Dr Manny's Notes

Should you work out with a cold?

Q&A with Dr. Manny: Is it true that going to the gym when you're sick can be good for you?


On average, adults catch 2 to 3 colds a year— children have even more— but that doesn’t mean it’s fun or easy to go through.

While the typical cold lasts 7 to 10 days, it’s long enough to disrupt our daily routines.

We got this email from a viewer:

Dear Dr. Manny,
I am a fitness fanatic and I hate missing a day at the gym. I've been battling a cold and my husband keeps telling me to skip the gym and rest to get better faster. But isn't it true that going to the gym when your sick can be good for you? That 'sweating it out' could help the cold go away?

Exercise is good for our health—- it can improve your mood, help you sleep better, and boost your immune system.

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A study in the American Journal of Medicine, found women who walked for 30 minutes every day for one year had half the number of colds as women who did not exercise.

But some experts say working out when you already have a cold may not be as beneficial.

“Exercise is not a cure when you're sick. You're not going to sweat it out. You may feel better when you're done, [but] this is secondary to the release of endorphins,” Dr.Paul Thompson co-founder of USMD Inc., a physician-led, integrated healthcare system based in Texas told FoxNews.com.

Thompson, 58 , who stays in shape by boxing and lifting weights, recommends that his patients who already have an exercise routine watch out for certain symptoms before hitting the gym.

“If your symptoms are above the neck— congestion, sneezing— go for it, but below the neck— chest congestion, the muscle aches, nausea, vomiting— stay home, there’s another day,” Thompson said.

Another guideline Thompson lives by is the fever rule.

“A temperature of 101 or greater is a red line. Don’t exercise - you'll raise your core temperatures to dangerous levels and you'll dehydrate quicker,” he said.

If you still feel the need to exercise and don’t have a temperature or below-the-neck symptoms, Thompson suggested considering a workout at home or outdoors. He added that it’s important to wash your hands frequently and keep them away from your face while exercising.

Do you have a health question for Dr. Manny? Please send it to DrManny@FoxNews.com.