Exercising with a Sinus Infection

dumbbells-2465478_1280.jpgWaking up with the tell-tale signs of sinusitis, congestion and drainage, is never fun. The severity of your symptoms can range from being a mild inconvenience to keeping you in bed all day, and everything in-between. This can be particularly frustrating if you maintain a regular exercise regimen. Should you exercise with a sinus infection? Will exercise help or hurt your condition? Let's take a look.

When to Exercise

The most important thing is to listen to your body. In general, if you feel up to it, mild to moderate exercise should be ok as long as you are careful and cognizant of how you are feeling. A good rule of thumb is that you are good to go if your symptoms are above the neck, as with runny nose, nasal congestion or sore throat. In some instances, exercise can provide some relief because of the release of adrenaline, which contracts blood vessels and may decrease swelling in your sinuses. Yoga poses and breathing exercises are particularly good for sinus issues because they can relax the body and mind, which improves breathing and circulation and helps the body heal. Specific poses and exercises for these purposes include cat's pose, child's pose, head to knee, knee to chest and lying down twist.

When Not to Exercise

Again, it's very important to listen to your body in these situations. If you have a fever, it's best to skip exercise until the fever has broken. Another good rule of thumb is that you should avoid exercise if your symptoms are below the neck, like frequent cough, chest conditions, an upset stomach, etc. It's also best to not exercise if you are experiencing extreme fatigue or numerous muscle aches. If you find your symptoms start to get worse as you exercise, stop and rest immediately.

In conclusion, listen to your body when it comes to illness and exercise. If you feel unsure about whether or not to exercise or experience worsening symptoms, consult your doctor. It's always better to play it safe than to risk injury or end up feeling worse.