Dr. Phil Shares: Should You Work Out With a Cold?

Should You Work Out With a Cold?

When you’re feeling under the weather, does activity help or hinder?

Most experts agree you can still work out when you’re sick — as long as you listen to your body and not push it.

Keep in mind, everyone’s tolerance level for colds and sniffles varies — one person feels like they can sustain a normal workout routine, while another feels too draggy to even consider it.

“Studies show that exercise is beneficial because it can boost your immune system before, during and after sickness,” says Nicola Finely, M.D., integrative medicine specialist at Canyon Ranch in Tucson.

Note: If you have a chronic health condition, such as asthma, you may want to consult your doctor first before exerting yourself.

Does Exercise Boost the Immune System?

“Exercise allows your white blood cells to circulate faster throughout the body, and white blood cells are the immune warriors that fight off infections,” explains Finely.

The American College of Sports Medicine backs that up, too, stating that regular and moderate exercise lowers the risk for respiratory infections and that consistent exercise can enhance health and help prevent disease.

In one study in the American Journal of Medicine, women who walked for 30 minutes every day for a year had only half the number of colds as those who didn’t bust a move.

Working out almost daily at a moderate pace can help keep your immune system strong.

But overtraining and pushing yourself too hard for too long can decrease the levels of IgA, which are antibodies on the mucosal membranes, such as the respiratory tract. These antibodies are needed to battle bacteria and viruses.

According to The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), moderate physical activity done every day, such as yoga or jogging, is the most effective way to keep the immune system strong.

Should-You-Work-Out-With-a-Cold

Experts Recommend Exercising With a Cold If:

  •  You have a garden-variety cold but no fever. Exercise can help relieve you from stuffiness by opening up your nasal passages, says the Mayo Clinic.
  •  Your symptoms are above the neck like a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or a slight sore throat.

“Keep the intensity at a moderate-to-low pace,” cautions Finely.

For example, if you typically go for a 30-minute run every day, take a brisk walk instead. And if you start to feel worse with exercising, then you should stop, she says.

Skip Exercise With a Cold If:

  •  You have a fever, discomfort in your chest, or difficulty breathing.
  • Your symptoms are below the neck, such as chest congestion, a hacking cough or an upset stomach.
  • You’re tired, you’re running a fever, or you’re especially achy. “I’d suggest any patient refrain from exercise if fever is higher than 101.5 degrees Fahrenheit,” says Finely, who points out that a fever is considered any temperature over 100 F. Exercising during this time increases the risk of dehydration, and can worsen or lengthen the duration of your cold, she explains.

A 2014 study in the journal Sports Health found that fever can have harmful effects on muscular strength and endurance.

There’s no great advantage in tiring yourself out when you’re feeling ill. After all, you don’t want to risk making yourself sicker, and taking a few days off shouldn’t affect your overall performance. “When you get back to exercise, make sure to gradually increase your level as you begin to feel better,” Finely advises.

Exercising during a cold can be beneficial, but don’t push it.

Remember, it can help flush bacteria out of your lungs and airways and reduce your overall chances of getting a cold in the first place.

The important thing is to listen to your body.

Shared by Dr. Phil McAllister @ Forward Health Guelph

Dr. Laura on Cold & Flu

The immune system works over time in the Christmas season.

Sugary treats and poor sleeping habits stress the immune system.

 People share more than good spirits. The furnace keeps us warm, but dries the air and our respiratory passages out, making us more susceptible to incoming invaders.  Cold and flu viruses can live on objects around the house like door knobs, computer keyboards, remote controls and sink handles.

Best prevention is to wash your hands well and often. That means lathering up for at least a few lines of  your favourite Christmas carol. Use your wrist to push down the tap or use the paper towel to turn the knobs off. Keep your hands and fingers away from your eyes, ears, nose and mouth. These are openings of our respiratory tract very susceptible to infection.

More remedies for cold and flu.

Think you might have something coming on? Here is a table that helps you understand if you have the cold or the flu.

Symptoms Cold Flu
Fever Sometimes Usually. Higher in children
Headache Sometimes Usually
Runny Nose Usually Sometimes
Cough Hacking Severe
Sore Throat Early, Often Sometimes
Sneezing Usually Sometimes
Vomiting Never Children
Chest discomfort Mild Usually
Weakness & Fatigue Sometimes Can last up to 2-3 weeks
Muscle Aches and Pains Mild Usually severe
Extreme Exhaustion Never Early and often
Cause One of hundreds of viruses Influenza A, B, (several subtypes and strains) H1N1 (Swine), Enterovirus D68,
Contagious Day 1-3 Day 1-9
Duration 7-10 days 21-28 days
Complications Sinus congestion, Middle Ear Infection Sinusitus, Bronchitis, Ear Infection, Pneumonia
Prevention Wash hands often, avoid close contact with those affected Wash hands often, avoid close contact with those affected

Dr. Laura’s Secret to More Energy

7 things to help boost your energy!

 

LauraHappy

 

 

Your body loves Routine! Try to go to bed, wake up and eat at the same time each day. We are elements of this earth and are not only susceptible, but need to harmonize with the rhythms of nature.

Create something. It engages your mind and  your soul.

Let your food be your medicine! Eat lots of leafy greens and colourful vegetables, a few fruits (berries are superb), responsibly raised meat & fish, variety of nuts, seeds, whole grains and healthy fats like olive oil, coconut oil, flax seed oil & avocados.

Optimize your energy conversion: digestion, metabolism, circulation and other systems work to ensure proper nutrient absorption.  Efficient transformation of these raw materials into energy means more energy for you.

Exercise regularly. You don’t have to move mountains, just your body. Everyday. Multiple times a day.

Personalize your treatment plan. Understanding your story, timeline and individual physiology can help create a treatment plan that maximizes your energy and your health.

Encourage the Heart Research has shown that when we think about experiences that are warm and loving and positive, it changes our physiology for the better.

While this does not constitute individual medical advice, general guidelines for better health can certainly be engaged with your personalized treatment plan.

From the heart and research of Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND.

drlaura@forwardhealth.ca

Before Guelph Walks for Memories on Sept. 19th, consider these 5 steps to improve your memory and brain health.

Before Guelph Walks for Memories on Sept. 19th, consider these 5 steps to improve your memory and brain health.

Having a senior’s moment? Forgot where you put the keys? Muddling through the better part of the morning and coffee just doesn’t seem to kick start the engine anymore? Brain fog happens to those of all ages and sometimes there is something definitive we could do to provide clarity on the situation.

5 ways that could improve your memory now.

  1. Diet & Digestion
  2. Detoxify
  3. Boost Cell Power
  4. Control Stress
  5. Exercise

 brain

  1. Diet and Digestion

Did you know good digestion is key to brain function? A diet high in vegetables (6-8 cups daily) with a few fruits (1-3 a day) will provide phytonutrients and antioxidants to reduce inflammation, add fibre to keep your bowels moving & toxins excreted. Natural source of probiotics like kefir, natural sauerkraut, Kimchi, natural yogurt, raw cheese to boost not only digestion so you can better extract the nutrients from your food, but also mood and immune boosting properties. Adequate protein (0.8- 1.0g/kg) serves as the building block for many neurotransmitters-particles that send information across your brain and throughout your body. Healthy fats (fish oil, olive oil, flax seed oil, coconut, avocado), line the nerve sheaths and cell membranes helping information pass more expediently. Nerve transmission is helped with B vitamins found in whole grains and lean meat. Maintaining steady blood glucose helps stream a steady supply of glucose to the brain, its one source of energy.

  1. Detoxify

Heavy metals, pesticides, cosmetic chemicals and environmental pollutants build up in our bodies over time. A gentle detox program with hydrotherapy, botanical medicines, natural cleansing supplements and an anti-inflammatory diet will help the body rid itself of toxic burden.

  1. Boost Cell Power

The cellular powerhouse is the mitochondria. There are more mitochondria in brain cells than any other part of the body. Mitochondria use oxygen so it is important to keep a steady supply of oxygen flowing to the brain. Red blood cells carry the oxygen from our lungs through our body and brain. Great circulation is key (see exercise) and medicinal mushrooms are superb for boosting red blood cell health. Mitochondria are well served with many nutrients, however key ones are B-vitamins, Co-Q10, Acetyl-L-Carnitine, and magnesium malate. Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor about what may be right for you.

  1. Control Stress

Ongoing stress leads to prolonged release of cortisol, which lends itself to insulin dysregulation (poor blood sugar control), chronic inflammation, memory lapses, fatigue and depression. Consider a lifestyle counseling, a soothing massage, a series of acupuncture treatments to reduce stress, or a lovely botanical adaptogen to help regulate the adrenal glands – the producer of cortisol.

  1. Exercise

Regular exercise will help regulate cortisol, improve your capacity to sweat and release toxins through your skin and lungs. It will mobilize and regulate your bowels to excrete the solid toxins.  It will also help you sleep better, a critical function to healing and rejuvenation. Moving your body improves lymphatic circulation so helps your immune function. Another key factor for exercise is the increased transport of oxygen to your brain. A great reason to get out and Walk for Memories in Guelph on September 19th.

If brain fog persists, see your doctor. In serious cases, it can signal an underlying neurological or inflammatory condition, such as Lyme disease, fibromyalgia, food sensitivity or diabetes. Above all, don’t accept brain fog as a simple factor of aging. With the right support, you can stay sharp and protect brain health — at any age.

Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND

Please note that the above is intended for educational purposes only and does not constitute individual medical advice. Please book an appointment for your individualized medical treatment plan.