You really want to ride but you’ve got the sniffles or worse – do you ride or stay in bed? Here’s our advice on surviving colds and flu season and eight ways to prevent an infection in the first place.
- By Selene Yeager
Sometimes a good ride is just what you need to blow out the pipes and breathe better. Other times, well, not so much.
Most sports medicine experts, including the American College of Sports Medicine, recommends using the general ‘above the neck’ rule: if your symptoms are above your shoulders, such as a drippy nose and stuffy head, go ahead with a low-intensity workout (it’s not a good idea to push it when you’re even a little sick). Just be sure to stay well hydrated. If your symptoms are below the neck – diarrhoea, a cough based in your chest, fever or vomiting – you’re better off riding your couch. Here is a more detailed guide:
RIDE IF You generally feel OK otherwise.
REST IF You’re so blocked up you can barely breathe, even after 10 minutes of light spinning.
RIDE IF It’s 37 degrees Celsius or below.
REST IF It’s above 37.
RIDE IF It’s mild enough to not be distracting.
REST IF Your head is pounding like it did the morning after your 21st birthday.
SYMPTOM: MUSCLE ACHES OR CHILLS
Don’t ride! Aches and chills indicate a more serious full-body infection. Your body needs all its reserves to fight it.
SYMPTOM: SORE THROAT
RIDE IF It’s just a little scratchy.
REST IF Your glands are swollen.
RIDE IF You’re coughing just to clear your throat of excess mucous.
REST IF You feel like you’re hacking up a lung.
8 Ways To Prevent Colds and Infection
- by Jeroen Swart
1 Wash your hands regularly with soap and water
2 Avoid touching your nose and face
3 Wear a face mask or balaclava during training
4 Stay away from crowded places after exercise
5 Get your flu vaccination at the beginning of winter
6 Get plenty of sleep
7 Reduce your stress levels
8 Supplement with vitamin C, zinc and glutamine