By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer
Exercising an hour a day is great, but as the weather gets chilly, there’s always a chance of catching a nasty cold that’ll leave your throat itchy and your head feeling fuzzy. What are you supposed to do then, work out or stay in bed? Well, according to Dr. Richard Besser, certain exercises can actually be good when you’re feeling a bit under the weather!
Don’t tie up your running shoe laces and head for the school track just yet, though. Instead, make sure you’re using the “neck rule,” which means that if most of your sickness symptoms are above the neck – like stuffy noses, sneezing, and pressure – you should be okay to work out.
Well then, one of the best ways to stay active when suffering from a case of the sniffles is walking! A simple 20-40 minute trek is super effective for fighting congestion in your nose and throat. “If your sinuses are plugged up, walking will stimulate you to take deep breaths and can help open up those passages,” says Besser. However, if running sounds like the better option, it’s okay to engage in a light jog as well. Don’t go crazy sprinting though; pushing your body to it’s limits can add even more stress besides the one from the sickness. Also make sure it’s not too cold outdoors. The cold air will dry out the throat, triggering coughs and runny noses!
If it’s too frosty to keep those legs moving, the better option is to stay indoors. Don’t head to the gym to lift those heavy weights though. Instead, pick up a yoga mat and get your stretch on! Keeping the body flexible will not only reduce any aches and pains caused by your cold, it’ll also cause the body to release a special chemical that boosts immunity. Don’t forget to say “ommm,” either. According to researchers from Sweden, humming actually clears up congestion!
So, if you used to think being sick was the perfect excuse to stay in bed all day and be a lazy bum, think again! There are tons of activities that’ll not only keep you in shape, but also fight off that pesky illness!
However, if you begin to feel worse when doing these activities, don’t hurt yourself. Play it safe and rest up.
Images courtesy of Vic on Flickr.