Exercise is an important part of recovery after a COVID-19 infection. Exercise can help in improving fitness, reduce breathlessness, increase muscle strength, improve balance and coordination, improve thinking ability, reduce stress, and enhance mood, confidence, and energy.
COVID-19 disease impacts the major system of your body and returning to exercise should be a gradual process to avoid the feeling of fatigue and pain. Generally, doctors recommend a break of 3-6 months even after the symptoms subside. This depends upon the severity of the infection in the patient.
Simple Rules to Follow
● Always warm-up before exercising and cool down after exercising. Begin with breathing exercises and mild walking. You will be shocked to see how you gasp for breath even after walking for 100 meters.
● Wear comfortable clothes that circulate air to help you breathe normally. Also, wear comfortable shoes for free movement.
● Eat healthy and nutritional food in sufficient quantities an hour before the exercise. Forget about dieting post-COVID19 illness.
● Staying hydrated while recovering from the COVID19 illness is imperative. Ensure that you drink ample water before, and post exercising.
● Don’t exhaust yourself by exercising in hot weather. Try working out early in the morning or in the evening. If by chance you can’t work out in the morning, then meditate during the afternoon, but don’t indulge into rough workout sessions.
● At the same time, avoid exercising indoors with the air conditioner on. Extreme cold weather can leave you breathless which can lead to an uneven flow of blood in the vessels and stressed muscles.
Doctors claim that weakness can last for at least 6 months, which depends on a person's immune system and energy levels. If your friend can do 20-25 laps post-recovery doesn’t mean that your body can also tolerate the same.
Stop training if you experience any of these symptoms
● Dizziness or lightheadedness
● Breathlessness is common while exercising. However, stop if the breathlessness worsens and doesn’t subside even after resting.
● Excessive sweating
● Chest tightness
● Increased pain especially in arms and jaw.
The moment you experience any symptoms which are uncommon, you should stop exercising and contact your doctor immediately. There is no harm in discussing the symptoms with your fitness expert as well. Remember, medical staff and doctors are there for your help.
The best way to start exercising is by warming up. Mild exercises can loosen the muscles and increase blood flow. This will help in exercising properly without leaving any injury, soreness, or uneasiness in the body.
Few exercising tips that can loosen muscle and increase strength
1. Warm-up Exercise
Roll your shoulders slowly to loosen the muscles and increase blood flow. You need to roll them clockwise and anticlockwise five times consecutively. Continue this motion for 5 minutes.
2. Fitness Exercise
We all have marched during the school graduation ceremony, so, it will not be difficult to march at one point for 10 minutes. You can also climb a few stairs for 10 minutes. It helps in improving breathlessness.
3. Strength exercise
Stand facing the wall and raise both hands to set your palms on it. Now push yourself towards the wall, against the force and then return to your position. This exercise helps in building strength in arms and joints.
4. Cooling Exercise
In the front of the thigh quadriceps stretch, you need to stand firmly and place your hands on the wall on the side of the chair for balance. Hold the forward foot with one hand and lift the foot towards the rear end.
In the beginning, always start with mild exercises. Gradually, increase the frequency, intensity, and duration at your ease. This is the best way of challenging yourself by increasing one level further. Breathlessness is normal while exercising, but too much of it can be harmful and should be addressed immediately. Increase the intensity of your workouts according to your tolerance. Fatigue and extreme pain, can be signs of overstress.
In the initial stage, exercise under the supervision of an elderly person. Post COVID19 recovery, you should stay on alert mode in case of an emergency. It is advised to work out with a fitness expert so that if you feel breathlessness or are in extreme pain, they can provide you with emergency assistance.
(Pratik Sud is Co-founder, Synq.fit -One Stop Solution for workout from home)
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