Flicking a run and tossing some active clothing on can be a daunting task when recovering from COVID-19.
Perhaps you have been inspired by the Commonwealth Games or the warm weather is fast approaching.
Here’s what you need to know when you return to sports, whether it’s just a game of running or 80-minute soccer.
When can I start exercising again?
Well, it’s not black and white.
Initially, the Australian College of Exercise Physicians suggested seven to 10 days of rest when you first contract the virus and then wait for symptoms to improve before resuming very light exercise.
But since then, after the disease was followed up and Olympic athletes recovered, it was established that strict or prolonged rest could lead to lack of conditioning and disability, says athletic general practitioner Tracy Chang.
Dr. Shang said it was a fine line.
In other words, [you could experience] “Loss of muscle mass and it may take longer to recover,” she said.
Dr. Chang said that while the coronavirus has affected athletes in the same way it has affected the general public, the more fit you were before the injury, and the earlier you gradually returned to light activity, the more likely you were to recover.
But you can not jump to the extreme, and it is difficult for a person to make this decision on his own.
We are not all Olympians.
The suggestion is to return to exercise in a light kind of amplitude when your symptoms have largely resolved, but most importantly, listen to your body.
What exercise can I do?
If you have respiratory issues, you certainly can’t do advanced aerobic training, so don’t go out for a casual marathon, says high-performance strength and conditioning coach Steve Nance.
He said you have to look at working below your anaerobic threshold for a long time during your workout, so you don’t stress your body too much.
If the infection causes heart problems, especially high blood pressure, beware of resistance training such as lifting heavy weights as it can lead to high blood pressure.
Mr. Nance suggests a common-sense approach.
“You can’t go back to doing what you were doing before.
“You have to be very careful trying to set goals that are too high from the start because you may still be somewhat sick.”
A simple walk, short bike ride, or swim would be a great place to start.
What happens if you push too hard?
The truth is that if you push too hard to train early, Dr. Chang says, your COVID-19 symptoms may take longer to resolve.
Research from Oxford University, which studied 270,000 people recovering from COVID-19, suggests that 10 to 20 percent of people still have at least one of the nine symptoms three months after infection.
“It doesn’t trigger COVID for long, but it’s more about the symptoms you’re experiencing could continue to be a problem,” said Dr. Chang.
So, take it steady.
What signs should I look for?
Some of the symptoms that people experience after an injury are breathing problems, irregular heartbeat, fatigue, brain fog, muscle aches, aches, and fatigue.
The other thing with COVID is that it is an inflammatory condition that can affect multiple organs.
Some of the serious red flags practitioners look for are lung and heart complications, which can occur in some people who have had COVID-19.
“You can get myocarditis, which can lead to chest pain that only occurs when you exercise,” Dr. Chang said.
This is something that should be monitored more carefully. “
If you have chest pain, or if you are an athlete with breathing problems, seek medical advice and guidance.
But if you don’t have these symptoms, just listen to your body and take some time to slowly build up your stamina again, says Dr. Chang.
Is it difficult to return to sports if I get infected twice?
Unfortunately, some people are still recovering when they become infected again.
The frequency of infection has not always been shown to be milder, but vaccination and a higher basic fitness appear to reduce the risk of serious disease.
This was not the case, however, for Toowoomba athlete Mia Bowen Osmond.
After being injured a second time, she was unable to return to sports for three weeks.
“The first time was fine…but the second time, I didn’t improve for about three weeks, and couldn’t get in training or anything.
“I still don’t have lung capacity.”
Is there anything I can take to help?
For symptom relief with primary COVID-19 disease, short-term use of paracetamol is recommended.
Athletes or anyone experiencing common post-COVID symptoms should speak to their GP or sports physician to help guide and monitor a safe return to sport.
Dr. Chang said improving mental health supports, sleep and good nutrition along with “speed” and not overdoing it were the recommendations.
If you feel you have symptoms weeks after infection, you can talk to your GP about going to the long COVID clinic, which is set up in many government hospitals.
Uncertainty about how your body will react to physical activity after a COVID infection is nerve-wracking, especially if you had a high level of fitness before you became ill.
It can also be frustrating when you’re not feeling unwell, but your stamina isn’t where it used to be.
“This can be a very frustrating process and can lead to low mood or lower confidence,” said Dr. Chang.
But we all know post-workout endorphins are totally worth it.
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