Dr. Pamela Smith, ND 

Dr. Pam has a family practice at The Nest Family Wellness Centre which offers naturopathic and midwifery care. She combines science-based natural medicine with conventional medical therapeutics. Learn more about Dr. Pam and the services offered by her clinic here, or book an appointment at www.drpamelasmith.com.

Check out the latest Ask Dr Pam Q&A and posts by topic below as well as her health and wellness posts.

Ask Dr Pam   

Is it ok to exercise when you have a cold?

Regular exercise keeps your immune system working optimally. People who exercise regularly tend to be healthier and experience fewer colds then those who do not; they also tend to recover from colds faster. I am often asked if it is a good idea to exercise while fighting a cold. Exercise increases lymphatic drainage and circulation aiding the immune system; it also improves sleep quality which is important component to healing. Most people are contagious for the first 5-7 days so it is best to stay away from public spaces during this time, especially as cold viruses can live on hard surfaces for several hours. Prevent the spread of these viruses by staying home, frequently washing your hands, and sneezing into a tissue or your elbow crease. If you have mild symptoms (runny nose, sneezing) or are in the recovery phase, keep your heart rate below 120 bpm and start at 50-75% of your normal capacity. Jumping back into 100% performance can prolong the recovery phase post cold.

When to stay at home: if you have a fever, abdominal symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting), severe fatigue, muscle fatigue/weakness/pain, shortness of breath, or a productive cough (increased mucus production).

For more about preventing and treatment of colds and flus, read this post.