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Exercise Column

The dreaded cold: exercise or rest?

Judging the severity of your signs and symptoms will aid you in determining whether to go ahead and workout or head for the couch.

At one time or another, most of us will catch a cold. As much as we follow the recommended steps to prevent a cold sometimes we just canít seem to avoid getting one.

Some of the best preventative steps include:

While prevention is the best key, rest and fluids are two of the best treatments to speed recovery. Also, both zinc gluconate (only in lozenge form) and vitamin C have been shown to reduce the duration and severity of symptoms of a cold. No they will not prevent you from getting it so taking them propylactically is not beneficial.

And, if you do catch that cold, how do you determine whether to exercise or not? The best measure is by how you feel. If you feel all right and your cold symptoms are mild, particularly limited to ďabove your neckĒ, exercise is safe. If, however, symptoms include headache, fever, muscular aches, hacking productive cough, or loss of appetite, exercise should cease. Rest is best and you'll do more harm than good by going out for that run, ride, or workout in the gym.

Written by Dr. Sternlicht for on 9.27.05