If you're suffering from a cold infection, you might be wondering whether it's safe to go jogging. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that most adults catch about one or two cold infections per year. Caused by the rhinovirus, cold infections often manifest in the form of upper respiratory symptoms such as nasal congestion, running nose, headache and fatigue. So, is it safe to go jogging with a cold infection, or should your wait until it has cleared up before resuming your fitness regimen?
Mild Physical Activity Is Typically Okay
Jogging with a cold is typically okay, assuming you don't overdo it. Jogging won't interfere with your body's ability to fight the cold infection. It may, in fact, prove useful in easing the symptoms of the cold infection.
Some of the benefits of "light" jogging with a cold infection include:
- Reduces nasal congestion
- Increases energy levels
- Promote circulation
- Releases "feel good" hormones like epinephrine
Some Cold Infections Are More Severe Than Others
Of course, some cold infections are more severe than others. Most cold infections are isolated to the head. Also known as "head colds," they don't have any body-wide symptoms. Rather, their symptoms only occur in the head.
Other cold infections, though, have body-wide symptoms, such as a fever. These cold infections are typically more severe than "head colds." If you experience body-wide symptoms, you should refrain from jogging.
If your symptoms are limited to the area above your neck, such as a runny or congested nose, it's generally safe to go for a run. Conversely, if your symptoms extend below the neck, it's advisable to skip the run.
Recovering From a Cold
While there's no cure for the common cold, there are ways to speed up your recovery from it. Prioritize getting adequate sleep. You should aim for a minimum of eight hours per night so that your body's immune system is in top shape
Stay well-hydrated by consuming ample fluids. Hydration will help your body fight the cold infection. The problem, however, is that most people go through their daily lives dehydrated. Some reports show that up to three in four adults are chronically dehydrated. When dehydrated, the cold infection may persist for a longer period.
Don't forget to include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Fruits and vegetables contain beneficial nutrients, some of which will assist your body's immune system in fighting off the cold infection.
You don't have to stay cooped up indoors all day long just because you are suffering from a cold infection. As long as your symptoms are limited to your head -- and you don't overdo it -- you can go jogging or perform other physical activities.