19:05 PM

8 Must-Follow Tips for Working Out After COVID-19

LIVESTRONG discusses how to approach exercise after COVID-19 featuring strategies according to experts including Jordan D. Metzl, MD, sports medicine physician at HSS and Sharlynn Tuohy, DPT, physical therapist at HSS.

According to HSS Journal guidelines authored by Dr. Metzl and colleagues, individuals who had mild to moderate COVID-19 may be able to slowly return to exercise after they have been symptom-free (aside from loss of taste and smell) for at least five to seven days. When starting out, the guidelines suggest cutting the length of your typical fitness routine by about 50 percent for one week, followed by 30 percent, 20 percent and 10 percent for the next three weeks — as long as it feels good. “Once you're back to your usual workout length, you can start to think about increasing your intensity,” said Dr. Metzl. Tuohy added many people wait longer to exercise and also need to ramp up their workouts more slowly.

Tuohy suggested deep belly breathing which can help rebuild the muscles that support your lungs. There's also no such thing as a workout that's "too short" to count — especially after COVID. "When recovering from illness, it's best to do short amounts of exercise throughout the day," she cited. Low-intensity cardio activities like mellow walks, bike rides or elliptical sessions - can help you build back your heart and lung strength without over-stressing your symptoms, according to Tuohy. Additionally, after days or weeks of inactivity, the muscles can do more than lose strength. They can also tense up. "For example, the muscles in your shoulders and chest might shorten and tighten if you have been curled up in bed," said Tuohy. Spending a lot of time sitting or lying in bed can also lead to tight lower-body muscles. "Stretching and lengthening them will help you stay injury-free," she added.

Read the full article at Livestrong.com.