Covid-19 has been wreaking havoc in our lives for a year and pandemic experts and doctors are still updating us with ways to tackle the protocol of prevention, combating the virus and post-recovery. There has however been a rise in complications for people restarting their routine exercises, and doctors are of the opinion that patients should not start vigorous workouts and physical exercise and training for at least 3 months post a Covid-19 infection.
According to a report in The Times of India, “Intense physical activity of any kind is not recommended immediately after the patient recovers from Covid-19. The lungs that are recovering from the infection cannot keep pace if you immediately start intense physical activity. If the patient was suffering from severe Covid-19, there are chances that they might go into lung fibrosis and suffer complications,” said Dr. Vinay Shekar, head of general medicine at Gandhi Hospital.
Patients have weakened organs after the infection and any stress can affect the quick recovery of the same because the lung damage needs time to restore back to health. Basic breathing exercises, low-intensity walking, and stretches are recommended but any physical training should be started in phases and under professional or expert guidance after approval from the physician, cardiologist or pulmonologist.
Doctors and scientists are still learning the long-term effects of COVID-19. The virus damages the heart, brain, lungs, and kidneys in some and while many are quick to recover for many others recovery is not so fast. Fatigue, dehydration, loss of energy, body pain are some symptoms that linger long after the infection has subsided.
For people who are particularly active and sportspersons, getting back to their old routine should be a slow process and monitored to avoid any serious complications or damage to the body. Even with that proper nutrition and hydration should be followed to make sure overall health is maintained.
How to restart your fitness journey according to Dr. Schaefer, Cleveland clinic
- Listen to your body. If you’re experiencing symptoms like chest pain or heart palpitations, stop exercising immediately and consult with your healthcare provider.
- Take it easy. Don’t try to “power through” like you used to. Athletes of all ages should follow a gradual progression to get back into exercise. You’ll need to build up the time and intensity of your workouts.
- Be patient. Even if you were training for a marathon prior to becoming infected, you’ll likely discover that your body has changed a bit, which warrants extra caution. Don’t push too hard on a body that is still trying to recover.
Health complications that can arise post Covid -19 recovery
- Myocarditis is an inflammatory response of the heart due to a viral infection, such as COVID-19. It can cause swelling in the heart muscle making rigorous activity more difficult and sometimes, even deadly.
- Student athletes (and any active adult) should complete a supervised, graduated return to sports progression as they head back to practice, training or exercise. This progression is often referred to as Return to Play (RTP) and involves seven stages.
Symptoms to look out for while working out
- Chest pain or heart palpitations.
- High heart rate not proportional to exertion level or prolonged heart rate recovery.
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy.
- Shortness of breath, difficulty catching breath or abnormal, rapid breathing.
- Excessive level of fatigue.
- Swelling in the extremities
- Syncope (passing out).
- Experiencing tunnel vision or loss of vision.
You know your own body better than anyone, how it normally feel when you walk up the stairs when you run when you bike so those things harder for you and you feel a change in your body then that should raise a red flag.