Cold and flu season is upon us! Having a plan to combat the common cold and flu will keep you and your love ones as safe as possible. Here are a few tips:

Many drugstores and supermarkets now offer flu vaccinations so when shopping for your weekly groceries, take a few minutes to get the shot.

Stock up on hand sanitizers and tissue and don’t forget, if you do end up with a cold, like coughing or sneezing, cough or sneeze onto your sleeves if you don’t have tissue.

If you do get a cold, it doesn’t necessarily mean you need to stop exercising. According to Dr. Edward J. Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic, moderate exercise is usually safe as long as your symptoms are “above the neck.” This include symptoms that accompany the common cold, such as a runny nose, nasal congestion, sneezing or minor sore throat. These things don’t have to derail your exercise routine, provided you feel OK energy-wise.

We don’t recommend travelling to the gym for your workout, but doing light to moderate exercises at home will help you recover more quickly. In addition to home exercises, make sure you get a good night’s sleep to help your immune system. Not only does the act of exercising itself help white blood cells, which fight disease, to travel more quickly through your body, it also affects the hormones that control your sleep cycles. So exercise indirectly helps you sleep more deeply, allowing your immune system to repair itself more effectively.

Don’t ignore below the neck symptoms like coughing and congestion as they can sometimes lead to something more serious. And working out with the flu or a fever is not recommended. Take it easy and drink lots of fluids to keep your immune system up. If and when in doubt, contact your local doctor for a second opinion.

Stay well!


Adapted from the following sources by Gladys Larbie for the Glendon Athletic Club.