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Flu Season Tips for Runners

Flu Season Tips for Runners


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Everybody gets sick every now and then. It happens to the best of us, even if you’re an avid runner. So instead of dreading the inevitable, let’s prepare for it.

Should we continue running when we are having a flu? It depends.


Jogging, which is not too strenuous, is fine. As long as you’re not too ill, it is not necessary to skip your regular jogging routine. It may even help clear nasal passages and your head.1

Meanwhile, there are workout routines that should be avoided when sick.

Endurance running

While gentle exercises can boost the immune system, intense exercises can stress it out. Endurance running is one of them.1

Outdoors in the cold

Running outdoors in the cold is a big no-no. Exposing yourself to cold and dry air can irritate airways, which worsens your conditions.1

Running after recovery

In case the flu keeps you in bed, returning to running after hiatus takes effort. Here’s a few tips for a good start.2

  1. Wait for at least 24 hours after your symptoms start ceasing for your first run.
  2. Make sure you don’t have a temperature and are free from stomach issues.
  3. Pick a shorter route.
  4. Take it easy for the first few weeks while your body is recovering. Pushing yourself too hard too soon can make you sick again.


Know that it’s not the end of the world to tweak your exercise routine or even put it on hold. Listen to your body. Remember, it is for the better in the long run. Consult your doctor should you start feeling ill again.




  1. https://edition.cnn.com/2013/10/10/health/exercising-with-cold-flu/index.html. Viewed on 20 Oct 2018.
  2. https://www.livestrong.com/article/504794-getting-back-to-the-gym-after-being-sick/. Viewed on 20 Oct 2018.

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© Cigna 2018

Information provided in this article is intended for health and fitness purposes only and is not intended for use in the diagnosis of disease or other conditions, or in the cure, mitigation, treatment or prevention of disease (see Terms & Conditions for details). Any health-related information found in this article is available only for your interest and should not be treated as medical advice. Users should seek any medical advice from a physician, especially before self-diagnosing any ailment or embarking on any new lifestyle or exercise regime. Any information contained in this article may not be suitable, accurate, complete or reliable. Cigna accepts no responsibility for the content or accuracy of information contained on external websites or resources, or for the security and safety of using them. "Cigna" and the "Tree of Life" logo are registered trademarks of Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. in the United States and elsewhere, licensed for use. All products and services are provided by or through operating subsidiaries, and not by Cigna Corporation.

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