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Can you exercise with acute bronchitis?

asked about 5 years ago | Report

I've read "while some people will tell you not to exercise because you will be exerting your lungs even further, others will tell you that exercising is good for your lungs. However, the general opinion is that doing light exercise regularly with bronchitis can actually be beneficial."

But most athletes are not ones who take exercise 'lightly' - especially during training season. So... while there are those who won't stop exercising and cry "boo-hoo" after a few coughing episodes, there are others who fall into that horror story of "it took me a year to get back on track" because they pushed too hard, too soon... so, what's the general rule of thumb about exercising with acute bronchitis?

5 answers

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  • Advice I was given and still adhere to is if its below the neck stop and rest. Recover fully before resuming exercise routine.

    I didn't when I was training for my present job and ended up being off work for longer as I had just exhausted my system. So, yeah, frustrating as it can be, rest, recover and resume at low intensity and build base.

    answered about 5 years ago |edited about 5 years ago |Report

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  • That's a bummer. Listen to your body. Just as with all advice you get about exercise, it is not one-size-fits-all, but inherently generalized. Bronchitis can have many causes, so diagnosis by a doc is imperative. If bronchitis is acute, you're not going to get very far in any cardio workout without hacking up a lung. The most significant risk of training with that condition (besides a host of cardiovascular threats to which different people have different susceptibility) is that you could get a bounce-back and it might be worse than the original condition. Following your body's cues should be what guides you rather than trying to adhere to an overbroad principle.

    answered about 5 years ago |Report

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  • I have chronic bronchitis. I agree with Mark S. When the bronchitis hits, take it easy. You'll recover faster. Nothing is to be gained by keeping yourself worn out. Don't take coughing too lightly. If you cough enough you will waste a lot of energy as you're using a lot of muscles to generate the cough. Also, there is a slight risk of breaking a rib if you cough hard enough. No kidding.

    As for exercise being "good" for your lungs, breathing deeply is "good" for your lungs. A person sitting quietly or sleeping is not fully ventilating both lungs. It takes a deep breath to do that. Now you know why the doctor always tells you to take a deep breath. He/she wants to listen to all the lobes of your lungs.

    In general, exercise is good for the entire body but when the body is sick it really does need the rest.

    answered almost 5 years ago |Report

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  • I agree with everyone else. While you probably could exert yourself heavily with bronchitis, it would be pretty difficult to maintain it for any length of time (not to mention feel pretty badly). As for your lungs, like muscles, they're meant to be challenged for exercise. =)

    answered almost 5 years ago |Report

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  • I had bronchitis last november and it took a month to get over it. I came down with it again several weeks ago. I ask myself the same question. I lightly worked out while on antibiotics. I tried running hard one day and it was horrible. I think taking it easy and going at 2/3 speed is the way to go.

    answered over 3 years ago |Report

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