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  1. #1
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    Do you ride with a cold?

    So I've got sore throat and sinus congestion - Winter is here and it's 50 degrees outside! Do I ride with sore throat and cold or not? I went for a short run and rode an easy 15 miler today, but didn't want to really exert myself lest I make the cold worse.

    Is this a legit concern or is the "overexertion with a cold makes the cold worse" just an artifact from what Mom used to tell me?

    On a different note (and non-cycling related though definitely health related), how many of you are stocking Tamiflu or Relenza for your families?

  2. #2
    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    Personally, if I have a light cold I'll ride my trainer. If I'm just "stuffed" I'll road ride moderately (great way to unstuff--but tuck a hanky in the jersey pocket). Any fever froget it. Working out during infection or illness strikes me as a waste of time, energy, resistance, and my poor bod probably won't be doing much "getting fitter" reconstruction under such circumstances. Downtime can be a good time to change those cables or even---read a book?

    With regard to pandemics.....just a buried deep current of apprehension for all of us; otherwise a normal flu shot.

    Take Care, FarHorizon......go look at those cables maybe.
    ..... "I renewed my youth, to outward appearance, by mounting a bicycle for the first time." Mark Twain, Speeches
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrannyGear
    Personally, if I have a light cold I'll ride my trainer. If I'm just "stuffed" I'll road ride moderately (great way to unstuff--but tuck a hanky in the jersey pocket). Any fever froget it. Working out during infection or illness strikes me as a waste of time, energy, resistance, and my poor bod probably won't be doing much "getting fitter" reconstruction under such circumstances. Downtime can be a good time to change those cables or even---read a book?
    Ditto for me, too.

  4. #4
    Let's do a Century jppe's Avatar
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    For me, unless it's an infection (like a sinus infection) I've found that riding actually seems to speed up the healing process. After 65 miles of what seems like I'm blowing my brains out my condition seems to improve fairly rapidly.

    The best thing I've noticed, however, is that I just don't seem to get that stuff as often anymore. About the only thing different is 15,000 miles on the bike so I'm wondering if riding is just a good way of warding off that stuff to begin with.

  5. #5
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Doesn't matter what you do with a cold, exercise, take pills, work through it, it will take 14 days to get over it. The other course of treatment is to lie in bed moaning and suffering and that takes a fortnight to get cured.

    Providing I do not have a headache- I will still ride, but I will go on a route that allows me to take a short cut home if possible.

    Incidentally- many moons ago I had a big ride planned with one other friend and at 5am I woke up with the start of a Cold. Nose, head and fuzziness. Only pill I could find was one called "Mucron"- a catarh treatment. I took one and felt fine in 30 minutes so the ride was still on. Midday and it wore off so took another one and it definitely kept everything at bay and no problems. Then I took the last one at 4pm. At 8pm no pills and the cold hit in a big way. Only another 5 miles to go and finished the ride. went to bed as soon as possible and woke up next morning with the worst cold I have ever had. I don't what is in those pills, but I should think there is a combination of every banned substance for athletes going.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  6. #6
    Roadie
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    Colds are God's way of saying cool it. I reduce activity to bare minimum for a week or so and start back up when I know I've got the better of it.

  7. #7
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Nasal congestion does not seem to bother my riding, but if my lungs or bronchea are feeling poorly I try to not ride, or if I must, ride as slowly and easily as possible.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by jppe
    For me, unless it's an infection (like a sinus infection) I've found that riding actually seems to speed up the healing process. After 65 miles of what seems like I'm blowing my brains out my condition seems to improve fairly rapidly.

    The best thing I've noticed, however, is that I just don't seem to get that stuff as often anymore. About the only thing different is 15,000 miles on the bike so I'm wondering if riding is just a good way of warding off that stuff to begin with.
    I agree! Recently my family doctor also agreed, stating the only time he'd restrict riding was if there was a fever present.

    On a side note, I've been retired almost 5 years now, and I find that limited contact with people seems to have improved my health. Only had one cold in my retirement years. I try to ride at least three days a week year 'round.

  9. #9
    Senior Moment Litespeed's Avatar
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    Gee I haven't had a cold in so long (knock on wood) that I don't remember what I do. If I don't feel terrible I would probably get on my bike for a short ride, seems to help unclog everything. When I first notice what I think is a cold coming on I take lots of extra vitamin C and one A, and do that everyday until I think it has gone away. Seems to have worked so far.

  10. #10
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    Is it a cold or the flu?
    http://www.niaid.nih.gov/publications/cold/sick.pdf

    I was knocked out of riding for about 4 weeks via flu this year. Not fun, but second set of drugs worked.

    If flu, wouldn't recommend riding, and get theeself to thine doctor.
    If cold, short riding might be ok, or just give yourself a rest.

    When you recover, even if off bike for a month, your body should spring back nicely.

    Good luck.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  11. #11
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    At 50 degrees, I put on a bathing suit and go to the beach--it's been in the 20s and lower here most of the week.
    According to my doc, though, there's not much danger in riding with a cold if it's really just a cold. Just do what you feel up to. If you don't want to ride, the thing likely will pass in a few days and you won't have lost much. With severe congestion, there's apparently some risk of aspirating gunk and eventually developing pneumonia, which is why he recommends taking it easy. It's a myth that you get colds from being cold, or chilled, or wet or anything else. You get colds from viruses, period.

  12. #12
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    It's just a cold - I'll have to wait it out. In the mean time, I'll just maintain an easy "maintenance" exercise program. Merry Christmas to all!

  13. #13
    Coyote!
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    If ya' feel like it, go. If not, stay home. If you get out there and feel worse, stop. You've got a built-in-body-wisdom mechanism honed by 5 billion years of evolution to rely on.

    Simple, safe, effective.

  14. #14
    Jim Shapiro
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    Good question. If it's really a cold and not influenza, I try to ride. My wife is a nurse and I pretty much let her decide for me. So far, so good.

    As a side note, I have noticed, quite happily, that I don't get as many colds as I used to when younger. One of the benefits of old age, I guess.

  15. #15
    King of the Hipsters
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    I don't believe in colds.

    Most people after the age of 40 have allergies that they fail to recognize as allergies.
    The allergies give them post nasal drip, which fills up their lungs with snot, and they get a sore throat from the gunk that sits on their vocal cords all night long.

    Take something to dry up the post nasal drip, such as antihistamines at night and pseudophed during the day.
    Gargle with warm salty water five times a day.
    Go for a bike ride and get those sinuses really flowing and clean 'em out.

    Learn how to blow your nose with your fingers while you ride.
    By that I mean stop up one nostril by pressing on it with your finger and blow the other nostril clean.
    This really cleans the sinuses by creating a siphon effect; whereas using a hanky pressurizes the nose and blows snot back up into the sinuses.

    Nuthin' like a good ride to clean out the sinuses.

    For those unaccustomed to riding in cold weather, wear a light long sleeved poly undershirt, arm warmers, good insulated gloves, a vest and a poly skull cap.
    Don't wear a jacket.
    Leave your shoulders and armpits exposed to the wind and your body will regulate its temperature much better than it will with a jacket with conventional sleeves.
    Let the arm warmers act as sleeves and leave your shoulders and armpits exposed.

  16. #16
    Senior Curmudgeon
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    For straight sore throat crud, I use the following:

    1. Gargle with 1% hydrogen peroxide (straight out of the bottle) (and don't swallow!)
    2. Put a heating pad around the neck (hot as it will go) for two hours

    The first measure sterilizes your mouth and upper throat. The second is the equivalent of having a high fever. This pair can normally clear up throat infections instantly without having to take any medicines.

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