Exercising in the Flu Season
A study shows that regular, moderate aerobic exercise can strengthen the immune system and active people experience fewer colds than their opposites. However, in case of flu or cold symptoms accompanied by fever, the best remedy is to stay in bed, according to Dr. David C. Nieman.
According to Dr. Lewis G. Maharam, author of “Running Doc’s Guide to Healthy Running,” during exercise, the heat of the body rises because of increased metabolism. As such, the body’s way of cooling down becomes out of balance since body temperature was already high at the start of the activity. Moreover, kidney and liver proteins may break down if fever gets too high.
Normally it is okay to exercise if symptoms are confined to above the neck, but should be skipped if there is fever of more than 100°F, Maharam explained. The classic line from every sports medicine doctor is “If you can do it, do it. If you can’t, don’t,” he added.
Jessica Matthews, an exercise physiologist, mentions that there might be days that symptoms will dictate the need to lessen workout or totally skip the gym if contagious. She added to always listen to your body and that it may be better to just exercise at home or privately
According to Nieman, five or more days per week of aerobic exercise are a powerful factor in decreasing the number of sick days. Nieman further explained that even 3 to 4 days is already effective and sedentary lifestyle should be avoided.
Internicola,D. Working out when to exercise in the cold and flu season. Reuters.