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Working out: When to exercise in the cold and flu season

Published: Tuesday, Feb. 12 2013 3:56 p.m. MST

Health and fitness experts advise to starve a fever of exercise. But feeding a cold moderately, with a brisk walk, may not be a bad idea.

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Our take: During the winter months when flu season is in full force, it can quickly derail any exercise plan. However, some moderate exercise when you're feeling a little under the weather might not be bad for you after all.

Sniffles, runny noses and flu-like symptoms can deter, delay and even derail many exercisers just when enthusiasm for that New Year's resolution is beginning to flag.

Health and fitness experts advise to starve a fever of exercise. But feeding a cold moderately, with a brisk walk, may not be a bad idea.

"The classic line from every sports medicine doctor is, If you can do it, do it. If you can't, don't,'" said Dr. Lewis G. Maharam, author of "Running Doc's Guide to Healthy Running."

Usually if symptoms are confined to above the neck, exercising is OK, he explained. But if you're running a fever of 101 degrees Fahrenheit (38.3 degrees Celsius) or higher, skip it.

Body heat rises during exercise due to increased metabolism, explained Maharam, who practices medicine in New York City. If you start high, your body's way of cooling you down is out of balance.

Read more about when to workout on Reuters.

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