Running with Fever

The temperature at the surface of your body is 98.6 Degrees Fahrenheit. Your core body temperature is slightly higher at 99.6. The regulation of your body temperature is done through a process called homeostasis. However, there are minor variations through the day and your body is at its warmest in the evening. A variation in your body temperature is usually an indication that something is amiss and depending on how much of a variation, the increase is caused by your body responding to the problem. From inflammation caused by an injury to an everyday virus, bacteria, sore throat or even Tuberculosis your temperature can rise to combat the problem. Now if only you could clinically include your temperature rising because someone annoyed you!

In general (please note that I am not a Doctor and if indeed your loved one has high temperature please do consult a Doctor) a high temperature is an indication that your body is going to work. Viruses and bacteria seem to thrive best, possible as an outcome of natural adaptation, when your body temperature is normal. Therefore, an elevated temperature creates an environment in which they cannot survive. Depending on the nature of the problem, many everyday ailments can be resolved by the immunity system without much external intervention other than drinking plenty of fluids (because you are burning water) and rest. As soon as I read that warmer temperatures are better for you, I asked myself – why cant your body temperature just be warmer all the time in that case. This is because temperatures over 107.6 Degrees Fahrenheit can damage the brain.

If your body temperature is below a 100 Degrees Fahrenheit, it is usually safe to run (I use run as an illustration but any form of exercise is fine). David Nieman PhD who has run several marathons believes that as long as your have a sinus or head cold it is perfectly fine to run but you should be careful if you have a chest of lung infection. This may be because your breathing can be more shallow with a chest infection. The human body is wonderfully adaptive and training your body prepares you for contingencies. So the next time you have temperature and still feel up to it, run. I just did.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.