Now that the world is beginning to return to some normality, we have put together some guidance to make returning to fitness or introducing fitness back into your routine. 

Exercise and fitness are important factors for maintaining a physically and mentally healthy lifestyle, however after lockdown pressures and symptoms of long covid this could be challenging.

Read some of our guidance and advice for returning to fitness! 

Spending time in hospital and being ill at home with COVID-19 over a long period of time can result in a significant reduction in your muscle strength and endurance. 

Exercise is very important for regaining your muscle strength and endurance BUT this needs to be safe and managed alongside other long COVID symptoms. 

Follow these phases for safe return to exercise:

  • Phase 1 – Preparation for return to exercise – Types of exercise: Gentle walking, breathing exercises, flexibility and stretching. 
  • Phase 2 – Low intensity activity – Types of exercise: Walking, light household/garden tasks, light yoga. 
  • Phase 3 – Moderate intensity aerobic and strength exercises – Types of exercise: Walking – introducing inclines, resistance exercises. 
  • Phase 4 – Moderate intensity aerobic and strength exercises with co-ordination and functioning skills – Types of exercise: Cycling, swimming, jogging, racket sports, Zumba classes, dance classes 
  • Phase 5 – Return to your baseline exercises : You are now able to complete your usual pre COVID regular exercise/activity regime. 

Please also read these top tips for progressing through these phases safely!

  • Spend a minimum of seven days at each phase. 
  • Drop back a phase if you have difficulty. 
  • Only exercise if you feel recovered from the previous day and have no return of symptoms and no new symptoms. 
  • Choose exercises that you enjoy. You are more likely to do them and they will help to improve your mental wellbeing. 
  • Exercises that you did prior to COVID may not be appropriate to your stage of recovery. 
  • Doing less intensity of the same pre COVID activity may not always be the best way to approach your phased return to exercise. 
  • Track your exercise progress using an exercise dairy.

Please don’t hesitate to ask one of our members of staff for help and advice when returning to your fitness routine, we are always on hand to ensure safe and effective exercise, especially after the past few difficult months.

*Information in this blog was taken from the NHS website and the BORG Scale Of perceived exertion.

For more information on rehabilitation from long covid please speak to your GP.

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