A good rule of thumb is the ‘above-the-neck test’, which says that if your cold symptoms are all in your head – such as a runny nose, sneezing or a sore throat – then it’s safe to do some light to moderate exercise.
Last year, health scientists at the University of Bath published a paper arguing that even vigorous exercise is okay, citing evidence that it can boost immune system functioning. Take it slowly, though, and tone down your session if you’re feeling weak or uncomfortable.
And if you have below-the-neck symptoms such as a high temperature or chest congestion, it’s best to rest up completely, as exercising will raise your temperature even higher and stress your body, leaving you feeling rotten.
- What happens to my body when I exercise?
- How does physical exercise help reduce stress?
- Why are we more likely to get sick if we are cold?
- Am I more likely to get a cold if I’m short of sleep?