Tags: Coronavirus | exercise | coronavirus

Exercise After COVID-19: Take it Slow

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By    |   Tuesday, 17 November 2020 01:38 PM

Experts warn that people should resume normal activities, especially exercise, slowly and carefully after COVID-19. Dr. Jordan D. Metzl, a New York-based sports medicine physician, says he noticed that many of his patients were struggling to return to their previous levels of activity after being ill. He says that COVID-19 has changed his advice to patients who want to return to their fitness programs after having viral illnesses. While he used to advise them that “if exercise usually makes you feel better, go for it,” he now recommends caution.

In an article he wrote for The New York Times, Metzl said that many of his patients reported extreme fatigue and difficulty breathing after a bout with COVID-19. Others appeared to have troubles with their heart, including arrhythmias and inflammation of the heart muscle.

According to USA Today, there’s powerful evidence that COVID-19 affects the heart and not just the respiratory system. Experts are seeing more recovered patients with inflammation and scar damage in their hearts and are encouraging people who have been sick for more than a few days to ease back slowly into vigorous activity. Athletes are advised to get a blood test and an EKG, or electrocardiogram, before resuming sports.

“You don’t get sick with COVID-19 and stay home from school for a week and then go back and play two hours of soccer,” Dr. Steven Erickson, a sports medicine specialist from Phoenix, Arizona told USA Today, adding that athletes should be symptom-free for two weeks before getting back into the game.

A study published by Ohio state University found that four out of 26 competitive athletes who had COVID-19 had symptoms of myocarditis, a disease which affects the heart muscle and can cause heart failure or sudden death, according to USA Today. According to the Times, a German study published  in JAMA Cardiology found signs of myocarditis in 78 percent of the healthy population they tested.

Metzl and his colleagues at the Hospital for Special Surgery published an evidence-based set of guidelines for those who want to resume physical activities, saying that anyone who has been severely ill with COVID-19 should see their physician first.

Among their recommendations are:

  • Do not exercise if you have any symptoms of illness, such as fever, chest pain, cough, or shortness of breath.
  • Return slowly and wait 7 days before returning to exercise after your symptoms have subsided. When you do begin your program, work at 50% intensity.
  • Stop exercising if you experience symptoms of chest pain, fever, or palpitations and see your doctor.

Metzl suggests that some patients should consult with a cardiologist before exercising if they had heart-related symptoms during COVID-19.

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Experts warn that people should resume normal activities, especially exercise, slowly and carefully after COVID-19. Dr. Jordan D. Metzl, a New York-based sports medicine physician, says he noticed...
exercise, coronavirus
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2020-38-17
Tuesday, 17 November 2020 01:38 PM
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