Colds can strike at any time and at the moment here in the UK there are many people with colds and chest infections.
These nasty bugs can disrupt your schedule and linger for weeks at a time, making it difficult if not impossible, to stick to an exercise program.
And then there's the question of whether you should be exercising at all, or if you should just ride out the worst of it and resume your workouts once the cold has passed.
New research may help make that decision a bit easier. Scientists at Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., gave 50 healthy students ages 19 to 29 an upper-respiratory virus.
Sixteen students were instructed to remain as sedentary as possible while the remaining 34 exercised moderately for 40 minutes per day.
Both groups were told not to take any cold medications.
After 10 days, researchers found no differences in the duration or severity of symptoms between the two groups. While the exercise didn’t speed up recovery, it didn’t slow it down either.
Previous studies have found that regular, moderate exercise is effective for reducing one's risk of catching a cold. This has most certainly been the case for me. I've not had a cold or chest infection for 14 months (hope I haven't tempted fate here!).
With these new findings, it appears the best medicine may be to continue exercising moderately while the cold runs its course.
Of course if your chest is really bad and you can't stop coughing, the best policy is REST!
If like me you teach many Spinning® Classes every week (I teach 12), keep warm, eat well, stay hydrated, and make sure you get your rest. Oh and what's really great is a good old fashioned walk in the clean air. Time to take my puppy out!
Till the next blog, yours in sport
International Spinning® Master Instructor (UK)