You feel that slight tickle in the back of your sinuses, followed by a sniffle, chaffed throat, and scratchy cough. Lucky for you, just because a cold starts to take root, doesn’t mean you have to lie down and play the victim.
Here are 10 cold and flu-fighting exercises…
If walking is a daily routine to maintain health, there is no reason why you should put the walking shoes away when a cold is brewing. Most times a little mild activity and fresh air will help clear your head and make you feel better when you’re getting sick.
Not only does hot yoga make you sweat, which at the start of a cold can flush toxins out of the body, yoga also promotes healthy breathing, so it helps relieve and clear sinus airways to boost immunity as well as providing relief for general muscles aches and pains.
Swimming in a heated pool, if you’re cold is not too far along, can help clear congestion and boost your dropping energy levels. Just keep in mind that once your refreshing dip is through, be sure to dry off completely before going outdoors.
Gentle, mindful exercise that incorporates breathing with physical exercise and meditation is never a bad thing when you feel a cold coming on. For one, qi-gong is low-intensity so you won’t be sweating and catching a chill post-workout. And secondly, it reduces stress and improves blood flow or “chi,” for renewed bodily energy so you can fight those germs.
When a cold has you down, taking a lively cardio class, like Zumba, can certainly liven your spirits. Part of the reason we get so floored by a cold or flu is that our bodies are stressed. So if you can interrupt the cold cycle with a bit of stress-release early on, you will better be able to fight off cold-virus antibodies.
If you run every day, but stop when you feel the slightest tickle in your throat, you may actually be doing yourself a disservice. Studies show that regular runners feel quite a lot better following a run. Now, you might want to take a shorter, lighter route, but running can act as a natural decongestant.
Gentle, moderate Hatha-style yoga that combines physical stretches with breathing will not only help boost your immune system, reducing your frequency of colds and infections in the long run—it will also clear blocked sinus pathways and relieve nasal congestion.
If you normally weight lift a few times a week, no need to skip pumping iron because you feel the beginning flutters of a sore throat. In fact, studies link resistance training with increased blood vessel dilation and blood flow throughout the body, which in turn ups energy, dopamine (feel good hormone), and healing time.