Have you been infected by covid 19? If the answer is no, you will most likely be soon.
The internet provides us with lots of tips and tricks on how to exercise after covid 19. Covid 19 is a viral infection that would experience as the flu or a severe cold for most of us. There is nowhere near as much advice on how to get started with exercise again after the flu. Even if you have had covid or the flu, the principle of beginning exercise again is basically the same. How quickly you return to normal again depends on the starting point before you became ill and how ill the virus made you.
Our most important piece of advice is to get started again and listen to your body.
For some, the encounter with covid 19 will be lengthy. And even if you are not diagnosed with long covid, you can experience a feeling of low energy. This might last for a while. Part of the reason for this is long bed rest. If you are ill and have a fever, you should rest. BUT the longer you rest, the longer the road to your usual self will be. Which is a classic example of "that's just life." When you no longer have a fever, you need to start rechallenging your capacity and regain your everyday fitness. Do this to be able to cope with your daily tasks. For most of us, this works out on its own. You get back to your work and house chores. But what about your exercise? Has this as well made it back to your routine post covid? Are you afraid that exercise can lead to long covid?
Your physical capacity is linked to how much you accomplish in a day and your everyday tempo. Some will even say that you will achieve more with higher capacity regardless of motivation. Let us save the discussion about what comes first for another article.
Your physical capacity is affected by several things. Sleep, nutrition, your muscle strength and your maximum oxygen uptake. You can directly affect all of these factors. Get enough sleep, eat sensibly, and increase your maximum oxygen uptake and one-repetition max. You will, by doing this, achieve more!
After a period of illness where you have been stuck in bed or on the couch for a long time, your body has not received the right nutrition. The fever makes it impossible to get enough rest, and your heart has not been pushed to make breath haveli at all. Neither has your muscles had any external strain. All this reduces your capacity. And the longer it lasts, the more reduced both you and your physical capacity will be. That is why you must take the step back to training! And maybe before you start on the house cleaning and the laundry room's mountains of dirty laundry 🤷🏼♀️.
Start small. If you have been very active before, you may experience a step back in your fitness level after covid. Some people notice that a high heart rate over time causes headaches. If you experience this, calm down. It does not mean you must stop, but respect the signal from you body and lower your intensity. After being symptom-free for two weeks, build yourself up day by day. Start by taking short walks and then increase the duration and intensity in line with what your body can tolerate.
Long covid behaves differently for those concerned. But many are reported with high blood pressure, decreased respiration, and loss of muscle strength. We know that exercise works in treating other diagnoses with the same side effects/symptoms. We believe in using the same type of exercise as medicine for long covid, as we do for other diagnosis-specific training. Talk to your GP about how to exercise to get back to normal. Ask for a referral if you need closer follow-up by a physician.