Physical exercise after COVID-19: Take it easy.

For SHA Wellness Clinic
|
Thursday May 6th, 2021
Health & Beauty

Dr. Vicente Mera
Dr. Vicente Mera

Head of the Internal Medicine Department at SHA Wellness Clinic, answers the most frequently asked questions about the practice of physical exercise after recovering from COVID-19.

Getting back into the swing of things after recovering from any illness can be difficult, but current studies suggest that many have found it particularly difficult to return to their usual physical activities after COVID-19. Whether they have had a mild or more severe form of the illness, a doctor should be consulted to find out if it is safe to exercise and precautions should be taken as the coronavirus has multiple after-effects.

 


Q
What are the physical after-effects of COVID-19 depending on the type of patient we’re seeing?
A

There are four types of patients: asymptomatic, symptomatic with mild systems that can be treated at home, those who are admitted to hospital and those who require intensive care. In the latter group, the sequelae depend on the number of days spent in the ICU but can range from simple muscle atrophy (due to lack of use of the muscles themselves) to severe sequelae and deformities in the most severe cases.


Q
And for milder cases?
A

In the remaining groups, the most recurrent symptom is muscle fatigue accompanied by widespread pain. These symptoms occur together with other specific pathologies and are called fibrofatigue and fibromyalgia, respectively.


Q
Is it safe to exercise after recovering from COVID-19?
A

Not only is it safe, but it is also necessary. However, patients should always seek a medical evaluation and corresponding therapeutic plan before resuming exercise.


Q
What types of risks are there? Cardiac, pulmonary, muscular…
A

The disease can harm different organs, especially the lungs, which is the most debilitating element. With the help of experts like physiotherapists and personal trainers, and together with the right diet and nutritional supplements, the risks of musculoskeletal injuries are minimised.


Q
How long should you wait to start exercising after recovering from the virus?
A

The sooner you start, the better. But with the right intensity and frequency for each individual case. Which is why a thorough medical exam is essential.


Q
How does physical exercise benefit post-COVID recovery?
A

It provides a higher rate of recovery from early and late sequelae.


Q
What types of physical exercises are most recommended?
A

It depends on the individual. Cardiovascular exercise can improve physical strength and deformities in general. Stretching, on the other hand, will prevent the onset of fibromyalgia.


Q
How do you know if a person is not yet ready to exercise?
A

Exercise fatigue and pain are the indicators for postponing physiotherapy and muscle training. In this respect, passive mobilisation in the hands of an expert can prevent further problems.


Q
What is the danger of post-COVID exercise without expert care?
A

It can lead to osteotendinous and muscular injuries. In addition, there is a risk of permanent and chronic sequelae.


Q
How does physical exercise help prevent diseases such as COVID-19 or other viruses?
A

Exercise has dual benefits. On the preventive side, it increases objective parameters such as HDL-cholesterol (the so-called “good cholesterol”), the lymphocyte count (defence) and the production of natural anti-inflammatories that fight the so-called cytokine storm. This is postulated as a cause of pulmonary, and especially muscular, symptoms.


SHA MAGAZINE

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