How To Tell If Your Sneezing Fit Is Allergies, Or Worse — And Whether You Need To Skip That Workout

Can you tell cold, flu and allergy symptoms apart?

This post is sponsored by Cipla |

Is it allergies, or something worse? A runny rose and scratchy throat equals a ringing alarm bell when you’ve been clocking those fitness goals, and it seems that Murphy’s law is about to throw you off your A-game. Again. Because being a sneezing mess can only mean that you’re about to skip some (or all) of your upcoming workouts. But do you really have to?

Well, not necessarily — at least not if you don’t actually have the flu. Because there’s colds and allergies too — and yes, they all present similar symptoms with very different downtimes. So best you learn to tell them apart to choose the best course of treatment… and possibly save those gym gains.

Is it a cold, the flu, or allergies?

While a cold, the flu and allergies may all feel the same, timing is one of the most obvious differentiators. How soon did the symptoms come on, and do you notice a pattern in its onset? A cold is different from the flu in that its symptoms generally develop gradually, while the flu will hit you fast. Does your sneeze-attack happen around the same time each day? Then you may be suffering from an allergy.

This cool infographic from Cipla makes it easy to tell the difference between the three.

Cipla Flu infographic

*© The State of the United Airways – Brought to you by Cipla Allergy. Infographic courtesy of Dr Diane Hawarden MBChB, October 2019.

So, what does this mean for your workout routine? The experts generally approve mild physical activity if you don’t have a fever and you only experience cold symptoms “above the neck” i.e. a runny nose or sore throat. Any kind of fever or “below the neck” symptoms, including chest pain and coughing, is a definite no-no!*

*It is always advisable to consult a healthcare professional before continuing physical activity when you are sick.

READ MORE ON: Colds and Flu Health Health Advice Health Conditions Sponsored

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