Sport with cough


Anyone who practices sports regularly gets used to the ever-recurring burden and does not want to do without it. For competitive athletes, this will is even more pronounced.

Especially in the transitional seasons, such as spring and autumn, it can happen that athletes catch a cough during or while doing sports. Now many people are wondering what to do next. Should a break be taken, or can you do the usual amount of sports with a cold?

Is it allowed to do sports with a cough?

If you have caught a cough for many athletes, the question of whether the cough is to be cured or whether you can just continue with the sport.

Coughing is a human defense mechanism that is supposed to eliminate mucus, foreign bodies or dust. Especially the respiratory tract is cleansed and freed by the cough. Cough, however, has another function. It is a symptom of various diseases such as a cold, whooping cough, bronchitis or asthma.

Since an athlete does not always notice directly, whether the cough is only a protective mechanism or a symptom of a disease, this should always be clarified with a doctor. The doctor identifies the cause of the cough and can also give advice on whether to continue the sport or not:

  • If the cough is just a protective mechanism of the body, then the sport may be continued. However, it is recommended to reduce the intensity of the next one to three sports units a bit to be on the safe side and not to overload the body.
  • However, if the cough is a symptom of a condition, then the doctor's advice should definitely be followed. Depending on the underlying disease, the break should be shorter or longer.

Further information can be found here: cough - a symptom complex of different causes )

  • Especially in endurance sports, one should act cautiously, and not expect his body too much. Alternative sports that have a low to no endurance character are recommended in this time as a temporary solution. Stretching, going for walks, fascia training, stability exercises or yoga do not burden the circulation so much and there is no need to take a full sports break.

What are the risks when doing sports with a cough?

Those who ignore all warnings of their own body, the doctor or friends and acquaintances and despite a disease with cough the usual exercise pervades, poses a certain risk.

Due to the stress of exercise, the cough can become chronic and thus stay much longer acute. A chronic cough is also much harder to cure than a "normal" cough. Depending on how severe the cough is, health can be jeopardized by continuing the sport.

The condition, such as a cold or bronchitis, can worsen because the body does not have the energy to fight it due to the high levels of stress. The healing process is prolonged and the coughing can be delayed.

Especially in combination with a cold, the mixture of cough and exercise in rare cases can lead to a heart muscle inflammation. Inflammation of the heart muscle, if detected too late, can in exceptional cases lead to death. However, an athlete would have to ignore all the warning signals of the body to get to this point.

Sport for cough, runny nose and cold

When coughing occurs in athletes, it should first be clarified what causes the cough:

  • In a protective reaction of the body can be continued normally with the sport.
  • However, if the cough is a sign of a disease, then a doctor should determine the exact condition and make a recommendation as to whether and when to start again with the sport.

The doctor can also show alternative sports that only put a minimum strain on the circulation and that can also be done with a cough. Athletes should always think about their health first before simply continuing with the sport.

Especially in competitive athletes, the pressure is often so high that a break is not possible because the athlete would take a too high training backlog in purchasing. The problem with this is that under certain circumstances the body is damaged further and further, without it being noticed by the athlete, as a result of which, for example, a cold can occur. A cold puts a lot of strain on the cardiovascular system and the immune system is busy banning bacteria and other germs from the body.

In addition to body aches, headache and inflamed sinuses are not uncommon. At these physical strains, strenuous exercise units should be avoided at all costs.

High levels of physical stress such as jogging, strength training or team sports add weight to the body and the healing process is automatically slowed down as the body does not have enough resources to cope with both pressures. Regeneration after exercise is just as ineffective as the healing process of the common cold.

Due to the weakened immune system infections and diseases (myocarditis) can creep in. A quick and complete recovery from cough, runny nose and / or cold can only be guaranteed by a sufficient recovery break. For questions and uncertainties, therefore, the family doctor should always be consulted.

Sport with cough with ejection

Coughing with ejection can have two reasons. On the one hand, it can be a protective reaction of the body, which occurs in dust or mucus in the lungs or the respiratory tract. On the other hand, a serious illness can be behind it, which should definitely be clarified by a doctor.

Sometimes the sputum indicates pulmonary involvement in the form of pneumonia or bronchitis. Clear expectoration usually occurs in viral infections, however, if the discoloration turns yellowish or greenish-yellow, it is more likely to be caused by bacterial infection. Both upper respiratory tract infections can spread, with dreaded inflammation of the heart or mid-pelvic space (mediastinum).

Depending on the reason behind the cough with ejection, the sports activity should be interrupted or alternative sports performed.

Especially endurance sports strain the body very strong, so should be avoided in coughing with ejection to other sports. All sports that are carried out in a low pulse range are suitable for this. Sports that are performed in high pulse areas, load the body very strong and are therefore not suitable. Going for a walk, yoga, fascia training, quiet cycling are good examples of sports that can be practiced after consultation with the doctor.

Inadequate behavior during a cold or an infection may favor this and also a hitherto unrecognized spread of infection to the heart can be symptomatic and thus dangerous.

Sport for cough and sore throat

If coughing and sore throat occur as part of a cold, this indicates an upper respiratory tract infection. This is not necessarily a reason to renounce the sport, but it also depends on where the sore throat comes from. Mostly, sore throat is caused by an inflamed pharyngeal mucosa, which in turn is triggered by viruses.

Also feared is an infection with a certain strain of bacteria, the streptococci, which can classically lead to white, stippchenähnlichen deposits on the tonsils. This bacterial group can lead to inflammation of the heart when it is carried to heart valve damage and in the context of a rheumatic fever, which should be treated with antibacterial suspected bacterial tonsillitis usually immediately.

For mild pain in the heart, you should listen to your own body and observe the external conditions, for example, the duration of the exercise or the intensity.

However, those who ignore a sore throat and do not have a doctor check it out should be aware of the risk of getting the virus into the bloodstream and thereby affect the heart and kidneys. Avoiding sports for cough and sore throat is therefore recommended as a precautionary measure.

Risk of heart muscle inflammation

Doing sports during a cold, which is sometimes characterized by coughing, does not only mean more physical effort, which is already running at full speed to fight the pathogens, but also a potential health hazard.

Infections of the upper respiratory tract are usually triggered by viruses or bacteria, whereby many potential invaders can also attack the heart as part of a germ transmission. Carryover occurs when either adequate therapy is not initiated in time, or when one does not allow the body the necessary rest it needs to effectively combat the infection.

Coughing while exercising due to overexertion

Coughing while exercising can be in the form of a stimulus cough, whereby it can be in the context of an overexertion, but also independently of it. Cause is often the cold and dry air, which can lead to a hot cough especially when doing sports outdoors.

Normally, the air in the nose is humidified and warmed up before it enters the lung system, but during sports and especially over-exertion, it causes more breathing through the mouth, so that this "preparation" is missing. An overexertion in sports can also trigger a so-called stress asthma, which is associated with cough or irritating cough and especially air shortage.

Cough due to allergy while exercising

Whether the sport is run outdoors or indoors, there may be potential allergens everywhere that can lead to allergic symptoms, even during physical activity.

For example, it is the pollen that causes allergic reactions such as tears and itching of the eyes, running of the nose, sneezing and coughing, and possibly even shortness of breath.

The physical strain that accompanies the sport can exacerbate these symptoms, which can sometimes even lead to the interruption or termination of exercise.

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