New Research: Sweat Out Your Cold

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Some top medical experts now say it is ok for people with colds to exercise.  In fact, it may be just what the doctor ordered.

Just when you thought having a cold was an excuse to skip your workout, doctors are telling us the opposite is true. New research shows when you exercise with a cold, you perform just as well, and you might even feel better.

Click the player to watch the report from CBN News Medical Reporter Lorie Johnson.

In the study, patients were tested on a treadmill before they got sick. Then again at the peak of their colds. There was no difference either in lung function or how hard they could push themselves. Patients also reported symptom relief.

"Exercise causes your adrenalin levels to go up," said the Mayo Clinic's Dr. Michael Joyner. "Adrenalin is a chemical related to all the drugs used to treat cold symptoms. So when you exercise, you get a free shot of a natural drug."

Exercise Opens The Sinuses

In addition to the natural high you get from exercise, it also opens your sinuses and relieves congestion.

Now that doctors have given the green light to exercising with a cold, the down side is, if you work-out at a gym, you risk infecting everyone else.

So be extra vigilant against germs, just think how many people touch the same surfaces.

"In the gym, use those sanitary wipes," cautioned Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Dr. William Shaffner. "Wipe-off your equipment after you've used it. Do appropriate hand washing. Those are the things that can avoid spreading germs and catching them."

So play it safe, but go ahead and sweat out that cold. Afterward, you'll likely be glad you did.

*Originally published January 26, 2009

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