Cold & Flu Prevention Center

Best and Worst Exercises to Do When You Have a Cold

cold-walk
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Best: Walking

Having a cold may compromise your energy levels, so you may not feel up for intense physical fitness. But even just a 20-minute walk can help you reap the benefits of regular exercise, and it may help improve your cold symptoms, as well.

"If your sinuses are plugged up, walking will stimulate you to take deep breaths and can help open up those passages," says Besser. (Of course, if you discover that walking—or any type of physical exertion—makes you feel worse, rather than better, stop and focus on getting rest, instead.) Although there's little research on how exercise can affect the duration of a cold, studies have shown that people who regularly work out tend to get sick less, overall.

Next: Best: Jogging