Is it allowed to do sports with a cold?

The nose is running, the throat is scratching and again and again you have to cough or sneeze. But you do not feel really sick despite a slight cold. But is it allowed to do sports with a cold or, in the worst case, even a heart muscle inflammation?

May I run with a cold?

Sport and regular exercise in the fresh air strengthen the immune system. As long as you do not overdo it. Therefore, it is very healthy in the fall, to walk regularly or to swing on the bike to protect yourself from a flu or cold.

But despite the fact that hardly anyone is able to get through the wet and cold season unscathed. On average, we catch colds 4 times a year. If the flu caught us with cold, fever and body aches, nobody goes to the sport. It looks different if only the nose is a bit running. Despite a slight cold, many lace up the running shoes. Whether this is healthy depends on how strong the cold is.

But what does the training look like under the influence of medications or painkillers? Basically you should not do any sports under the influence of medication! This especially includes antibiotics.


Can you exercise during a cold? Sports expert Rouven B├╝rgel answers all important questions.


“In general, you can not expect maximum performance from the body when you have a cold,” says Mahesh Arenja, a specialist in internal medicine at the Bonn Johanniter Hospital.

“The immune system is broken, you are usually tired and the respiratory system is not free. Therefore, the body is less powerful in a cold. “

Accordingly, you should not complete extremely intense training sessions even during a mild cold.

No sports with fever

“If there is still a fever in the cold, you should definitely leave your sports clothes in the closet,” advises Dr. Dieter. Arenja. “Otherwise, a heart muscle inflammation (myocarditis) threatens when viruses or bacteria infect the heart muscle or an inflammation on the heart muscle expands.” This is not noticeable, which makes the heart muscle inflammation as dangerous. Myocarditis can lead to cardiac arrhythmias and even sudden cardiac death.

“Therefore, sports with fever is always prohibited.”

The situation is different with a slight cold. “There’s nothing wrong with walking around the park,” says the internist. “On the contrary. If you feel fit enough and you get enough air, you can also do sports. The body benefits from this, because the circulation is stimulated and the mucous membranes are better supplied. In addition, the body usually develops new defenses. “

Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found that the number of white blood cells increases measurably after 30 minutes of light exercise in the fresh air.

Fit for work – fit for sports

“As a rule of thumb, you often hear that if you’re fit enough to work, you’re also fit enough for sports. But considering that many of us go to work sick, this truism loses its validity, “warns Arenja. “In this respect, you simply have to pay attention to the signals that the body sends out and in the event of illness just make a workout. Anyone who wants to work out anyway because he feels fit enough should not overdo it. “Especially in the case of a cold, when the body is weakened, a short, loose unit is enough to stimulate the blood circulation and supply the body with fresh air.

Basically everyone has to listen to the body and give it a break in case of illness. When you go to training just because the unit is on the training plan, you do not do yourself and your health any favor. Rather, there is the danger that the cold gets worse and the healing process is delayed. If a competition is imminent and you have to train, it is better to visit a family doctor, just to avoid a more serious illness such as angina or myocarditis.

It is also important that you do not stand in the wet-sweat clothes after training. Otherwise, the body cools and the risk of cold increases. A hot bath after exercise with the appropriate additives can in turn help to cure the cold early.


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