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Why shouldn't we run with a cough?


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Hi there

Well I've just come down with another cold and as I was out of action for two weeks with a chest infection only a month ago, I really don't want to lose momentum exercise wise again. This cold is actually very mild...I felt a bit rotten yesterday but today it is just a congested nose and runny eyes, with a mild cough. I'm wondering if it would be okay to still go for a run tonight. I've googled about exercising sick and all the sites say you shouldn't exercise if you have a cough, but none seem to say why. Does anyone know why this is? And has anyone continued there exercise regime with a cough with no consequences? It's not a hacking cough, more just an irritation.

Many thanks

6 Replies (last)

it's fine to run if you're feeling well. the key is to not let exercise take priority over your health. any kind of stress inhibits your autoimmune system, so if you have an infection, exercise will temporarily diminish your body's ability to fight it. but as long as you don't push it, and as long as it's just a minor illness, it's fine.

You're usually not supposed to run with a cough because running makes you breathe a lot harder. That can make your cough a lot worse, meaning it takes longer to recover.

Ugh. Double post. Sorry.

Original Post by ccrun4fun:

You're usually not supposed to run with a cough because running makes you breathe a lot harder. That can make your cough a lot worse, meaning it takes longer to recover.

not really. if you have a productive cough, coughing harder brings up more crud, which helps you get better faster. in fact, suppressing the cough is the worst thing you can do.

I would imagine running with an irritating cough and congestion would just be annoying and uncomfortable...mainly making it harder to breathe which just sucks when trying to get a decent run in.

I found this website for you that basically has all of your symptoms and goes through why or why not you should run with certain sicknesses. Check it out, I think it'll be really helpful for you.

Original Post by pgeorgian:

Original Post by ccrun4fun:

You're usually not supposed to run with a cough because running makes you breathe a lot harder. That can make your cough a lot worse, meaning it takes longer to recover.

not really. if you have a productive cough, coughing harder brings up more crud, which helps you get better faster. in fact, suppressing the cough is the worst thing you can do.

true. it's like chest therapy for cystic fibrosis patients. well not entirely similar but they use the 'electric chest clapper' as a treatment to try and literally shake the mucus from their lungs so they can cough it up.

aerobic exercise is said to do this too.

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