When it comes to COVID-19 recovery, the good news is that you have taken the RT-PCR test after completing the course of treatment and the results are negative, indicating you are free from the infectious viral ailment of coronavirus. However, if what’s on your mind is getting back to regular exercise routines after weeks or even months of bed rest, to make up for all the missed workout sessions, then think again.
Being the frontline warriors and workers in the battle against COVID-19, doctors are only too familiar with its adverse effects on health firsthand. Physicians from countries around the world hence recommend infected patients who have recuperated from coronavirus to adhere to a nourishing protein-rich diet and not resume arduous workouts immediately. The Director of the All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in New Delhi, India - one of the premier healthcare facilities in the country, Dr. Randeep Guleria, has advised recently treated and healed patients to not start intense exercise routines for 4 – 6 weeks post recovery.
The reason for this is that the body has suffered a lot from respiratory complaints of dry cough, fever, besides headaches, tiredness, gastrointestinal symptoms and the system requires a considerable amount of time to overcome inflammation and tissue injury. Since the SARS-CoV-2 virus particles have invaded not just the respiratory tract and lungs but also other internal organs of the heart, brain, stomach, liver, kidneys and attacked the healthy cells in the body, the system requires to be rested so as to enable the damaged tissues to undergo repair and regain normal functions.
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Furthermore, it is common to feel breathlessness every now and then after being discharged from the hospital, along with prominent fatigue and weakness. In this regard, medical experts recommend fully recovered patients to initially start off with breathing exercises, basic warm-up routines and gradually as the lung capacity improves significantly, embark on more vigorous physical activities.
Tips To Keep In Mind While Exercising Post COVID-19 Recovery:
- Stay hydrated and drink lots of water throughout the day to prevent fatigue, lethargy
- Eat a wholesome, balanced diet rich, in essential nutrients of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, fibres, antioxidants
- Bolster immunity by consuming supplements that promote defence mechanisms and build resistance towards diseases, to avert reinfection
- Sleep for 7 – 9 hours daily and ensure the body gets ample rest
- Don on comfortable clothes and appropriate shoes before beginning any workout
- Never dive into any workout. Remember to warm up before exercising and cool down after completing the activity
- Refrain from working out in the extremely hot summer season and remain indoors and exercise if the weather outside is very cold, such as in the monsoon and winter
- Continue to follow COVID appropriate behaviour of masking up, hand hygiene, social distancing when exercising
- Stop all physical activity at once if you experience symptoms of dizziness, nausea, shortness of breath, tightness in the chest, heavy sweating, abnormally fast heartbeat or arrhythmia, severe muscle pain and report it to the doctor immediately
Simple And Effective Exercises Post Recovery To Uplift Overall Health:
- Breathing exercises of controlled breathing, paced breathing and other exercises recommended by the doctor to increase lung power
- A brisk short morning walk at a medium speed to elevate metabolism
- Practising yoga asanas and meditation techniques to stretch the muscles and soothe the mind for better physical fitness and mental wellness
- Warm-up exercises of shoulder shrugs, shoulder circles, side bends, knee lifts, ankle taps and ankle circles
- Low to moderate-intensity workouts like jump rope and marching gently at home, aerobics stretching and bending, slow jogging, heel raises, squats
- Cool-down exercises of slow walking, flexing joints, extending muscles in the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, hips, thighs, calves and lower legs, feet and ankles
List Of Sources And References:
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Ministry Of Health And Family Welfare (MoHFW), Government Of India
- All India Institute Of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India