Exercising After COVID: A four stage plan with activity guidelines | HerCanberra

Everything you need to know about canberra. ONE DESTINATION.

Exercising After COVID: A four stage plan with activity guidelines

Posted on

Are you returning to exercise after COVID? Do you know someone who needs some activity guidelines for getting back into activity after having COVID?

For our next series, we’re shifting our focus and targeting simple workouts for those recovering from COVID. This column will be aimed at those Canberrans who experienced mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 and were regularly working out before having COVID.

Let’s get started.

Once you have been asymptomatic for 7-10 days (for example: no fever, no breathlessness at rest, no chest pain, or palpitations), we can start thinking about a gradated, structured exercise program.

Key points before we get started:

  • Consult your doctor before commencing your physical activity program to assess potential complications, eg: myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) or pulmonary conditions.
  • Consult an Allied Health Professional who specialises in exercise prescription, to guide you through the recovery stages, and give you suggestions for alternative activity options.
  • Everyone is unique.
  • Be patient.
  • There is no exact algorithm to determine when you can return to activity and at what intensity. It depends on the individual, what level of activity you were doing pre-COVID, and what degree of the viral load you had/have in your system.
  • Start with light “physical activity” (eg: taking out the washing, vacuuming, etc). Once you are recovering from the lighter activities of daily living and have an idea of your tolerance level, then return to structured light “exercise”.
  • Monitor your heart rate during and after exercise.

Once you have been symptom-free for 7-10 days and able to complete your activities of daily living (hanging out the washing, mowing the lawn for 10 minutes, cleaning the kitchen), then we recommend a four stage “get started” exercise plan (and we only progress through the stages if you are recovering well).

Note: Some people will progress through the stages within 14 days, others will take 6-8 weeks (even longer if you are experiencing Long-COVID, but that topic needs another article!).

I would recommend not putting a timeline on each stage—go by “feel” and recovery (heart rate, fatigue, muscle soreness, breathlessness at rest, etc). You know your body best.

Stage One

10-15 minutes of gentle low-intensity exercise (stationary cycling, flat walking, swimming, beginner Hydrolates ™ (Aquatic Pilates), gentle Deep Water Running, gentle online yoga/Pilates focussing on breath and activation). I’d recommend online for the first two stages, so you can stop at any time without the pressure of being in a one hour class.

Stage Two

Moderate exercise at 70-80% heart rate, for 20-30 minutes (walking faster, ralking (run/walk combination), Deep Water Running efforts and intervals, intermediate loaded Hydrolates ™, moderate yoga/Pilates online; cycling on the flat without too many long hills, moderate-intensity body weight/lightweight mobility circuit).

Stage Three

Complex specific training for 45 minutes, at 80 %+ intensity (resistance training, boxing, running, hiking hills, cycling at pace, &/or with hills; complex yoga/Pilates class that has up to a 45min duration).

Stage Four

Pre-COVID programming and progressions, 60 min max. at comfortable pre-COVID intensity.

Ok. What can you do today?

If you are 7-10 days asymptomatic and feeling ready to tackle Stage One, how about we start with four exercises and work up from there? Everyone’s symptoms are different, so our Exercising After COVID mini-workouts will be a beginner focussed program—targeting breath awareness, activation, and low-intensity strength-endurance.

We have purposely given you only four exercises as it’s manageable and realistic post-virus.

Exercising after COVID is all about:

  • Pacing yourself.
  • Being aware and mindfully reading your recovery.
  • Being patient.
  • Managing your expectations.

Here’s a Stage One Exercising After COVID program

Print the PDF here

1) Supine rib breathing (with arm movement)

2) Side lying thoracic rotation

3) Lumbar flexion to extension stretch

4) Supine alternating table-top

Do you have any Exercising After COVID workout requests or suggestions? Let us know!

Sharing your concerns will help others within the community. Welcome to email: kirra@capitalhydrotherapy.com.au

Love, Kirra

Did you know Capital Hydrotherapy and Exercise Physiology is an essential service?

We are open for telehealth consultations, one-on-one Hydrotherapy, Aquatic Physiotherapy, face-to-face land-based Exercise Physiology, small group therapy, Hydrolates ™ classes (Aquatic Pilates) with strict COVID-safe precautions. Our ventilation is state of the art, and we have an industrial-grade air exchange system designed to pull humidity from pool deck.

If you are injured, have a chronic health condition, or need a plan to improve your health and wellbeing—call us today 6156 2223!

Related Posts

Comments are closed.

© 2022 HerCanberra. All rights reserved. Legal.
Site by Coordinate.