How To Return to Exercise and Sports Once You’ve Recovered from COVID-19
If you are a fitness enthusiast, athlete, or someone who likes to exercise and work out but have just recovered from a COVID-19 infection, then the biggest challenge for you is getting back to your exercising or training routine. But at your current level, you can’t jump right back into any physical activity because your body is in a severely weakened state after dealing with COVID. Put your enthusiasm on hold and wait till your health and body is back to normal.
1The effects of long-term COVID are still unknown
Unlike last year, more information is known about the coronavirus and its long-term effects. That being said, many things are still unclear as to how much damage this virus causes in every individual. There may even be some lingering symptoms that some people experience long after recovering from an infection. These include shortness of breath, lethargy, loss of stamina, exhaustion, and muscle aches. Such symptoms make it nearly impossible to get back to physical activity anytime soon.
2Why is returning back to your normal lifestyle and exercise so hard after COVID-19?
Everybody’s body is different and some people can take a long time to recover from COVID-19 while others recover faster. Some might experience post-COVID-19 symptoms while some may not. This is why it is difficult for people to get back to their normal life and exercise after recovering from COVID-19. Dr. Marie Schaefer MD, explains “The truth is, the disease can affect everyone differently. Anyone, including young athletes, could experience a severe case or have long-term damage, which is why it’s so important to take this seriously.”
3How long before you can start working out again?
There are certain timelines for returning back to exercise and sports in store for those who were infected by the virus and have just recovered. When people are sick with the virus they shouldn’t be engaging in any physical activity and focus on resting, eating healthy, and staying hydrated. The severity of the infection determines the timeline for returning back to your exercising or sporty lifestyle.
People who test positive for COVID-19 need to rest for a minimum of 10 days, even if they don’t experience any symptoms. If they have a mild infection then they can return to exercising and sports activities after their 10 days isolation period. But they are advised to adopt a gradual approach to their activities after the 10-day window. In case of severe infection which requires hospitalization, people will have to be evaluated by a healthcare provider before getting back in any type of exercise. They will have to take tests like heart imaging or blood work, and ECG’s before they are cleared to start their physical activities.
4Doctor Schaefer laid down certain guidelines for fitness-oriented people during COVID-19
These guidelines are basically restrictions on exercising when in isolation and quarantine.
Those who were exposed to COVID-19: will need to quarantine and refrain from working out at the gym or training center to prevent spreading the infection. However, people can exercise as much as they want in quarantine, with home workouts. But the moment you start to fall sick, you should immediately stop exercising.
Those who get diagnosed with COVID-19: will need to isolate and quarantine themselves and must refrain from doing any exercise until they are fully recovered and have completed their isolation period. To resume activity, they should first get checked up and cleared by a healthcare provider.