With the wave of COVID-19 cases running rampant within the community at present, it is likely that at some point you will be required to have a period of inactivity. Whether this is having to isolate at home while awaiting a test or whether you have the virus itself.
More and more is research coming out with Long Covid sufferers. Often these clients can present with a variety of symptoms that make returning to exercise difficult. These include but are not limited to:
- Shortness of breath;
- Persistent headaches/migraines;
- Muscle Weakness;
- Neurocognitive issues (memory and recall: “brain fog’);
- Balance concerns;
- Abnormal heart rate and blood pressure responses;
- Depression and anxiety.
So what is the best post COVID strategy to regain the progress made in the gym? Here is a helpful guide:
- Don’t beat yourself up
It can be quite demotivating and disheartening to begin exercising again and you are not at the same level as before. Maybe you can’t lift as much weight or run as far as you could pre Covid. However, that is more than ok! You dealt with a virus that is affecting millions of people globally. Recovery is first and foremost a priority. Adopting a long-term mindset may help deal with the immediate setback in routine. One to two weeks out of a lifetime of training is all but a drop in the ocean.
- Start at a level of exercise that is tolerable
It is probably best, to begin with, a gradual re-introduction to training. This can involve starting with lighter weights, fewer sets, and staying further away from maxing out. This may also involve undertaking sessions that are between 4-6 out of 10 in terms of difficulty (With 10 being maxed effort). Big spikes in training loads following a period of rest are probably not the smartest way to go. Start small and build up over time.
- Monitor your symptoms
Once you have started training again, monitor your symptoms and see how you respond immediately after sessions and the day following. If you notice things are getting worse such as any abnormal shortness of breath, temperature spikes, increased levels of lethargy, or chest pain then seek medical advice.
A Covid positive result does not mean that your fitness progress has to stop.
It may be a minor setback for a couple of weeks to months, however, there is still so much progress to be made once you are able to get back into a routine! We’ve had clients go from being breathless, dizzy, and nauseous after 160m of walking to completing a full 30-minute session of boxing.
If you are looking for help and guidance on how to resume or develop an exercise plan with clinicians who have experience in post-Covid symptoms, reach out to us to schedule an initial consultation