Remaining active and staying in good shape is a goal for many people. After all, remaining active boosts both physical and mental health. However, you may question whether it’s a good idea to work out when you have a cold. Keep reading to learn more about exercising with a cold, including when it’s okay and when you should take a day off.


Mild to Moderate Exercise


If your exercise routine involves mild to moderate forms of exercise, then you don’t have a lot to worry about. However, you should not push yourself to the point of exhaustion. Also, it’s best for you to lower the intensity of your routine when you’re feeling under the weather. For example, instead of going for a run, going for a light walk around the block when you have a cold.


If you’re only experiencing symptoms such as sneezing, nasal congestion or sore throat, you can do a light workout session without any issue. But if you have symptoms like nausea, chest congestion, fevers, aching joints or vomiting, exercising is out of the question.


Problematic symptoms such as these point to a more serious issue. What’s more is that exercising with a severe cold can do more harm than good to your immune system. Pushing yourself too hard can slow down your recovery and can open the door for more serious respiratory issues.


Types of Exercises You Can Do When Sick


Exercising when you have a slight cold should be okay. In fact, there are numerous exercises that are perfect for when you’re feeling under the weather.


Here are a few low-intensity exercises you can do with a cold:

  • Walking
  • Light jogging
  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Swimming



These exercises are intense enough to get the results you’re looking for without putting a lot of strain on your body.


Exercises to Avoid While You’re Sick


While some exercises are fine to do, there are a lot of exercises that you need to avoid while recovering from illness. Running, biking and lifting weights are all exercises that require you to be at 100% to do effectively and efficiently. Generally, using machines like ellipticals and treadmills should also be avoided. However, you can consider a treadmill if you just plan to walk.


Being active is great for promoting good health, but when you’re sick, your body needs time to recover. Trying to work out when you have a cold ultimately depends on how well you feel and whether your symptoms warrant a trip to your doctor.