Exercising With A Cold
NO NEED TO GO COLD TURKEY ON YOUR WEIGHT LOSS PLAN!
The common cold usually comes and goes over a matter of days. But if your cold is hanging around for a couple of weeks it can leave you feeling unmotivated and slow down your weight loss plan.
Offence is the best defence
The best course of action is to find light exercise that you actually feel like doing - don't push yourself into undertaking a 3 mile run if you dread the thought of it! When your energy levels are under par with your body trying to fight off a cold, light training can actually help the body fight it. Any of the activities mentioned below can be suitable, so just do what you most feel like on a particular day. If your motivation is flagging with your cold, there is no point trying to force it: do what you enjoy and help encourage your body to recover.
Options for light training
- Gentle resistance exercise - this should ideally be machine-based, take lots of rest time, and don't work until muscle failure.
- Swimming - but only at 70% maximum of your usual volume.
- Walking - at whatever distance/time you would consider light for your fitness level.
- Combination training (i.e. weights and cardiovascular machines) - use the principles given above.
- Stretching - allocate time for simply stretching the body's muscles, which tighten when we are unwell.
- Any gentle, short duration cardiovascular exercise, for example, cycling.
Know your cold
If your cold is more sinus and head-based (i.e. you feel bunged up but your chest is fine) LIGHT exercise is recommended! Every little counts in preventing any slowdown in your weight loss progress, and accelerating your recovery is a bonus. Just don't underestimate rest and recovery either: if your symptoms get worse over 2-3 days don't exercise until you are feeling better! Listen to your body.
HOWEVER, if the cold is mainly affecting your chest as opposed to your head (i.e. you find it difficult to breath, your throat is heavily affected and you are a bit wheezy) AVOID cardiovascular exercise (apart from gentle, everyday walking). Aerobic exercise with these chest-related symptoms can lead to a prolonged presence of your cold.