Will Running With A Cold Make It Worse

As someone who loves to run, I’ve often wondered whether it’s a good idea to lace up my sneakers and hit the pavement when I’m feeling under the weather. The age-old question remains: will running with a cold make it worse?

The Debate

There’s a lot of conflicting advice out there when it comes to exercising with a cold. Some people swear by the idea that sweating it out can help rid the body of toxins and speed up recovery, while others caution that exercising while sick can weaken the immune system and prolong illness.

My Experience

Personally, I’ve attempted to run with a cold on a few occasions. In some cases, it seemed to provide temporary relief and boost my mood. However, there were also times when I felt even more fatigued and ended up with a longer recovery period.

The Science

According to experts, the general rule of thumb is that if your symptoms are above the neck (such as a runny nose or sore throat), it’s generally okay to engage in light to moderate exercise. 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.

When we exercise, our bodies release endorphins, which can help alleviate symptoms like nasal congestion and headaches. However, overexerting yourself can lead to dehydration and further weaken your immune system.

Personalized Approach

Ultimately, the decision to run with a cold should be based on how you feel. It’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. If you do decide to run, consider scaling back your intensity and duration to avoid placing extra stress on your body.


So, will running with a cold make it worse? The answer isn’t a clear-cut “yes” or “no.” Each person’s body reacts differently, and it’s essential to be mindful of your symptoms and energy levels. When in doubt, it’s best to rest and allow your body to recover at its own pace.