A strong immune system is the key to avoid getting sick and to get over a cold. Research has proven that regular exercise will help to build your immune system! By doing physical activity at a moderate intensity for 30 minutes about 3-4 times a week you will increase your body’s production of T-cells. These important cells are your body’s natural defense against infections and bacteria. By building your immune system, you will stay healthy more often and you can continue your exercise regime. But do you know when you’re too sick to work out? Dr. Grace Walker, physical and occupational therapist and nutritionist, wants you to know how to determine if it’s okay or not to exercise.
She uses the “above the neck- below the neck rule”; if your signs and symptoms are above the neck (stuffy nose, sore throat, ear ache) – you are okay to exercise. If your signs and symptoms are below the neck (vomiting, diarrhea, fever/chills, coughing/chest congestion) – take the day off from exercise.
It’s also important to always keep a few things in mind! You should always avoid physical activity anytime your body temperature rises above 101°. You should also avoid the gym if you are within the first 1-3 days of your cold. Although exercise it’s important, it’s best to do yourself and others a favor and know when to stay home to avoid spreading your germs. If all else fails, there is always at home exercises that you can do to burn some calories!
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