How To Return To Your Routine Post-Covid.
Now that your body has fought off the COVID-19 virus, how do you return to your normal routine?
Persisting symptoms such post-exertional fatigue and muscle weakness have been reported in a majority of people who have recovered from a COVID-19 infection . While these symptoms normally settle within 2 to 3 weeks, they can persist for weeks or even months, and can have a negative impact on the return to daily activities.
Recognising your fatigue is the first step to recovery. There are multiple factors that can contribute to fatigue such as stress, poor sleeping patterns and reduced physical activity. Getting high quality rest is a critical aspect of recovery. Further, while returning to physical activity is important for regaining normalcy, this should be done in a gradual manner to avoid exacerbation of post-exertional fatigue.
In fact, recent studies have shown that even if you have no symptoms or minimal symptoms, it’s important to rest in the first few days after your diagnosis. If you push your body early on, then risks of ongoing complications or lasting effects are increased. This is particularly important for younger patients who still feel at full health, but might be unknowingly putting their bodies under strain.
Here are some tips for a graduated return to physical activity :
Short but frequent periods of activity
Break up long periods of house chores, errands or other daily activities, and keep chipping away at it throughout the day. It is important to rest between each period of activity to let your body recover. If you are one who dislikes “doing nothing”, consider doing gentle mobility exercises or stretches that will keep you moving in a non-exertional manner.
Start with light exercises
Start by going for short 5-minute walks without breaks. You might have to do less than this if you are feeling breathless or tired. Slowly increase your walking time by a minute when you can complete the walk with no symptoms. Aim to build up to 30 minutes of walking, five days a week.
Choosing the right time for exercise
You may feel more fatigued towards the end of the day after running several errands, or you may be more tired in the mornings because you are not a morning person. Either way, pick a time when you feel most energised to exercise – you will be able to get more out of it! Do not forget that it is perfectly fine to prioritise rest if you are feeling particularly under the weather on any given day.
How can Graceville Physio help you get back into a routine.
At Graceville Physio, our physiotherapists are skilled in respiratory physio to ensure you can improve and recover from COVID-19 with minimal residual effects from the condition. Our physiotherapists can also help create an exercise plan to ensure you return to movement at the right pace for your body.
If you notice new or worsening symptoms or if you are concerned about your symptoms at any time, you should contact your doctor or call the COVID hotline at 13 42 68. In the event that you are experiencing serious and uncontrollable shortness of breath, or any other severe symptoms, you should call 000 and let the operator know your situation.