How do we return to exercise after having the Coronavirus? 

I am very interested in this topic because,

  1. I tested positive for coronavirus on Friday, June 12th
  2. I am a personal trainer for mostly ‘casual exercisers’
  3. I would like to start working out again, safely, as soon as possible

There are two important points from this NYT article. The third point is my opinion gathered from my own experience and advice from health professionals.  

  1. The truth
  2. The past
  3. Three point system when recovering

The Truth

The truth is the virus is very much a mystery. The risks are hard to asses.

The Past

Since the 1990s, sports medicine physicians have relied on a technique called the “neck check.” The ‘neck check’ is used to determine if an athlete with a respiratory condition shall return to training. This means if symptoms are squarely above the neck (runny nose, sinus pain, sore throat) they are cleared to train and play

Three Point System

Coronavirus seems to be different. This is because some people, like myself, have mild symptoms to start, seem to improve, and suddenly start feeling bad a few days later (7-10 days after the initial symptoms arise). 

Because of this unpredictable pattern. It is important to follow a three point system

  1. Rest: zero exercise for 10 days from the point you first have symptoms AND for another week after your symptoms resolve. 
  2. Hydrate: water, gatorade, electrolytes. NO caffeine or alcohol. 
  3. Nutrition: protein shakes, fruit, vegetables, steel cut oatmeal. Limited sugar and NO fast/fried food. 

Even in robust athlete “the coronavirus had unexpected and perilous effects on the heart.” This comes in the form of shortness of breath. Pay very close attention to your symptoms, but avoid freaking out or panicking.

REST. REST. REST. Get good sleep. Watch relaxing movies and light tv shows. This helped me tremendously. I watched a bunch of Disney movies and Seinfeld and NO NEWS! Slept like a baby and have nearly recovered from the virus. 

I will start exercising again on day 17. My exercise will consist of walking and light stretching for at least a week. 

Exercise is still very important to our health. Slowly integrate exercise back into your life. REST. HYDRATE. NUTRITION. 

NYT article, “Returning to Exercise After Recovery From Coronavirus” –