PMCCPMCCPMCC

Search tips
Search criteria 

Advanced

 
Logo of jathtrainLink to Publisher's site
 
J Athl Train. 1996 Apr-Jun; 31(2): 154–159.
PMCID: PMC1318446

Sport, Exercise, and the Common Cold

Thomas G. Weidner, PhD, ATC
Thomas G. Weidner is Associate Professor at School of Physical Education, Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306.

Abstract

Upper respiratory illness may cause more disability among athletes than all other diseases combined. This paper presents the essential epidemiology, risks of infection, and transmission features of upper respiratory illness. Those who provide health care for athletes must understand the subsequent implications of an upper respiratory illness on sport performance and should be familiar with participation and clinical management guidelines for athletes with an upper respiratory illness. The literature suggests that regular, rigorous exercise increases both the incidence and severity of upper respiratory illness, yet the immune system appears to have a distinct level at which moderate exercise promotes optimum health. Although research indicates that upper respiratory illness infections are surprisingly reluctant transmitters, upper respiratory illness transmission may escalate during winter sports seasons. The impact of upper respiratory illness on selected pulmonary, cardiac, and skeletal muscle functions may lead to illness complications in athletes, and sport performance during illness may also decline. Athletes should monitor symptoms, adjust training schedules, and rest during an upper respiratory illness.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.3M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Ardawi MS, Newsholme EA. Metabolism in lymphocytes and its importance in the immune response. Essays Biochem. 1985;21:1–44. [PubMed]
  • Aström E, Friman G, Pilström L. Effects of viral and mycoplasma infections on ultrastructure and enzyme activities in human skeletal muscle. Acta Pathol Microbiol Scand A. 1976 Mar;84(2):113–122. [PubMed]
  • Blair HT, Greenberg SB, Stevens PM, Bilunos PA, Couch RB. Effects of rhinovirus infection of pulmonary function of healthy human volunteers. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1976 Jul;114(1):95–102. [PubMed]
  • Burch GE. Viral diseases of the heart. Acta Cardiol. 1979;34(1):5–9. [PubMed]
  • Cate TR, Roberts JS, Russ MA, Pierce JA. Effects of common colds on pulmonary function. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1973 Oct;108(4):858–865. [PubMed]
  • Couch RB. The common cold: control? J Infect Dis. 1984 Aug;150(2):167–173. [PubMed]
  • Crary B, Hauser SL, Borysenko M, Kutz I, Hoban C, Ault KA, Weiner HL, Benson H. Epinephrine-induced changes in the distribution of lymphocyte subsets in peripheral blood of humans. J Immunol. 1983 Sep;131(3):1178–1181. [PubMed]
  • D'Alessio DJ, Peterson JA, Dick CR, Dick EC. Transmission of experimental rhinovirus colds in volunteer married couples. J Infect Dis. 1976 Jan;133(1):28–36. [PubMed]
  • Dick EC, Hossain SU, Mink KA, Meschievitz CK, Schultz SB, Raynor WJ, Inhorn SL. Interruption of transmission of rhinovirus colds among human volunteers using virucidal paper handkerchiefs. J Infect Dis. 1986 Feb;153(2):352–356. [PubMed]
  • Dick EC, Jennings LC, Mink KA, Wartgow CD, Inhorn SL. Aerosol transmission of rhinovirus colds. J Infect Dis. 1987 Sep;156(3):442–448. [PubMed]
  • Douglas RG, Jr, Cate TR, Gerone PJ, Couch RB. Quantitative rhinovirus shedding patterns in volunteers. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1966 Aug;94(2):159–167. [PubMed]
  • Eskola J, Ruuskanen O, Soppi E, Viljanen MK, Järvinen M, Toivonen H, Kouvalainen K. Effect of sport stress on lymphocyte transformation and antibody formation. Clin Exp Immunol. 1978 May;32(2):339–345. [PubMed]
  • Fehr HG, Lötzerich H, Michna H. The influence of physical exercise on peritoneal macrophage functions: histochemical and phagocytic studies. Int J Sports Med. 1988 Feb;9(1):77–81. [PubMed]
  • Fitzgerald L. Overtraining increases the susceptibility to infection. Int J Sports Med. 1991 Jun;12 (Suppl 1):S5–S8. [PubMed]
  • Fitzgerald L. Exercise and the immune system. Immunol Today. 1988 Nov;9(11):337–339. [PubMed]
  • Friman G, Wright JE, Ilbäck NG, Beisel WR, White JD, Sharp DS, Stephen EL, Daniels WL, Vogel JA. Does fever or myalgia indicate reduced physical performance capacity in viral infections? Acta Med Scand. 1985;217(4):353–361. [PubMed]
  • Goetzl EJ, Adelman DC, Sreedharan SP. Neuroimmunology. Adv Immunol. 1990;48:161–190. [PubMed]
  • Green RL, Kaplan SS, Rabin BS, Stanitski CL, Zdziarski U. Immune function in marathon runners. Ann Allergy. 1981 Aug;47(2):73–75. [PubMed]
  • Gwaltney JM, Jr, Hendley JO. Transmission of experimental rhinovirus infection by contaminated surfaces. Am J Epidemiol. 1982 Nov;116(5):828–833. [PubMed]
  • Gwaltney JM, Jr, Hendley JO, Simon G, Jordan WS., Jr Rhinovirus infections in an industrial population. I. The occurrence of illness. N Engl J Med. 1966 Dec 8;275(23):1261–1268. [PubMed]
  • Gwaltney JM, Jr, Moskalski PB, Hendley JO. Hand-to-hand transmission of rhinovirus colds. Ann Intern Med. 1978 Apr;88(4):463–467. [PubMed]
  • Hanley DF. Medical care of the US Olympic Team. JAMA. 1976 Jul 12;236(2):147–148. [PubMed]
  • Heath GW, Ford ES, Craven TE, Macera CA, Jackson KL, Pate RR. Exercise and the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1991 Feb;23(2):152–157. [PubMed]
  • Heath GW, Macera CA, Nieman DC. Exercise and upper respiratory tract infections. Is there a relationship? Sports Med. 1992 Dec;14(6):353–365. [PubMed]
  • Jennings LC, Dick EC. Transmission and control of rhinovirus colds. Eur J Epidemiol. 1987 Dec;3(4):327–335. [PubMed]
  • Keast D, Cameron K, Morton AR. Exercise and the immune response. Sports Med. 1988 Apr;5(4):248–267. [PubMed]
  • Lewicki R, Tchórzewski H, Denys A, Kowalska M, Golińska A. Effect of physical exercise on some parameters of immunity in conditioned sportsmen. Int J Sports Med. 1987 Oct;8(5):309–314. [PubMed]
  • Mier-Jedrzejowicz A, Brophy C, Green M. Respiratory muscle weakness during upper respiratory tract infections. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1988 Jul;138(1):5–7. [PubMed]
  • Nieman DC, Johanssen LM, Lee JW. Infectious episodes in runners before and after a roadrace. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1989 Sep;29(3):289–296. [PubMed]
  • Nieman DC, Johanssen LM, Lee JW, Arabatzis K. Infectious episodes in runners before and after the Los Angeles Marathon. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1990 Sep;30(3):316–328. [PubMed]
  • O'Connor SA, Jones DP, Collins JV, Heath RB, Campbell MJ, Leighton MH. Changes in pulmonary function after naturally acquired respiratory infection in normal persons. Am Rev Respir Dis. 1979 Nov;120(5):1087–1093. [PubMed]
  • Payan DG, McGillis JP, Goetzl EJ. Neuroimmunology. Adv Immunol. 1986;39:299–323. [PubMed]
  • Peters EM, Bateman ED. Ultramarathon running and upper respiratory tract infections. An epidemiological survey. S Afr Med J. 1983 Oct 1;64(15):582–584. [PubMed]
  • Petrova IV, Kuz'min SN, Kurshakova TS, Suzdal'nitskii RS, Pershin BB. Fagotsitarnaia aktivnost' neitrofilov i gumoral'nye faktory obshchego i mestnogo immuniteta pri intensivnykh fizicheskikh nagruzkakh. Zh Mikrobiol Epidemiol Immunobiol. 1983 Dec;(12):53–57. [PubMed]
  • Reed SE. An investigation of the possible transmission of Rhinovirus colds through indirect contact. J Hyg (Lond) 1975 Oct;75(2):249–258. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Roberts JA. Viral illnesses and sports performance. Sports Med. 1986 Jul-Aug;3(4):298–303. [PubMed]
  • Roberts JA. Loss of form in young athletes due to viral infection. Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1985 Feb 2;290(6465):357–358. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Shephard RJ, Verde TJ, Thomas SG, Shek P. Physical activity and the immune system. Can J Sport Sci. 1991 Sep;16(3):169–185. [PubMed]
  • Smith WG. Adult heart disease due to the Coxsackie virus group B. Br Heart J. 1966 Mar;28(2):204–220. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Tomasi TB, Trudeau FB, Czerwinski D, Erredge S. Immune parameters in athletes before and after strenuous exercise. J Clin Immunol. 1982 Jul;2(3):173–178. [PubMed]
  • Tønnesen E, Christensen NJ, Brinkløv MM. Natural killer cell activity during cortisol and adrenaline infusion in healthy volunteers. Eur J Clin Invest. 1987 Dec;17(6):497–503. [PubMed]
  • Weidner TG. Literature review: upper respiratory illness and sport and exercise. Int J Sports Med. 1994 Jan;15(1):1–9. [PubMed]
  • Weidner TG. Reporting behaviors and activity levels of intercollegiate athletes with an URI. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1994 Jan;26(1):22–26. [PubMed]
  • Zarins B, Ciullo JV. ACute muscle and tendon injuries in athletes. Clin Sports Med. 1983 Mar;2(1):167–182. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association