Monday Health Tip: Rule Of The Neck

Written by Dr. Dave Hnida, CBS4 Medical EditorHope you’re feeling well these days– some of us are not.

A surprise nasty bug has invaded the state bringing a cacophony of coughs, sneezes, and snorts. (It’s summertime!)

Not only does it makes you feel bad, it also interferes with your ability to get a good nights sleep, put in a good days work, and sneak in a decent workout.

So, when you’re feeling better, when is it ok to hit the weights, pound the pavement, swing some clubs?

The answer is the neck. Or what we call the rule of the neck.

It’s not a hard and fast rule, but it might give you a little guidance on when its ok to exercise when recovering from a bug.

Anything above the neck is usually not too big a deal: say a runny nose or scratchy throat.

But symptoms below the neck throw up a big stop sign. That means cough, body aches, fever, and stomach symptoms are generally a no-go.

Obviously, a you’ve got to use a little common sense here. A horrible sore throat or swollen glands is above the neck– but should keep you on the sidelines.

But if you’re not feeling too poorly, you can probably sneak back out to get the motor warmed up.

And that means warmed up. After a bug, come back slowly– maybe some walking or stretching. Do too much, and you’ll be back to square one.

(Which means don’t be like the guy I saw last week who was chugging Robitussin before trying to run– he lasted half a block.)

LISTEN TO YOUR BODY– even if you don’t agree with what it’s saying.


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