Exercise is typically an excellent way to help improve your health. However, when you are suffering from a sinus infection, you may wonder if you should continue with your regular workout routine, scale back a bit, or take a break to let your body rest.

During a sinus infection, your sinus cavities are infected. Usually, your sinuses are filled with air, but they can get filled and blocked with fluid. Viruses and bacteria can thrive in this environment, which can cause an infection in the area. The infection can be triggered by nasal polyps, allergies, a cold and other issues.

You may suffer acute sinusitis, which typically lasts less than four weeks, or chronic sinusitis, which lasts more than eight weeks.

During a sinus infection, your sinuses may become inflamed and swollen. While these infections are common, they may still be a reason to limit specific types of exercise when this issue is present.

Symptoms of a Sinus Infection

Some of the most common symptoms of a sinus infection include:

  • Pain in the upper teeth
  • Thick, yellow or bad-smelling nasal discharge
  • Fatigue
  • Pain or pressure around the eyes and face
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Loss of smell
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Persistent cough
  • Congestion
  • Cold symptoms
  • Post-nasal drip

Can You Safely Exercise with a Sinus Infection?

If you try to exercise while you have a sinus infection, the most troublesome symptom is going to be nasal congestion. Running and weightlifting are the two exercises that are most affected by a sinus infection. If your nasal passages are clogged, it can result in you feeling dizzy, which may affect your sense of balance and coordination.

As a result, it is often recommended that you avoid lifting weights while you have a sinus infection. You also need to avoid sports or exercise if you feel chest pressure. This may result in it being difficult for you to breathe and eventually lead to your heart have to work harder and faster.

Also, when you have a sinus infection, it is extremely easy for you to get dehydrated. This is why it is even more important to stay properly hydrated during any type of physical activity. If you do plan on working out, try to drink twice the amount of fluids you usually do. Drink plenty of clear liquids, which can help you keep the nasal discharge thin and allow it to drain more easily.

Can Exercising Help with Sinus Infection Symptoms?

While you may not feel like doing much when you have a sinus infection, certain, light exercises can help to stimulate the flow of mucus and boost white blood cell protection. This helps to fight the infection.

Exercise also triggers the release of endorphins, which are receptors in the brain that can reduce your perception of pain and help to trigger a happy and positive feeling. If you want to exercise when you have a sinus infection, good choices are a bike ride or brisk walk. However, it is best to avoid activities where you have to lower your head. This is only going to increase sinus pressure.

Sinus infections are often frustrating and annoying; however, if you want to get better, you need to seek the proper treatment. To learn more about treatment for sinus infections, contact Dr. Light, E.N.T. to schedule an appointment.