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When to exercise if you are sick

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  • Written By: Rachel Wilde CPT, MA
When to exercise if you are sick

Generally speaking, cold and flu season is in full force November-March, just in time for all those New Year's resolutions and the flood of new gym memberships. The good news is, moderate exercise can indeed help to boost natural immunity and aid in preventing the common cold!

The following tips can help you to maintain the exercise program you already have in place or are just beginning and prevent you from giving up your new habit following a germ outbreak!

In an article posted online from August 2011, Clearing the Air on Exercise and the Common Cold, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Fellow Dr. David C. Nieman, says moderate exercise (30 minutes a day, on most, if not all, days of the week) actually lowers the risk for respiratory infections. The article also states, "People who are already sick should approach exercise cautiously."

Dr. Nieman also offers the following recommendations to help you decide if you should stay in bed, or get moving:

  • DO exercise moderately if your cold symptoms are confined to your head. If you’re dealing with a runny nose or sore throat, moderate exercise is permissible. Intense exercise can be resumed a few days after symptoms subside (in cases of the common cold).
  • DO stay in bed if your illness is “systemic.” That is, spread beyond your head. Respiratory infections, fever, swollen glands and extreme aches and pains all indicate that you should rest, not work out.
  • DON’T jump back in too soon. If you’re recovering from a more serious bout of cold or flu, gradually ease back into exercise after at least two weeks of rest.

You can read the full article here.

Make 2016 the year you take a more active role in your own healthcare with healthcheck+ lab tests and screenings. These are available Monday-Friday from 6-11 am at 1901 Energy Court, located behind Wendy's. Learn your cholesterol numbers, check your thyroid function and much more, at an affordable cost with results mailed directly to your home in just a few days. Walk-ins are welcome or request an appointment online at

For more tips like these, be sure to see a CCH Health Coach who can help you accomplish your goals and live your healthiest life!

Have Questions?
Campbell County Health's Wellness Services works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn more about Wellness, please visit or call 307-688-8051.

This blog was written by Rachel Wilde CPT, MA, CCH Wellness Services Technician and Phlebotomist

  • Category: Rehabilitation Services, Wellness