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Old 01-10-13, 06:46 AM   #1
jlstrat
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Cough/Cold and Cycling

Woke with a sore throat yesterday so I skipped cycling and finished cleaning the garage instead. I did do a short ride later and felt better. So...should I do a 20 mile ride at moderate pace?
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Old 01-10-13, 06:59 AM   #2
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Above the neck, you're okay. If it goes into your chest, take a break. If it's really crappy out, take a break.
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Old 01-10-13, 07:00 AM   #3
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Up to you, it is your body and you know it better than anyone. Any fever since yesterday? If I have a cold I will go ahead if there is no fever and I don't risk spreading the stuff to anyone else, if it is the flu, I stay home and follow all the usual recommendations. I have a flu shot every year since I am high risk with all my health problems, not going to have anything set me back. You be the judge and I hope things are alright for you, Strat,the flu going around is really nasty this year.

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Old 01-10-13, 08:02 AM   #4
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In late summer, my daughter got a cough that turned into pneumonia. Then my wife got a cough that also turned into pneumonia. At this point, I too had a cough.

At the second medical visit with my wife, the doctor said - the cough keeps you from breathing deeply and so fluid begins to collect deep in the lungs under relatively anerobic conditions.

That afternoon and the days after that, I went out for a normal daily ride (~20 miles or so) and made sure to get myself winded, no matter how much it made me cough.

I did not get pneumonia.
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Old 01-10-13, 10:32 AM   #5
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I had the same situation.I had the flue shot.For a week I have a sore throat,cold, sleeping alot.No fever or chills.Missed the bike so feeling about 75% went for a 50 min ride.2 hours later I felt like I had surgery on my throat.That ride made everything worse.So hold off is my recomendation.Btw this is day 9 not 100% yet
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Old 01-10-13, 06:16 PM   #6
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I did 20 easy miles and was glad I did...
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Old 01-10-13, 06:19 PM   #7
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I am dealing with this very issue. Just getting over a bad cold (flu? I'm not sure) and trying to ride. Easy rides are OK but if I breathe hard I start coughing and it's hard to stop. That happened yesterday and was not fun. (Sucking cough drops while riding is not ideal and didn't help much anyway.) I still have some throat and chest congestion, it seems. Today I rode more easily, for almost an hour at moderate pace, without incident.
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Old 01-10-13, 06:44 PM   #8
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a moderate ride I found loosens up the congestion; and then gives you a chance to practice snot rockets and loogie hocking. Dress warm.
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Old 01-10-13, 08:08 PM   #9
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a moderate ride I found loosens up the congestion; and then gives you a chance to practice snot rockets and loogie hocking. Dress warm.
Snot rockets are disgusting and ungentlemanly/unladylike, but loogie hocking is great! People look up to cyclists who are able to hock loogies while in motion! (I read on the interwebs that Canadians would call that 'horking up a hork'. Is that true?) Spitting is good, too.

To the OP: Take it easy if you have a fever or have any difficulty breathing.
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Old 01-11-13, 05:25 AM   #10
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The most annoying and difficult thing in the world for me is riding with a constantly running nose. I find that, by the end of the ride, I am completely drained from working so hard just to breathe. I can't imagine that this is good for the heart and lungs.
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Old 01-11-13, 06:06 AM   #11
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Tom,
There was a reply in a thread about a month ago saying the runny nose was caused by the cold dry air in the winter causing tearing and then the excess tears are flowing through a lacrimal/nasal canal from your eyes to the nasal cavity, this the source for the runny nose, supposedly. They suggested wearing a skiers goggle or at a minimum some wrap around sunglasses. I started pushing my glasses back up where they belong and the running has lessened for me. Although our cold weather here is not even in the realm of what New York faces and Long Island's winds to boot.

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Old 01-11-13, 07:18 AM   #12
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Hi folks,

Any time you have any sort of congestion in the nasal passageways, back of the throat, bronchial tubes or lungs, air flow to your lungs is restricted. When you exercise, such as riding a bike, the reduced air flow in and out of your lungs reduces the amount of oxygen flowing into your lungs with the air and through the lungs to the tissues. When you have reduced oxygen flow, your heart attempts to make up for it by increasing it's rate of pumping, thereby moving the fresh oxygen to the tissues quicker. But since the oxygen flow already is reduced, no more oxygen than is provided by your lungs airflow can get to the heart, lungs, brain, organs or other tissues. So your organs end up starved for oxygen when they need it most.

The bottom line is, when you're sick with any illness that reduces your air flow and therefore the oxygen level of your body, you're better off, if you can, to NOT make higher demands on your lungs. So when you're sick and there is even the slightest bit of congestion anywhere, you're better off not to exercise, cycling or otherwise. Because you're hurting, not helping your body, both to recover from the illness and to get positive exercise. You're actually hurting it, by working it hard when it's already working to heal from being sick.

You may sometimes get some clearing of the nasal cavities or throat, but that's more safely done using a steam humidifier and some salt&baking soda nasal flushes (google neti pot mixture ratios).

So let yourself heal completely, then get back on the road. Your body will be better off in the long run. Remember the generic television commercial doctor's advice about drinking fluids, taking appropriate medications and getting some rest. There's a reason they repeat that advice so often. It's actually very good advice when you're sick.

Dave, your friendly neighborhood Respiratory Therapist.

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Old 01-11-13, 08:28 AM   #13
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I went skiing yesterday with a head cold and snot rockets are much easier on a bicycle than on a chair lift!
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Old 01-11-13, 08:43 AM   #14
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You may sometimes get some clearing of the nasal cavities or throat, but that's more safely done using a steam humidifier and some salt&baking soda nasal flushes (google neti pot mixture ratios).
Just a word of caution: If you are going to use a neti pot, be sure to sterilize the equipment and anything that goes in, like the water. http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011...-water-warning
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