Exercise after a cold
In the cold autumn and winter months, many people catch a cold.
Athletes are eager to start training again after a recovery break. Athletes who have medicated their cold should leave at least two days without medication and symptoms before starting exercise again.
When the time has come and you can finally exercise again, you should start slowly and with low loads. Light endurance runs through the forest are a good way to slowly bring the body back to higher loads. If athletes get back into training immediately after catching a cold, they run the risk of overloading their bodies and risking relapse.
When can you do sports again after a cold?
After a cold, the body is usually weakened for a while, so after a certain break you should only slowly start exercising again. In this way, the strain on the body can gradually be increased again to the full level without the circulation being overwhelmed. The length of the break depends on how severe the symptoms of the cold were and what caused the cold.
- If you have only a slight cough and runny nose, you can resume exercise a few days after the symptoms have subsided.
- If you have a fever, it is advisable to wait at least a week and only then return to physical activity.
- Bacterial infections that had to be treated with antibiotics need a longer recovery period. You should not do any sport while taking antibiotic therapy and should also wait at least a week after the symptoms have subsided.
- The longest break has to be taken after the flu. After the fever and the aches and pains have subsided, the sports break can be two to three weeks.
In general, it is important to listen to your own body and not to expect too much too quickly. The biggest complication of starting exercise too early is myocarditis. The heart is severely damaged by the strain and the infection, which can have lifelong consequences.
More on this: What is a procrastinated cold?
Exercise after a cold without a fever
If you have a cold that was accompanied by a fever, you should wait a little longer before exercising. After a week without symptoms and symptoms, you can start exercising again after a feverish cold. However, if the cold was accompanied by no fever, sports can be resumed earlier.
If the cold has been fought without medication, sport can be restarted as soon as the symptoms have completely subsided and the athlete feels physically fit. He should take care to keep the load and duration of the first exercise low and to increase slowly.
Colds, which have been treated with medication to accelerate the healing process, should have symptoms and ailments gone for two days, and no further medication should be required before resuming exercise.
In the case of febrile colds, the symptoms and symptoms should have subsided and no more medication should be taken. After seven days without symptoms and co. sport can be started slowly, as the body needs this time for complete regeneration. Here, too, it is recommended to start the load and the scope of the sport low and slowly increase it. Anyone who starts exercising immediately after a cold runs the risk of a relapse or prolongation of the cold.
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Exercise after a cold with a cough
If the common cold was accompanied by a strong cough, recommendations are similar to those for a cold without a fever. If the cough has been relieved with medication, then the medication should be discontinued and the cough has not been there for two days before you can slowly start exercising again.
If the cough has been cured without medication, after the symptoms have subsided, you can start again with relaxed sports units without intense stress.
If you started exercising too early, or if the intensity is too early, colds can, in the worst case, be spread to heart muscle inflammation. Heart muscle inflammation is a dangerous disease because it is usually noticed very late. The common cold can also become chronic and is therefore no longer as easy to cure as a common cold.
Read more on the topic: Exercise for coughs
Exercise after a cold with a sore throat
When a cold has subsided but the sore throat has not yet, then every athlete asks himself whether he can start training again or whether he should also cure the sore throat first.
You should first identify the cause of the sore throat, as it can be very different. Functional swallowing problems usually have an anatomical or orthopedic origin. However, sore throats can also originate from bacterial inflammation or viral infections and these cases are to be assessed differently. In the case of swallowing problems that are not viral or bacterial, after the cold has subsided, you can start again with normal rest period, even if the sore throat / swallowing problems are still acute. Exercise usually has little to no effect on functional symptoms. However, the advice of a doctor should also be obtained here in order to exclude all risks. In the case of sore throats caused by viruses or bacteria, these sore throats, along with the common cold, should also have healed and subsided before you start exercising again. Here, too, the body should be given a sufficiently long recovery break, and the load should then only start low and only be increased slowly and gradually.
Here again the sore throat that has to be treated with medication differs from the sore throat that can be cured without medication. Healing the sore throat without medication means that you can start exercising a little earlier than if you were treated with medication. If you want to be on the safe side, you should ask your doctor for advice.
Read more on the topic:
- Causes of Sore Throat
- Duration of sore throat
Exercise after a cold with a runny nose
Anyone who wants to do sports after a cold with a small runny nose should listen to their body.
A cold alone is not an obstacle to exercising. Without other complaints, exercise can even have a positive effect on the healing process in the case of a cold. The blood circulation is promoted by the movement during sport and the nasal mucous membranes are better supplied with blood and nutrients. Athletes who do sport regularly and are used to the stress, do not have to be slowed down by a small cold, as their body can cure the cold without any problems.
However, if the cold is more severe, exercise can worsen the disease, as the body has to do additional work due to the exercise. As a result, the healing process cannot run optimally. In severe cases, the disease can develop into angina. The spread up to an inflammation of the heart muscle can in the rarest of cases be fatal, even in young strong men. Therefore, you should ask your doctor for advice and get OK for sport.
Read more on the topic: Runny nose- what to do?
What should you watch out for when exercising after a cold?
After a cold has cured, every athlete would like to start training again as soon as possible. However, you have to expect some closed season. In addition, the training program should only be increased slowly and carried out with a maximum load of up to 70 percent of the maximum heart rate.
Especially after feverish colds, a longer period of rest and an even more careful structure should be planned.
Alternatively, you can use other forms of training and come back to more intensive methods later. The first high loads should start briefly and then expand bit by bit. Competitive and professional athletes may have to rename their training goals and adapt them to the new circumstances.
Especially in uncomfortable, cold weather, it is better to pack a little too thick than freeze during training. A scarf is always good protection to protect the sensitive neck region. However, it depends on the sport in which form you can protect your neck. So the motto when choosing clothes is: Better to wear too fat than too thin.
Especially with endurance training, you should make sure that you start with short endurance runs and get your body used to the stress again. After a few runs, the duration can then be increased slowly and steadily. You should always listen to your body and know how to interpret small signals. After a corresponding increase in intensity and load, the full scope of training can then be carried out again without having to expect a relapse.
In the worst case, a severe cold can set an athlete back in training for up to two months. If he started exercising too early, then in the worst case scenario with an inflammation of the heart muscle he could be absent for up to a year. For this reason, especially after a cold, you should give your body enough time to recover.
Also read: Exercise for a cold
How dangerous can it be if I exercise despite having a cold?
Due to the disease, the body is busy fighting the germs and is not as efficient as usual.
Symptoms such as coughing and runny nose can be exacerbated by the exposure. With a fever, the circulation is usually so strained that exercise is very overwhelming. This can lead to fainting spells, for example, in which one can incur all kinds of injuries (from harmless bruises and bruises to severe bruises with a concussion to permanent brain damage).
The dreaded disease that can develop when exercising despite having a cold is myocarditis. This is an inflammation of the heart muscle. This myocarditis can occur with both bacterial and viral colds. In about one to five percent of viral colds, the heart muscle is also affected by the common cold, so that myocarditis can develop from it.
The inflammation of the heart muscle usually only manifests itself in the fact that the reduced performance and tiredness do not go away even a long time after the actual cold.
However, especially in young athletes, the heart muscles can be permanently damaged by myocarditis. Heart failure, i.e. heart failure, occurs. In the most severe cases, this can only be cured with a heart transplant and in some cases even leads to death.
However, those who take the one to two week sports break after catching a cold are usually protected from myocarditis.
- Myocarditis - What to watch out for!
- Symptoms of myocarditis
Consequences for the heart when exercising during a cold
If you start exercising too soon after a cold or if you set the intensity too high, you not only risk a relapse of the cold, but also risk the health of your heart.
Once the cold has spread and has developed into an inflammation of the myocardium, there may be life-threatening conditions. In addition, the heart muscle inflammation can cause long-term cardiac arrhythmias. Therefore, it is better to allow your body some rest and time to recover before taking on an increased risk of secondary diseases.
Myocarditis is often diagnosed late because many of the symptoms are similar to those of the common flu or cold. Heart muscle inflammation can only be diagnosed and then treated with more detailed examinations. After a cold, reason should rather rule and the body should have time to recover. Otherwise there is a risk of long-term damage and weakening of the heart.
Read more on the topic: Exercise for heart muscle inflammation