Login      Sign Up

Q. How to avoid cold and flu after winter workout?


Hello doctor,

I like to go running. I was a very successful marathon runner when younger. Now I still workout, but my goal, apart from general health is mostly emotional fitness for the job. I work on the phone with customers and I have to be in a strong positive mood to be successful. I am currently living in a country where the climate is very cold and dark. When I work out it is not about speed or distance for me it is about sweating. Because, when I breathe deeply and sweat very deeply, I have the feeling that is the point when my cardiovascular system gets activated the most.

Now, I found some friends who are really in shape and who do really great workouts with me. The problem is that since I do not have a car, I always have to reach back home by foot. This weekend I am currently with cold and flu. I think that I got it because I went running, sweated, stopped and then walked slowly with wet clothes through the night for about 30 to 40 minutes. In the summer, I never had this problem. Since I train with the friends, I sweat even more and the winter has already started. What do you like to tell me about this? Should I manage to run home, even with wet clothes such that I would at least not get cold? Should I take a taxi to reach home in 15 minutes? Should I later take a warm bath?

Related Questions:
How to avoid cold and flu after winter workout?
Is bronchoscopy and tube necessary in a pneumonia patient with COPD?
Swine Flu Virus

Dr. Geeta Priyadarsini Kamminana
General Medicine, Internal Medicine


Welcome to icliniq.com.

Yes, it is easy to catch cold, particularly if you are in a cold, wet and windy weather. Also, exposure to extremely cold temperature affects you in many ways and can cause frost nip (first stage of frostbite), trench foot (prolonged exposure of feet to cold) and frostbite (damage to skin due to cold), chilblains (itchy swelling in hands due to blood vessel inflammation) and last but not the least hypothermia (low body temperature).

On the top of that, you being a marathon runner and a fit person will be having less amount of subcutaneous fat, which usually insulates you from cold temperatures like a quilt. Moreover, after a workout and sweating a lot, if you do not compensate by drinking water, you may get dehydrated and that further predisposes you to the ill effects of cold exposure. Well, I would advise you to take a cab to return home, particularly when the weather is so cold.

Here are few don'ts you need to keep in mind.

  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Do not wear wet clothes.
  • Do not smoke as smoking constricts your blood vessels and impairs your body's natural defensive mechanisms to fight cold temperatures.

Also, I suggest few dos post workout.

  • Do wear good warm winter clothes.
  • If you sweat a lot during workout, have water or juice to compensate for the loss of fluid and thus avoid dehydration.
  • You can take warm drinks like coffee, soups and lukewarm water.
  • You can always take a warm shower.

If you have any frost bite or any blisters, then immediately do not pour or immerse in hot water. Take a pair of extra clothes and never run in cold weather in wet clothes. Take a taxi particularly now as you have flu. You may take lukewarm showers. Warm shower definitely helps you to fight cold, but does not compensate for the cold injury. The length of exposure to cold temperatures depends on the variables such as the temperature, warm clothes you wear and your physical condition. Do take care of your health as the degree emotional health that is crucial for your living is directly proportional to your health.

For further information consult an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician


Thank you doctor,

I have another question. In this cold country, I get grippe around three to four times in each winter. Does this have long term consequences for the heart or lungs? I have some left-sided chest pain. Can this be the reason?


Dr. Geeta Priyadarsini Kamminana
General Medicine, Internal Medicine


Welcome back to icliniq.com.

Grippe or flu is an acute viral illness. Though it is perennial (detected all year around), its incidence peaks in winters due to cold temperature. It will make the respiratory mucosa dry and thus impair the natural defense mechanism to fight the bug. Taking rest along with adequate fluids and Paracetamol is the mainstay of management. Flu, though benign, may sometimes become malignant due to secondary bacterial infection leading to bacterial pneumonia and sometimes mutations may lead to viral pneumonia.

Taking protective measures like good food, not sharing linen and kerchiefs, avoiding too cold temperatures to fight winters.Your chest pain again may be cardiac or non-cardiac, that is may be musculoskeletal due to spasms or gastric. Clear description of pain that is type, location, intensity, radiation, sweating, nausea or vomiting, duration of pain, aggravating and relieving factors are required to categorize the pain.

Revert back with the detailed history to an internal medicine physician online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/internal-medicine-physician

Ask your health query to a doctor online?
Ask a Doctor Online »
* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Related Questions & Answers

Certain fluid is coming out of vagina after unprotected sex. Is I-pill required?
Query: Hello doctor,I had unprotected sex yesterday but my partner is not sure if he withdrew on time. Today morning I felt certain fluid coming out of my vagina. Should I take an I-pill to avoid pregnancy? Will it cause any side effects in later stages? My menstrual date is around 7th of each month. Also,...  Read Full »
Dr. Uzma Arqam
Obstetrician And Gynaecologist

Answer: Hello, Welcome to icliniq.com. It would be better if you take regular cyclic contraceptives instead of emergency for few months generally. At present emergency contraceptive pills to be taken to be on safe side as millions of sperms in 1 to 2 most of semen and only one sperm enough to give pregnan...  Read Full »
Am I suffering from pneumonia?
Query: Hi doctor, I am having fever for about a month now. So, I have done a master health checkup and the report shows raised PLBS 184, SGPT 121, LDL 112 and fatty liver. My chest x-ray PA view shows right lower zone soft tissue opacity. Because of the soft tissue opacity fever pack, thyroid profile, bloo...  Read Full »
Dr. Anshul Varshney
Internal Medicine Physician

Answer: Hi, Welcome to icliniq.com. Based on these reports, you are suffering from pneumonia. As your PPBS (postprandial blood sugar) is high, you need further evaluation and treatment. I would advise you to get a CT chest done. Also, get a sputum fungal stain and culture done. Check HbA1c (glycated hemogl...  Read Full »

Ask your health query to a doctor online?
Ask a Doctor Online »
* guaranteed answer within 4 hours.

Ask a Doctor Online

* guaranteed answer within 4 hours

Most Viewed

My nose is always blocked and has mucus. Kindly help.
Hello doctor,My nose is always blocked and have mucus, from past four months. To open up my nostrils, I have to use Otri ...Read more »
Child is showing tantrums and speaking bad words. Kindly help.
Hello doctor, My child is 2.7 years old but is very aggressive and does what should not be done. Never listens, shows t ...Read more »
Folic Acid - Uses | Dosage | Side effects | Drug Interactions | Warnings
Folic acid is the synthetic form of folate, which is a water-soluble vitamin B9. It is the crucial ingredient in the syn ...Read more »