Returning to Exercise After Recovering From COVID-19
The symptoms of the novel coronavirus have been shown to last two to three weeks and even after testing negative, many individuals still experience side effects. Although the long-term side effects of coronavirus are as yet unknown, there are some general complains that one should watch out for before starting to exercise again.
Why should I be mindful when exercising after COVID-19?
COVID-19 causes severe inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation can cause adverse effects on our cardiovascular system, causing an abnormal heartbeat and dysfunction. If you engage in exercise too soon, you can irritate such conditions and worsen the situation, resulting in negative consequences.
Furthermore, COVID-19 has been shown to affect multiple areas in our body. Individuals have reported gastrointestinal issues as well as aches and pains in different regions of the body. If you experienced any gastrointestinal issues during COVID, be sure to drink plenty of water to make up for any water loss.
The following is a general guide for returning to exercise. For specific suggestions, always consult your physician.
1. Consult your doctor
Talk to your doctor to assess if your post-recovery condition is safe to resume exercise. Your physician will know best on how to guide you given your health history. Tell your doctor the types of exercise you’d like to start to see if they are feasible in your condition. Be sure to make a note of how you feel when you exercise. Keep your doctor informed of your return to exercise to make sure that you are on the right track to recovery.
2. Start fresh
Be patient with yourself. Slowly reintroduce exercises into your daily life. Considering you have been unable to exercise while having COVID-19, it is crucial you know your boundaries. Avoid participating in any physical activity that could cause exertion. It is important to be mindful of your lungs and heart when exercising after COVID-19. The last thing you want to do is overload your system. Instead, start slowly with walks, household chores, or stretching. Focus on incorporating low impact exercises. This way, you are not exerting you heart but keeping a relatively steady heart beat while focusing on gaining back your fitness.
3. Be Patient
It can be disheartening to struggle while exercising. With potential fatigue, stamina and muscle loss, one can feel very upset. However, with enough time, guidance from your physician and a steady plan, it is possible to slowly return back to your original fitness level. This process may take days, weeks, or even months. It is crucial, though, to be patient with yourself to ensure that you do not hurt yourself in the process.
Please also remember that if you’re experiencing shortness of breath, fatigue and fever, you should not be working out and should contact your physician as soon as possible. For specific suggestions please be sure to consult your physician.