Exercise Protocol After Covid-19

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Exercise protocol after covid-19

When to Start exercise or running after recovering from covid-19

When to start running or to start with exercise is a question which no one can answer with any certainty or surety. However, having said that you can still follow certain basic protocols which the fitness world is giving from experience. It is imperative to understand that you are different from others. Hence Covid-19 could have affected you differently in comparison to others. Also, remember that even symptoms in Covid-19 are coming in multiple phases. 

Move even when you are sick

When doctors say ‘take rest’ they do not mean that you have to be on bed rest or take a complete break from any movement. You have to avoid strenuous activities. However, you must keep moving, do a little walk and try to stay as much active as possible. Remember that immobility increases the risk of blood clots.

Precautions before starting again

Precautions and starting protocol should be as per your level of illness. If you had severe symptoms which required hospitalization, you must talk to your doctor before starting anything which you can count as running or workout. Your doctor may ask you to undergo tests even once you have fully recovered. These tests may vary if you required oxygen only or were on a ventilator for a few days. Try not to avoid these tests (EKG, ECG, Blood tests, Lung Functionality test, etc.). It is important to rule out any possibility of complications that may arise because of workouts or running. 

If you had minor symptoms or were asymptomatic you may not need the tests. There are a few who had symptoms but were not diagnosed with Covid-19. The precautions are the same for them as well. You will have to wait for at least 10 to 14 days after all your symptoms disappear before you start. You may even start exercising without consulting your physician. However please follow a protocol that governs the return journey safely.

Return Protocol

The effects on organ systems are not yet established well by doctors. However, based on the experience our fitness experts have tried to lay out a ‘Return to Routine’ protocol. You should follow the sports protocol strictly even if you feel good. Start with not more than 50% of your baseline workout or running. That means if you are a runner try to run only using 50% energy and effort. Also, reduce your average distance to 50%. The same goes for other training routines. Also at any point of time, you feel any symptoms such as chest pain, breathlessness, unusual tiredness, feeling as you are about to faint, or something unusual, immediately discontinue the workout. Stop and get back your breath. Return home and speak to your doctor about the experience. You may have to undergo some tests or wait longer to start.

Other things to do

Few basic things if done during the recovery period will speed up your way back to a gym or a running track. 

  1. Hydrate yourself – Try to drink 1.5 to 2 liters of fluids every day. If you are indoors and are not feeling thirsty, ensure you take warm fluids. 
  2. Work on immunity – It is important to eat healthily. So make sure you add a lot of fruits and vegetables to your daily diet. Avoid processed and heavy or fried food.
  3. Steam Inhalation – It helps keep your respiratory tract clear and healthy. 
  4. Pranayama and Deep Breathing – This is the best way to rebuild immunity and stabilize your health.   

Slow and steady wins the race

Do not be in a hurry to reach back to pre Coivd-19 health status. Give yourself some time to build back safely, Avoid being in a hurry or jumping return protocol. Increase your intensity by 10% every week once you start the return protocol. Remember that exercise and workouts are good for you but only if done within the safety limits defined by experts.

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