Getting back into exercising after Covid

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    Getting back into exercising after Covid

    Hi all!

    I need some help on how to get back into exercising after being ill with covid, and what to expect during recovery.

    I got sick on 10th January and was completely down until 17th. Mild symptoms, luckily - low fever, runny nose (blood came out, too), headache and exhaustion like I've never felt before. Up until 24th I was kinda sick but recovering. Still pretty exhausted and with a mild runny nose. Trained 3 times during the second week, everything required a bit more energy but it was ok. And up until now, I'm kinda ok but exercising is really hard and exhausting. I tried cardio because I don't have a pull up bar in my apartment, but after some time my chest started burning. Usually, I'm able to bounce back really quick, but not this time.

    Can anyone offer advice on this? Is this normal to feel like you can't do anything anymore? And is it normal that my strength plummeted like a rock? How long until the exhaustion wears off and I feel like myself again? Or is this here to stay and do I have to grind through it? And when and how can I start exercising more intensely again?

    #2
    The aftermath of the covid can last a long time, maybe she can tell you Zastria , who unfortunately tried them.

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      #3
      I'm coming back after COVID, I can tell you, I'm now content with no expectations other than something is better than nothing. Just do what you can do and listen to your body. It needs its strength to keep you well. I'm slowly but surely having longer gaps between relapses and finding things easier but expect no dramatic results in my opinion. God willing, you'll have plenty of time to beast it after your body has properly recouperated.

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        #4
        Yep, as Fremen said, I had covid in March and have been dealing with fatigue ever since. I now have Post-Covid Syndrome. I can't answer how long it will take you to feel better (though I sincerely hope it will be soon) but to answer your other questions, yes it's completely normal to feel like that after covid. It can be a brutal illness even if you don't need hospital treatment and can affect a lot of the body so recovery can take time too. It's estimated that around 1 in 5 people have symptoms for five weeks or longer and 1 in 10 have symptoms for 12 weeks or longer so it's very common.

        My number one piece of advice is to rest. Do twice as much resting as you think you need. Don't push yourself to exercise because that can delay your recovery. Anything you do that makes you feel tired or that hurts your chest you should stop straight away and rest if you can. Don't do anything that feels hard and save your energy for the necessary parts of looking after yourself, especially if you have to take care of yourself without help from others. Once you start to regain energy you still should take things slowly and not rush to get back to normal. Build up the exercise carefully and don't try anything intense until you're 100% certain your body is ready for that again. The most important thing right now is to pace yourself and give your body plenty of time to heal.

        With this illness it's best to be overcautious with limiting what you do. I did the Vitality program and then Baseline in the first weeks of being ill and with hindsight, even that was probably too much and would earn me a telling off from the physiotherapist I'm now seeing. I did rest a lot but not as much as I should've done because I didn't know at the time how much damage covid had done to me, despite appearing to be a fairly mild infection during the acute phase. I don't know if resting more at the start would have affected how ill I am now but it certainly wouldn't have hurt.

        Colin posted a link to a Royal College of Occupational Therapists leaflet that helped me in the beginning and they've now got that information as a webpage, Practical advice for people during and after having COVID-19, and have a further page on How to manage post-viral fatigue after COVID-19. I highly recommend having a look at both links and there's more information on their website too. Bits of might be less relevant to you because it's UK-focused but there's a lot of helpful stuff there about pacing yourself and how to make things easier for yourself.

        I really hope your recovery goes well and that you feel better soon

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          #5
          Carla Stewart Thank you for the advice! I hope you feel better soon! It's nice to hear it gets better over time.

          Zastria Thank you so much for such an in-depth answer. It's a bit scary to think it takes that long to recover fully. I hope you also will get rid of the final fatigue soon! Thank you also for the links, they gave quite a bit of useful information.

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            #6
            I hope you will have a full recovery.
            I see Zastria already answered so you are in good hands.

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              #7
              Taking it slow is going to be necessary, as was mentioned, but you can see this as an opportunity to build yourself up sturdily.

              When you do strength exercises, then do them with a low resistance but very precise form. Maybe even take the time to work on your flexibility, since stretching doesn't exhaust you that much. Groom the habits that you want to have.

              You're starting now so even with a very slow progression you'll be in a good place again by the time it's once again a good idea to travel and hike on Madeira.

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                #8
                Gandhalfit Thank you!

                Noen Thank you! That's very good advice I'll keep that in mind

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Hwestneth View Post
                  Carla Stewart Thank you for the advice! I hope you feel better soon! It's nice to hear it gets better over time.

                  Zastria Thank you so much for such an in-depth answer. It's a bit scary to think it takes that long to recover fully. I hope you also will get rid of the final fatigue soon! Thank you also for the links, they gave quite a bit of useful information.
                  I'm glad you found the information useful. As for the scary part, that's very much not my intention! At this stage you've not got too much to worry about. The statistic I posted means that 80% of people recover fully within five weeks and 90% within twelve weeks. Of those who haven't recovered in those timeframes, the data makes no distinction between severity of symptoms or of how many of those patients were in intensive care, where they would be expected to have a longer recovery time anyway. Some of those people who haven't fully recovered will have occasional or mild symptoms that don't cause major problems and will clear up in time.

                  I hope that you're starting to do better now

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