for symptoms such as chest congestion, extreme cough or pain in the stomach.
But there are other symptoms that can tell you to avoid exercise. They include:
• a higher than normal body temperature,
• a sense of feeling extremely tired, also known as fatigue, and
• widespread muscle pain.