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How To Successfully Recover From “Long COVID”

The lingering effects of COVID-19, known as long COVID, raise concerns about its impact on individuals’ ability to return to physical activity.

COVID Infected Over 77.5% Of American Adults

In recent times, the term “Long COVID” has emerged from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. However, this brought new lingering symptoms to light that continue to baffle both survivors and the medical community.

Among these, the ability—or rather, the inability—to exercise as before stands out, affecting thousands of individuals worldwide.

So, how long can COVID dismantle one’s exercise routine?

Here’s how you can regain your physicality.

What’s “Long COVID?”

Synonymous with SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC), Long COVID refers to a range of symptoms that persist for weeks or even months. These symptoms occur after the initial recovery from coronavirus disease 2019.

According to National Geographic, these lingering effects can include fatigue, shortness of breath, chest pain, joint pain, and more, severely limiting individuals’ capacity to exercise.

Impact on Exercise

The ramifications of long COVID on exercise are multifaceted. For many, the enduring fatigue and breathlessness make even mild physical exertion seem daunting.

According to John Hopkins, those who infected with Long COVID are prone to contracting Pneumonia, as they build up fluid in the lungs. This makes it even more difficult to exercise, as individuals are unable to breath.

How To Rebuild Your Exercise Tolerance

Recovery from long COVID is a slow and gradual process, so rebuilding exercise tolerance requires patience and strategy. Health experts recommend starting with very light activities, such as walking or gentle yoga, and gradually increasing the intensity as tolerated. A great way to increase your oxygen flow is by doing aerobic exercises which include exercises that are not overly strenuous either.

Professional Advice

Medical professionals emphasize the importance of a slow and steady approach to exercise post-COVID. Rehabilitation programs guide long COVID patients through their recovery journey, so that they engage in effective physical activities.

The Role of Research

Ongoing research aims to unravel the complexities of long COVID and its impact on exercise as the disease is still relatively new. For example, studies from the Journal of Applied Physiology focus on understanding underlying mechanisms that cause exercise intolerance in long COVID patients. Moreover, they develop targeted interventions to help them regain their physical health.

Questions, Comments, Concerns?

If you have experienced challenges in resuming your exercise routine post-COVID, or if you have tips that have helped you along the way, I would love to hear from you. Please leave your comments below and let’s continue to support each other in our paths to recovery.