This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
Exercising with


colds and flu


Advice on whether you should exercise during illness depends to some extent on your symptoms. This leaflet contains some basic advice you can use to help you to decide whether you should or shouldn’t exercise during this time.


PHYSICAL ACTIVITY AND THE IMMUNE SYSTEM A growing number of research studies are consistently showing that people who participate in regular physical activity suffer from fewer colds than inactive people. Research has shown that moderate exercise causes a boost in the immune system which appears to reduce the risk of infection in the long-term.


However the age old adage applies, everything is best in moderation. There is also well-established evidence that high intensity exercise can suppress your immune system and leave you at greater risk of infection so heavy weights or high heart rate cardiovascular training are definitely not advisable when you’re feeling unwell.


SHOULD YOU EXERCISE IF YOU FEEL UNWELL? Research has shown that moderate exercise when you have a cold does not appear to affect the severity or the duration of the cold. Added to which it is likely that if you are suffering from a cold you will feel better if you take some mild activity such as going for a short walk, than if you sat in a stuffy room watching TV. However there are different circumstances when you should and shouldn’t take exercise if you are feeling unwell. These are summarised by the ‘neck check’ rule.


THE ‘NECK CHECK’ RULE If you don’t have a fever and your symptoms occur above the neck, such as a being stuffed-up, having a runny nose, sneezing or a light sore throat it should be fine for you to exercise. Begin by exercising for 10 minutes lightly (at a much lower intensity than your usual session) and if you feel better during this 10 minutes, continue to exercise lightly. If you feel worse then it is advisable to stop exercising and give your body a chance to recover from the illness.


www.exerciseregister.org


If your symptoms are cold-like and not flu- like it is safe to resume intensive sessions a few days after the symptoms have disappeared.


If however you have more flu-like symptoms such as a fever or your symptoms are below the neck such as chest congestion, vomiting, aching muscles, diarrhoea or swollen glands, then you should not work out that day. Under these circumstances your cardiovascular system is likely to already be under stress combating the infection and exercise will only increase this stress and possibly lengthen your recovery time. If you are still unsure whether the cause of your illness is a cold or flu and you are not sure whether you can exercise, consult your GP.


If you have flu-like symptoms such as extreme tiredness, aching muscles, and a fever it is best not to resume full intensity training for at least 2-4 weeks after the symptoms have gone because although you may feel better, your body is likely to need more time to recover. During this time it should be OK to do mild to moderate intensity exercise.


TREATING COLDS AND FLU Colds and flu are both caused by viral infections of the respiratory tract and figures suggest that the average adult suffers 2-3 of these infections each year with children suffering more than double this amount. The bad news is there is very little you can do to speed your recovery from a cold once you have one. As antibiotics are only effective in the treatment of bacteria and colds and flu are


SYMPTOMS Fever


Headache


General aches and pains


Fatigue and/or weakness Extreme exhaustion Stuffy nose Sneezing Sore throat Chest discomfort/cough


caused by viruses, there is absolutely nothing to be gained from taking antibiotics in these circumstances.


There are plenty of over-the-counter medications aimed at making you feel more comfortable but nothing that will get rid of the infection for you other than your own immune system.


Prevention As you are unable to do much to speed recovery once you’ve caught a cold the best thing you can do is try to avoid colds in the first place by making sure your immune system is the most resilient it can be.


The immune system has been shown to be affected by a number of factors such as stress, age, lack of sleep, smoking and poor nutrition as well as infection from other illness.


FLU Likely (high 102-1040


F)


Yes Likely and often severe


Yes - up to 2-3 weeks Likely


Sometimes Sometimes Sometimes Mild to moderate


COLDS Rare Rare


Sometimes Mild Never


Common Usual


Common Common and can become severe


The information contained in this article is intended as general guidance and information only and should not be relied upon as a basis for planning individual medical care or as a substitute for specialist medical advice in each individual case. To the extent permissible by law, the publisher, editors and contributors accept no liability for any loss, injury or damage howsoever incurred (including negligence) as a consequence, whether directly or indirectly, of the use by any person of the contents of this article.


Produced by 27


NUTRITION


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130