Return to Running and Exercise Slowly if You’ve Had COVID
Runner’s World reports on HSS study results published in Sports Health from a self-reported survey of 2,000 runners which found a correlation between runners who had COVID-19 and likelihood of injury. The survey found runners had had COVID were 1.66 times more likely to get injured than the other runners.
HSS sports medicine physician and first author on the study, Brett G. Toresdahl, MD, said, “I was not surprised there was a difference in injury rates [between infected and uninfected runners], but I didn’t expect it to be as big of a difference as we found.”
He continued, “If otherwise healthy, a couple of weeks off doesn’t result in much deconditioning for most runners. However, illnesses can cause more significant decreases in strength and fitness. COVID-19 can cause more systemic effects than a typical cold, which may explain our findings in this study.”
For runners who had COVID-19, Dr. Toresdahl recommended a conservative return but for more serious cases that required hospitalization or caused heart symptoms such as chest pain or racing heartbeat, he advised consulting with a primary care or sports medicine physician before resuming running.
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