Should you exercise with a cough?

Fitness lovers believe that regular exercise can protect against infection53. Although research shows that even moderate exercise can improve our immunity to upper respiratory tract infections,52 is it the best idea to exercise when we have a cough?

Unfortunately, information on the effects of exercise on the severity and intensity of cough is scarce and often contradictory.54

What does science have to say about it?

A study has shown that when a person has an upper respiratory infection, moderate exercise does not alter the severity nor the duration of the illness; however, it seems that strenuous exercise can compromise the immune response during an illness.55

One the other hand, some clinicians have observed that exercise can worsen the cough in children with pre-existing cough.56

To exercise or not to exercise?

A study on athletes showed that if the symptoms are above the neck such as sore throat, runny nose and sneezing, the athlete can proceed with exercising but cautiously.57

However, if the symptoms are below the neck such as a productive cough, fever, aching muscle, vomiting, diarrhea, and upset stomach, he should not train.57