The last two years have been hard on us, with lockdowns and restrictions, isolation, and illness. Plus, there’s the recovery to consider for those of us who’ve been infected with Covid-19. Whether you’re at the start of your fitness journey, or an active athlete who’s recovered from Covid-19, you’re likely to be itching to get back to your routine and smashing it in the gym as soon as possible.
Even our brand ambassador, Will Pounder, who was seriously ill with Covid-19, has been struggling to get back into his routine:
“After I finally got the all-clear from the hospital, I wanted to get back into training as soon as possible. That being said, I had to ease myself into it. The first week, I only did one exercise per muscle group, and if I felt weakness to the point of injury, I would stop and stretch.
By stretch, I mean, just put a little tension (no pain) for 30 seconds and repeat those four times with rest.
I felt embarrassed at how weak I was getting back, but now that I’m on week two, I could push up the pace to about 75%, whereas in week one, I was only able to go 30% of my normal workout.”
If you’re feeling like Will, read on; we’ve put together our top tips and suggestions for getting back into fitness after Covid-19 and setting yourself realistic goals.
Many long-term effects are still unknown
Whilst we know more now than we did back at the start of 2020, there’s still so much about the long-term effects of Covid-19 that we don’t know. We know that Covid-19 can lead to damage of the heart, brain, lungs, and kidneys, but we have no way of knowing who exactly will be impacted.
We also know that some people might experience more prolonged symptoms, such as shortness of breath, muscle aches, fatigue, and loss of stamina, but again, there’s no way of knowing who or why they’re likely to be impacted by these lingering symptoms.
The severity of your infection doesn’t necessarily predict your recovery or if you’ll have any permanent damage or long-term effects.
Seemingly, Covid-19 affects everyone differently. And athletes who are itching to get back to their training will have to keep this in mind, some will be able to jump back into their old routine, whilst others will find that it takes some time to get back to where they were. For most people, even the most active, returning to exercise will require patience and be a slow process.
Also Read: Should you prioritize sleep or workouts?
Sleep and rest are crucial to helping your body fight the disease, and it’s important to start moving your body about seven days after most of your significant symptoms have gone.
Exercise increases the capacity of your muscles, heart and lungs, and the numbers of mitochondria – the energy factories within your muscle cells – which can counteract the debilitating effects of Covid-19.
How long until you can return to exercise?
Whilst you’re unwell, you should give yourself that time to rest and recover. Don’t participate in any physical activity and instead focus on rest, hydration, and nutrition. How long it takes until you can sweat it out will depend on how unwell you are and how long it takes you to start to recover.
We recommend resting for at least ten days after testing positive for Covid-19 to ensure you give yourself enough time to rest. Then you can begin to return to exercise gradually, but give yourself enough time to recover. If you were severely unwell with Covid-19, for example, you needed medical support or hospitalization, then speak to your healthcare provider before you start to exercise again.
Also Read: Maximize your workout with these tips
If you experience any of the below symptoms, stop working out immediately and speak to your doctor:
- Chest pain or heart palpitations.
- A high heart rate that isn’t proportional to exertion level recovery.
- Feeling lightheaded or dizzy
- Shortness of breath, difficulty catching breath or abnormal, rapid breathing.
- Intense fatigue
- Swelling in the extremities
- Tunnel vision or loss of sight.
Getting your body moving again after Covid-19
Here are some simple ways to help you get moving again, but if you feel any of the above symptoms, speak to your healthcare provider.
Research has shown that yoga and meditation may help your improve lung health, reduce viral susceptibility and speed up your recovery from acute respiratory infections thanks to their calming effects.
Plus, as well as getting your body moving again, controlling any stress or anxiety is critical to your recovery.
Getting your body moving and incorporating resistance training is critical for reactivating your muscles. Starting with squats or push-ups on your news would be great, and then as you regain strength, you can begin to add in light weights.
Plus, light resistance training triggers the production of cells and hormones that work with your immune system to help your body repair.
When you’re recovering from Covid-19, one of the most accessible physical activities you can do is going for a walk. This is because you can easily control your walk’s intensity, duration, and pace, and over time you can increase the length and speed of your walks.
Don’t push yourself
If you’re still struggling or feeling sluggish after Covid-19, pushing yourself harder will not speed up your recovery. If anything, it’ll drive you back, and you’ll spend longer recovering. Your best bet is to gradually allow yourself to return to your pre-Covid-19 fitness, just like Testogen Brand Ambassador Will is!
Remember, everyone’s recovery is different, but over time, you’ll get back to where you want to be; you just need to be patient and listen to your body.
If you’re suffering from fatigue and need a helping hand, why not fight the fatigue with Testogen? Our 100% natural and fuss-free formula will increase your T levels naturally, reverse the symptoms of low testosterone and give you an extra boost as you recover from Covid-19.