Getting back to physical exercise after recovering from Covid-19 is no walk in the park. Moreover, experts warn that pushing yourself too hard or rushing the process can be detrimental to your recovery. No wonder many celebs have been sharing about their struggle of getting back to the gym post suffering from Covid-19. Actress Kareena Kapoor Khan whose fitness routine remains much talked about has embraced yoga and walking to regain her physical strength. Khan, who was diagnosed with the infection in December, is now on her road to recovery. Her recent Instagram Stories revealed she has started walking over 10,000 steps every day and resumed her yoga sessions. While she has oscillated between aerobics, pilates and kickboxing during the last few years, yoga has remained her constant companion.
We find out more about how you can safely resume your exercise routine after recovering from Covid-19
But first, Listen to your body
When it comes to health and fitness, it is always important to remember that no one size fits all. The first and most important thing to do is to consult your doctor to know whether or not it is safe for you to resume exercise post Covid. “Depending on your body, your immune level, the severity of your infection, and the varying outcomes, everyone needs their own time to get back to normal and resume exercise. Leave the competitive side behind, start slow and listen to your body. Relax and give your body the time it needs to heal and recover,” says Rhea Singh Anand, Co-founder, Flexnest. Exercise gives us immense benefits like improving metabolism, basic endurance and strengthening of the heart and lung muscles. “Post your recovery from any illness, you cannot directly improve your health and fitness. It’s a process. And as the Covid virus compromises the functioning of the pulmonary system because of the inadequate supply of oxygen, you should listen to the feedback their body gives when exercising post-covid,” says fitness entrepreneur Vijay Thakkar.
Gradual progression and light-intensity exercises are key post Covid
Set realistic and tiny targets, and don’t force yourself to perform the same way you did before your injury or illness. “Once you get a go-ahead from your medical advisor and have had no symptoms then ideally you should start exercising after a week to ten days,” suggests physiotherapist Dr Prashant Mistry. Do not jump into intense workouts right after your medical conditions. The first priority should be nutrition and aiding your body’s recovery process. Thakkar believes it is prudent to try exercises, programming the framework of cardio zones. “Start with zone 1 cardio workouts such as deep breathing, yoga and meditation for 10 minutes in tandem with 20 minutes of light walking for the initial weeks. Then gradually move to jogging and intense workouts when you no longer feel the same fatigue post-recovery while performing these exercises. ,” adds Thakkar. It is not about increasing the intensity. Small targets and the right mindset will allow you to do more day by day.
DOS AND DON’TS
– Get adequate rest for recovery
– Focus on nutrition along with exercise
– Eat natural foods that nourish your body and avoid chemical-based supplements
– Stay hydrated at all times
– Stay consistent at your physical workout once you resume it
– Monitor your heart rate constantly
– Get adequate sleep
– Exercise if you are short of breath or dizzy.
– Set unrealistic goals and end up thinking you are not motivated enough to stay consistent.
– Opt for a physical activity level that surpasses your body’s recovery capacity.
CELEB SPEAKSince I started working immediately after recovering from Covid, I started with some asanas, breathing exercises and yoga in between shoots. I try and do a lot of walking on the set also. I walk for around 30 to 45 minutes in order to regain strength. At the same time, I am careful not to overdo it. I am consistent with my multivitamins and vitamin C as it helps build immunity. I also consume warm liquids like green tea, kadha and tulsi-ginger tea.
– Delnaaz Irani
I am still in the process of figuring out how to start workout. I have realised that COVID affects the lungs, cardiovascular system and almost every part of your body. Covid also impacts your mind in a way that leaves you perplexed. You lose focus. The COVID fatigue has hit me really hard. Sometimes, I cannot get out of bed until 1 pm. However, I have started walking for 40 minutes every day. If I start running or slow jogging, my knees start to hurt. I tried going to the gym for light circuit training but my body wasn’t quite supportive. For, my cardio workout is helping me regain energy. I guess I will need to give my body enough time to recover.
– Eijaz Khan