The common cold is a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract, which mainly affects the nasal cavity (nose). The throat (oropharynx), sinuses and larynx may also be affected. Cold signs and symptoms include coughing, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing, headache and fever. Other associated symptoms are myalgias (muscle aches), fatigue/ asthenia, pressure in the ears, decreased/ altered taste or smell, and loss of appetite.
Exercising is allowed when the symptoms are localized from the neck upwards, i.e., at the level of the head: sore throat, nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, tearing eyes, headache, otalgia. When the symptoms are located below the level of the throat, physical activity is forbidden, and rest is highly required.
Red light symptoms include:
- cough (productive)
- thoracic constriction
- pulmonary congestion
- nausea or stomach upset
- fever and chills
Downtown’s Healthcare providers tell us that performing any physical activity when such severe cold symptoms are present is dangerous and prolongs the duration of the disease. Exercising will compromise the immune system, as the body will focus on producing the energy needed for muscle function, instead of fighting the disease.
In the presence of cold symptoms, exercise accompanied by profuse sweating may aggravate the symptoms. Excessive sweating leads to dehydration, with drying of the mucous membrane of the respiratory tract, aggravating respiratory congestion and sore throat. If the symptoms allow physical activity, appropriate hydration during exercise is required. Once the symptoms improve, physical activity can resume with a gradual increase in exercise intensity.