Exercise after covid-19

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For many people exercise is not just important for their physical health but also their mental wellbeing. People who have been hospitalised with Covid-19 or who have been unwell at home for a long period of time will naturally find it hard to return to their normal activity levels, and this is understandably a source of considerable anxiety for those affected and their families.

At the time of writing in February 2021 the consensus is that patients with acute or ongoing symptoms of Covid-19 should not undertake any formal exercise until their symptoms have fully resolved, as trying to do too much, too soon, actually hinders rather than hastens recovery.

An excellent article published recently in the British Medical Journal (click here for access) gives a very clear and detailed flow chart for assessment during the various stages of Covid-19 and what patients should attempt to do at particular thresholds during their recovery. It also gives a very helpful list of what it calls “Key Physical Activity Resources” which people can access at home to support and guide them whilst they undertake a graded approach to try to get back to what is normal for them. A particularly useful site in this respect has been developed by Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and can be accessed by clicking here.

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