Healthy Australians Recovering From COVID-19 Describe Damaging Impact On Fitness

"I definitely didn't feel 100 per cent fitness-wise. It took a good two weeks until I felt back to my best again."

Healthy Australians Recovering From COVID-19 Describe Damaging Impact On Fitness

We’re all constantly being told what to do to avoid – or at least minimise our chances of – contracting coronavirus. Fortunately, the transmission rate in Australia is slowing down, but the same can’t be said for other countries around the world.

One aspect of daily life that has taken the brunt of the pandemic is exercise and fitness. Gyms and studios have had to close their doors, forcing us all to rely on conjuring up enough motivation (not to mention commitment) to work out at home. There will of course, however, be people out there who contract the virus, meaning their fitness has to take a back seat until they make a full recovery.

But what effect does it have on your fitness and how do you get back up on your feet once you’ve recovered? We spoke to Travis Wade, a friend of DMARGE, to get his first-person account of living with corona and how it affected his fitness.

Firstly, Travis tells us he was fortunate to only exhibit mild symptoms after he contracted the virus. “It didn’t attack my lungs, as you’d hope. But I noticed the lethargicness that comes with it.”

He did, however, make a quick recovery “of about eight days before I was signed off by the health department as asymptomatic, and I was signed off as recovered around six weeks ago.”

When it came to exercising post-recovery, Travis adds, “The main thing for me, even with a mild case, was how tight it was across my chest and lung whenever I took a really deep breath.”

“It was the thing I noticed the most when I started to exercise again. I went skiing at Mount Bora in Victoria about a week after finishing the eight-day recovery period. The air was obviously thinner, and in hindsight, it probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do just a week later.”

“I definitely didn’t feel 100 per cent fitness-wise. It took a good two weeks until I felt back to my best again.”

“Pushing myself aerobically too soon after felt challenging. I couldn’t get my heart rate up, or get back to a recovery state when resting as easily as before.”

“Compare that to a normal cold, where once you’ve blown your nose a few times, for example, you feel good to keep going. It didn’t feel like that. It was good to be exercising again, but the recovery period was a lot slower than what I’ve experienced before.”

“After that two week recovery period, I was back to cycling again and felt more or less 100 per cent.”

Ben Lucas, director of Flow Athletic adds from a professional standpoint, “With any virus, illness or setback, the severity can be different depending on the individual. However no matter how hard you get knocked down, sometimes it can be a struggle to get back into gear when it comes to your fitness.”

Ben then gave us some top tips to help get you back on the right path.

  • Firsts things first, if you have a virus, workout at home or somewhere quiet until you are 100% sure it has gone
  • If you were struck down badly, start getting back into your fitness slowly or you will risk burning yourself out. I would suggest starting with low to moderate-intensity exercise such as walking, jump rope (but not at high-intensity), 10 push-ups, 10 sit-ups and see how you go
  • You may still feel weak for up to a week, but don’t be too hard on yourself, you need to build yourself back up to your full strength. Listen to your body
  • Once you feel ready again, consider signing up to a group session, go for a run and start doing some more vigorous training

He continues, “it’s a mind over matter thing. Often we don’t feel motivated to start again after getting sick because we are not at the physical strength that we were before getting sick”,

“But the sooner you start building your strength and fitness up again the better. Again, don’t go too hard too soon, that may lead to a greater setback.”

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