Couple exercising with a sinus infectionExercise is normally a great way to improve your health. But when you have a sinus infection, how do you know if you should continue your workout schedule, scale back a bit, or take a temporary break to get some rest?

When you have a sinus infection, your sinus cavities have become infected. Your sinuses are normally filled with air, but they can become blocked and filled with fluid. Bacteria and viruses can thrive in this environment and cause an infection in this area. A cold, allergies, nasal polyps, or other issues can trigger the infection.

You may have acute sinusitis, which usually lasts four weeks or less. Chronic sinusitis is defined by sinusitis symptoms that last eight weeks or longer.

A sinus infection causes your sinuses to swell or become inflamed. Although sinus infections are quite common, it may still be best to limit certain types of exercise when you have this issue.

In this blog, the sinus specialists at DFW Sinus Select will discuss whether exercising with a sinus infection is safe.


What are the symptoms of a sinus infection?

The symptoms you may experience with a sinus infection include:

  • Nasal discharge that’s thick, yellow or yellowish-green, and foul-smelling
  • Pressure or pain around the face and eyes
  • Headache (usually in the forehead area)
  • Nasal obstruction
  • Congestion
  • Post-nasal drip
  • Cold symptoms that linger or get worse
  • A persistent cough
  • Loss of smell
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Pain in your upper teeth


Is exercising with a sinus infection safe?

Nasal congestion is what usually causes a problem when you’re exercising with a sinus infection.

Weightlifting and running are the two exercises that are most affected by sinus infections. Clogged nasal passages can cause you to become dizzy, which can affect your coordination and sense of balance.

For these reasons, it’s recommended that you don’t lift weights if you have a sinus infection. You should also avoid exercise or sports if you have chest pressure with a sinus infection. This can make breathing difficult, ultimately making your heart work faster.

In addition, it’s more likely for you to become dehydrated easily when you have a sinus infection, so it’s important to stay well hydrated when you’re exercising. Drink about twice the amount of fluids that you usually do. Drinking plenty of clear liquids will also help keep your nasal discharge thin and help it drain more easily.


Can exercising with a sinus infection actually help some symptoms?

When you have a sinus infection you may not feel like being very active, but certain light exercises can help stimulate the flow of mucus and boost production of white blood cells, which help fight infection.

Exercise also triggers the release of chemicals in your body called endorphins. These, along with receptors in your brain, can reduce your perception of pain and trigger a positive feeling.

Taking a brisk walk or bike ride are good exercise choices, but you should avoid activities (like toe touches or some yoga poses) where you have to lower your head. This will increase sinus pressure.

If you find that exercise is making your symptoms worse, scale back your routine, or if necessary, stop working out until your sinus infection is better. Learn how your body responds to exercise when you have a sinus infection. You may have to adjust what you normally do, but it’s important to pay attention to your symptoms to see if your activity level is making them better, worse, or having no effect at all. Most importantly, don’t put yourself in a situation when you’re exercising where you feel dizzy and could be injured.


Where can I find treatment for my sinus infection?

If your sinus infections are causing you to experience unpleasant symptoms, one of our sinus specialists will examine you and get you on the road to recovery. Contact us today for a consultation, or get started by filling out the schedule appointment form right on this page.

We look forward to helping you get the treatment you need to start breathing better and living better.