While that can be very frustrating, it’s not irreversible, and you just need to be patient and attentive to your body while you’re gradually resuming your exercise program after the full recovery.
It can also be beneficial to keep at least some level of activity while you’re still fighting the virus – like breathing exercises, walking around the room, or other light forms of exercise – of course, with permission from your doctor.
But moderate- or high-intensity workouts is a whole nother story, and there are important things you need to know before getting back to your pre-Covid exercise routine even when you finally got that negative test result.
1. Wait for the full recovery & get a green light from your doctor
First things first – you need to get a negative Covid-19 test result and consult your healthcare provider before returning to physical activity.
Covid-19 is a tricky virus that can leave behind certain health risks even after you’ve fully recovered. And even if all symptoms are gone and you’re feeling well again, you still may need to take additional tests to check how your heart, lungs, and other organs are doing before challenging them with training.
It’s especially important to avoid any vigorous exercise if you’re still not feeling your best – getting back to pre-Covid physical activity level while you’re having some residual symptoms can make your condition worse and prolong your recovery period.
Talk with your physician and other doctors if needed. They will assess your health state and help you develop an optimal plan for returning to your pre-Covid fitness level and exercise routine.
2. Return to physical activity slowly & gradually
Every person is different, and your getting-back-into-fitness plan will depend on your initial symptoms and current health state – your doctor will help you choose the right types and intensity of exercise.
The general recommendation though is to go back to physical activity slowly and gradually, without rushing into your regular workout routine even if all symptoms are gone.
Cardiovascular, respiratory, gastrointestinal, and musculoskeletal systems can all get affected by Covid-19, and the last thing you’d want to do is to put additional pressure on your body’s vital systems while they’re still recovering.
Don’t push too hard and allow your heart, lungs, and muscles to restore their proper function before making them operate in full mode.
Start with low-intensity exercise like walking, carefully and slowly re-introducing physical activity in your daily routine. Rest whenever you feel tired and gradually increase the intensity and duration of exercise, closely monitoring how your body reacts along the way.
3. Listen to your body & stay patient
All possible long-term effects of Covid-19 are still unknown and can bring individual challenges for every recovered person.
Some people are able to jump back to training right after all symptoms disappear, while others may face months of lingering symptoms even after they’ve defeated the virus. In the latter case, those persistent symptoms may indicate that there’s some additional damage to certain organs which would need more attention and time to recover.
That’s why it’s very important to constantly monitor how your body reacts to exercise and adjust your physical recovery plan together with your doctor when needed.
For example, if you experience recurring symptoms like shortness of breath, low stamina, persistent fatigue, lingering muscle aches or weakness after getting back to exercise, that can signal that your training routine is too much for your body at the moment, and that you need to take it slower or even postpone regaining your activity level for later.