What to Consider When Exercising After a Corona Infection

Ruben Oliver Medbase

Author: Dr. med. Rubén Oliver, General Internal Medicine FMH, Sports Medicine SGSM, Manual Medicine SAMM, Medbase Winterthur Brunngasse




Despite working from home, hygiene and distance rules, it can hit any of us… the diagnosis of covid infection. The younger the infected person, the milder the symptoms usually are. Nevertheless, almost 10% of those infected require hospital treatment, mostly due to a severe acute respiratory illness.

But even in those affected with mild symptoms, the course of the disease can be prolonged. In prospective studies, i.e. studies in which the data are only collected during the course of the study and are therefore more reliable, at least 10% of those affected show symptoms that last longer than 4 weeks and are referred to as long-term covid.

When to see a doctor for covid 19 infection?

If symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms such as headache and dizziness increase despite rest and symptomatic treatment, if acute fever, pain or dizziness occur in addition, a medical check-up is recommended, in which the oxygen saturation in the blood is measured using a pulse oximeter and a blood count or lung X-ray can also be performed to investigate the onset of a possibly severe course.

How long should the training break last?

For athletes, the question is how long to stop exercising. A Covid 19 diagnosis should always be taken seriously. As with other infections, training with a fever or respiratory symptoms such as a sore throat or cough should absolutely be avoided. For Covid-19, the recommendation is for the entire 10-day isolation period, as symptoms of myocardial infestation or neurological sequelae such as persistent fatigue and decreased performance cannot be assessed at baseline.

Do I run a risk if I return to training too early?

The risk of secondary complications such as persistent respiratory symptoms, dangerous heart muscle infections or persistent fatigue increases if you expose your body to a training load too early.

What is the best way to get into training?

A 10-day isolation period should definitely be used as a training break.

If there are no symptoms after this period (apart from a slight irritating cough or a persistent loss of smell or taste), training can be carefully resumed in stages, whereby it is essential to listen to the body’s signs and avoid excessive exhaustion. In case of persistent performance impairment, a visit to the doctor is recommended there as well.

Otherwise, there is no rule of thumb as to when exercise can be intensified. For competitive and ambitious athletes, where it is difficult to control the adherence to one’s own adapted training load to avoid overload, a sports medicine checkup with a sports physician is recommended.

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