Is it safe to train when you have a cold or flu?

Now that the cold and flu season is here many of us may question whether it is safe or not to train while sick.


Studies have shown that regular moderate intensity exercise actually improves the body’s immune response to respiratory viral infections, but training while you have the flu can be very dangerous to your health.


This is because viral infections, such as the flu, can cause temporary muscle weakness that extends to the muscle cells in your heart – and a heart weakened by a viral infection can be further weakened by strenuous exercise.


But remember, a cold is not the flu!


The common cold is inflammation of the upper respiratory tract. Symptoms include a runny nose and sore throat, but no fever or body aches and pains. If you have symptoms of a cold, doing mild to moderate exercise (a brisk walk or slow jog) is not harmful to one’s health.


If you have flu-like symptoms – fever, extreme tiredness, muscle aches, or swollen glands – it’s best not to exercise at all until you’ve seen your doctor. If they confirm you have an acute illness like the flu, then resting until you are completely recovered is the only way to get fighting fit without too much delay.

Breastfeeding week 1-7 August 2020

With the global COVID-19 pandemic, we are all trying to protect ourselves and others from the coronavirus. Protecting your baby is like protecting yourself.

Although medical research is ongoing, researchers have not yet found SARS-CoV-2 in breast milk and is it safe to breastfeed your baby.


Breast milk provide baby with immunity

If you can breastfeed your baby, it is important to keep it up. Breast milk gives your baby protection against several kinds of illnesses. It not only fills your baby’s hungry tummy; it also gives them automatic — but temporary — immunity against some bacteria and viruses.


Guidelines for “safe” breastfeeding

While scientists have already established that you likely cannot pass on the coronavirus through your breast milk, there is a small chance you can still pass it through droplets from your mouth and nose or by touching your baby after coming in contact with your face or these droplets.


  1. Wash your hands frequently & carefully before
  • * touching your baby,
  • * you pick up your baby or
  • * handle baby bottles and other baby items.


  1. Disinfect surfaces
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces that are used regularly and may be contaminated with droplets. This includes counter tops, changing tables, bottles, door handles, toilet flushing mechanisms, taps.


  1. Pump breast milk for additional feeds where your partner or a family member can feed your baby.
  • * Wash your hands and clean any area of skin the breast pump will touch.
  • * Wearing a mask is recommended.
  • * Ensure that the bottle is completely sterile by placing it in boiled water between feedings.


  1. Keep baby formula and sterile baby bottles on hand ready to go if you feel you are ill or have symptoms of COVID-19, just in case.


  1. Wearing a mask while you are breastfeeding your baby is not necessary or recommended. (But, if you have any flu like symptoms and feel more comfortable to wear a mask while you are holding, changing, or talking to your baby, you are welcome to continue with it.)


Breastfeeding & bonding

With a new baby you almost always go unknowingly into a type of self-isolation, even before COVID-19!

How does feeding (breast or bottle-feeding) your baby now look like…not really different:

  1. Take a few minutes to carefully wash your hands with warm water and soap before feeding your baby.
  2. Get everything ready for feeding. You might want to use a hand sanitizer just before handling your baby.
  3. Get a comfortable feeding position (i.e. baby snuggles into your lap, “tummy to mommy”).
  4. Avoid touching your own face and gently caressing the back of baby’s head instead.
  5. As your baby feeds, you keep your hands and attention on him/her. Avoid touching your phone, laptop, or anything else that can risk infecting your clean hands and baby.
  6. Relax and bond as he/she feed himself into a peaceful slumber.


Risks of breastfeeding currently

Talk to your doctor if you must use any medication.

If you have severe COVID-19 symptoms, do not try to breastfeed. You need your energy to help you recover from this infection.


Contact your physiotherapist at 021-976 4832 or should you experience any problems.


Specialisation in sport amongst children

Youth sport participation changed from recreational free-play for enjoyment to a competitive and structured driven world.  Dedicated sport-specific training is growing and results in young children specializing in sport at an early age.


The major concern with early specialisation is the greater risk for overuse injuries, especially if your child has not started with puberty, because their muscles and tendons are still developing.  For most sports, there is no evidence that intense training and specialisation before puberty are necessary to achieve athlete status.


Risks of early sports specialisation:

  • * Higher rates of injury
  • * Re occurrence of injury
  • * Increased psychological stress
  • * Quitting sports at a young age due to burnout or reduce enjoyment
  • * Child might feel isolated from friends, who is not participating in the same sport


Participating in multiple sports allows children to develop different neuromuscular patterns and improve their adaptive skills.  The different strategies, movement and skills with multiple sports can prevent injury in their chosen sport and also lead to more enjoyment, longer participation and contributing to the chances of success. It is recommended that sport specialisation can be delay to late adolescence, which may help your child achieve their goals.


Tips to help your child maintain a healthy balance on the sports field:

  • * Hours of specific sport training should be limited to not greater than the child’s age.
  • * It is recommended to rest 1 to 2 days from sport during a week.
  • * It is vital to rest 3 months from sport in a year cycle, which helps with physical and psychological recovery.
  • * Multiple sport participation is recommended, which helps to improve self-esteem and also to develop neurodevelopmental and leadership skills.




  1. Jayanthi, Pinkham, Dugas, et al.,2013
  2. Ennis, 2019. (