Skiing when you have a cold?

I’m going skiing this weekend but I got a little “pre-cold” feeling.

As it might turn into a real cold, I spent some time reading up on what people say when it comes to skiing when you have a cold?

I came to the following conclusion:

It’s not dangerous to ski when having a cold but If you have a fever and/or have problem breathing then you should wait until you get better. You should also make sure it’s “just” a cold and not the flu because in that case, you should stay home.

Is it safe to ski when you have a cold?

Most of the time it’s not any dangers associated with skiing when you have a cold but (there’s always a but…).

If you also have a fever or feel a fever coming, then you should think twice before going since skiing might make your fever spike.

Also, sometimes when you get a cold you can get difficulty breathing and if that is the case then you should stay home and get better and get ready to “fight another day”.

Tips on what to do when skiing with a cold


The first tip is to make sure you dress in layers so that you can easily adjust your temperature since a cold might make you feel cold one minute and a little warmer the minute after.

You should also make sure that your throat is protected from getting cold. Having a cold might be tough but adding a sore throat is even worse.

Water, beverages and vitamin C

Also, just like normal you should drink a lot of water, and if possible, try to drink water that is not cold. Since that might make your cold worse and nobody wants that.

Always when I get a cold I go “all-in” when it comes to vitamin C, I normally drink two effervescent tablets a couple of times a day and that normally speeds up my recovery.

The good thing about vitamin C is that since your body can’t store it you can’t overdose (source), and the only thing that can happen is that you visit the bathroom a little more.


If you have a runny nose or not doesn’t matter, you should make sure you have enough tissues with you to be ready if your nose starts to flow.


There is also a lot of different medicine when it comes to curing a cold or make the symptoms more bearable and I can’t advise you on what to take. Just contact your nearest pharmacy and they will help you out.

Keep in mind that if your cold is giving you a headache, then you might not be as quick in thought as you normally are.

With that in mind, start your day in the slopes slow to get a feeling of just how much the cold is affecting you.


Food gives your body the fuel to fight your cold. In other words, make sure you eat well and keep away from fast food or any other food that might be low on vitamins, protein, and all that good stuff.

That means, eat a big healthy breakfast, lunch, and dinner and try to add some snacks every now and then during the day.


When done skiing for the day I recommend you make sure to get a really good night’s sleep.

We all know what wonders sleep can do when you’re sick, or feeling sick.

What might happen when skiing with a cold?

If you are visiting a big ski resort with a large number of slopes, then a cold might even make you disorientated, so make sure you have a map or any other method of getting “back on track” so that you can find your hotel.

But, like it’s most unlikely that you are alone in the slopes then you can always ask someone.

Although it might not be dangerous for your health to ski it might make your cold get worse or turn into something even worse like:

A sore throat

Nobody likes a sore throat and although it might not kill you, it sure won’t make your ski trip better.

Strep throat (Streptococcal)

If you’re unlucky then your cold can result in a Strep throat and that is a bacterial infection that normally makes the throat sore and scratchy.

Sore throat is not very common but if not treated it might result in rheumatic fever or kidney inflammation.

So, if you throat aches than make sure you take care of it.


Although you normally don’t vomit from a cold the combination of being active skiing and swallowing snot all day can make your stomach irritated resulting in you vomiting.

If that’s the case then try to do it away from the crowd and make sure you don’t get any vomit on your clothes or any ski equipment.

Tip! Sick, single or in a relationship, it’s always good to be prepared and have some breath mints in your pocket, if anything should make your breath smell bad.

Is it a cold, bronchitis, or the flu?

If your cold or the symptoms of a cold last for more than 10 days then it might be an indication that it might be something else.

If so, make sure to contact your doctor, just to make sure.

A Cold

Most of us already know the symptoms of a cold, but here is a reminder just in case.

  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Mild headache
  • Coughing
  • Congestion
  • Just feeling unwell.


Bronchitis normally has many symptoms similar to a cold but like I said above they normally disappear after about a week or so.

When you have bronchitis, you can have symptoms for several weeks and the most common one is cough, and at times intense coughing.

The flu

Well, if you have not only gotten a cold but it’s the flu, then you normally kind of know it because you feel a lot worse than a cold.

In addition to the symptoms of a regular cold, you normally feel fatigued (tired) and that you are sick.

Normally you don’t have to ask, you just know that it’s not a regular cold.

Should you let a cold keep you from skiing?

Well, like you probably know by now, it’s not easy giving an easy answer, it’s just up to you to decide if you should or can go skiing.

If you haven’t got a “monster” cold then sometimes the fresh cold wind might do wonders.

So, we are just talking about skiing here but like you all know there is all kind of different kinds of skiing.

If you are planning to go off-piste skiing where you either walk, fly or go by snowmobile then you need to think long and hard before going since this sort of skiing is much more strenuous then just going down the regular ski runs.


Can I ski safely with a cold?

Skiing with a cold is generally safe, but consider fever and breathing difficulties.

What should I do when skiing with a cold?

Dress in layers, protect your throat, stay hydrated, and consume vitamin C. Carry tissues and consult a pharmacist for medicine.

Can skiing worsen cold symptoms?

Skiing with a cold may worsen symptoms or lead to complications like a sore throat or vomiting.

How do I differentiate a cold, bronchitis, and the flu?

Cold: runny nose, headache, cough, congestion, feeling unwell. Bronchitis: prolonged coughing for several weeks. Flu: severe symptoms, fatigue, intense sickness.

Should I let a cold stop me from skiing?

It’s your decision. Mild colds can benefit from fresh air, but consider the intensity of activities. Prioritize your health and well-being.