Does Running Help Colds

As an avid runner, I’ve often wondered if pounding the pavement and clocking in those miles could actually help fight off a cold. Whether it’s the sniffles, a sore throat, or just feeling under the weather, the question remains: does running really help with colds?

The Science Behind It

When it comes to the common cold, exercise, including running, can have both positive and negative effects on the immune system. Moderate physical activity can potentially boost the immune system by promoting good circulation and increasing the production of important antibodies. However, intense exercise, like a long run or a hard workout, can temporarily weaken the immune system, leaving us more susceptible to infections.

My Experience

Personally, when I feel a cold coming on, I often find that going for a light run can help alleviate some symptoms. The increased blood flow and the release of endorphins seem to provide a temporary relief, making me feel less congested and more energized. However, I always opt for a shorter, easy-paced run rather than a high-intensity session.


It’s important to listen to your body when deciding whether to run with a cold. If your symptoms are from the neck up, such as a runny nose or sore throat, light exercise like a short run may help. However, if your symptoms are below the neck, like chest congestion or body aches, it’s best to rest and allow your body to recover.

Expert Advice

According to the experts, if you have a mild cold and you feel up to it, a light to moderate run might be beneficial. Just be sure to stay hydrated and not push yourself too hard. But if you’re feeling feverish, fatigued, or your symptoms are worsening, it’s always best to skip the run and focus on rest and recovery.


In conclusion, while running may provide some temporary relief for cold symptoms, it’s essential to approach it with caution. Always pay attention to your body’s signals and adjust your exercise routine accordingly. And, most importantly, don’t hesitate to give yourself a break and prioritize rest when needed to allow your body to heal.