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Exercising when you’re sick

March 4th, 2009

Blah. I have a sore throat, a bit of congestion, and I’ve been feeling crappy for a couple of days. So should I exercise or not? Nobody really knows. A few months ago, Gina Kolata wrote an interesting article in the New York Times on this question. A couple of studies done a decade ago suggest that a head cold won’t hurt your capacity to exercise (though you may feel more tired), and exercise won’t speed up or slow down your recovery (though it may make you feel better). Other than that, we’re all just guessing.

Me, I took yesterday off and hoped that would be enough. Then I went for a short jog this morning, but cut it short when I felt worse than I expected. Cliche though it is, listening to your body is probably the best we can do for now. If you start feeling better as you get into it, that’s great; if you feel worse, cut your losses.

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