Dealing with a sinus infection? Then you might feel like heading to bed. But in some cases, light exercise — if approved by your doctor — can actually help you feel better. So what are the rules for working out when you’re under-the-weather?
Generally speaking, if your symptoms are above the neck, then a bit of light to moderate exercise can be OK (unless your doctor tells you otherwise). Above-the-neck symptoms include a stuffy nose, sinus pressure or sneezing. But if you notice symptoms like chest pressure, a chest cough or nausea, exercise typically isn’t recommended.
If you pass the “neck rule,” then these exercises might offer a gentle way to get moving:
- Walking or (if it’s part of your normal routine) jogging. Both can help open up the nasal passages through deeper breathing.
- Yoga. Soothing poses like child’s pose or cat’s pose can help with circulation and breathing.
- Low-impact dance. By getting your blood moving but not pushing yourself too much, you can release healthy endorphins while breathing more deeply.
But watch out, because these exercises aren’t your friend when you’re dealing with sinusitis:
- Weightlifting. Your strength likely will be down, and on top of that, muscle strain can make sinus pressure feel more intense.
- Long-distance running. Now isn’t the time to be training for a marathon. Pushing yourself too much can make your sickness last longer.
In any case, listen to your body when deciding whether to work out — and be realistic about your limits. Exercise releases adrenaline that can help contract blood vessels and potentially decrease nasal-passage swelling, but the key is exercising the right way, if you choose to and you’re able.
If you have any questions about maintaining your fitness routine while dealing with sinus problems, give us a call. There’s a different solution for everyone, and we’d be happy to discuss your unique needs.
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