Q and A: exercise after COVID-19

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DEAR MAYO CLINIC: I am about 40 years old. During the COVID-19 pandemic, I didn’t exercise as much and gained weight. Now I feel like I have less energy. He was previously infected with COVID-19. Is it safe to exercise again in a crowded gym so you can exercise, lose weight and gain energy? Do I have to wear a mask?

ANSWER: Regular and structured physical activity can benefit people of all ages and . These benefits include improvements in overall health, fitness, and quality of life, as well as a reduced risk of chronic illnesses such as , Type 2 diabetes, dementia and certain types of cancer. Regular exercise can also help maintain a healthy body weight, improve mood and sensations of energy, reduce anxiety and promote good sleep.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization recognize that regular physical activity and exercise are not only safe, but are necessary to promote the health benefits described above. . The risk of developing more severe symptoms of COVID-19 is higher among people with conditions such as obesity and —Both can be modified in a beneficial way . In addition, regular exercise of moderate intensity helps increase immune function, which can protect or reduce the severity of the disease if you want to reinfect yourself with COVID-19. This may be why the main research published in Mayo Clinic Procedures and the British Journal of Sports Medicine suggest that meeting physical activity guidelines and being in better physical shape decreases the likelihood of a severe COVID-19 infection.

You may have heard that exercise “generates aerosols”. During exercise, it increases the amount of air that enters and leaves the lungs. This means that, like coughing and sneezing, exercise can increase the number of particles released into the surrounding environment. The virus that causes COVID-19 probably spreads through these respiratory particles.

As vaccination rates against COVID-19 increase, the CDC focuses on the use of and social distancing is regularly updated. When considering how to safely participate in physical activity or structured exercise, you are advised to follow current public health guidelines.

It is preferable to exercise outdoors and avoid large groups of people, especially if you are not yet fully vaccinated against COVID-19. If you want to work out in a community gym, it is advisable to keep a proper distance between you and others and wear a mask. If you prefer to exercise indoors, consider doing so from the comfort and safety of your own home.

There have been concerns that wearing a mask during exercise may increase shortness of breath, require increased respiratory effort, and may even cause breathing-related problems with the exhaled carbon dioxide itself. If wearing a mask during exercise may seem uncomfortable, the accumulation of evidence indicates that doing so only has a negligible effect on how your body responds to exercise. It has also been suggested that exercising with a mask is safe, with no negative health implications, even during hard exercise.

If you have not been completely vaccinated, it is still advisable to wear a mask during exercise, especially indoors. But consider using a lighter cloth or a surgical mask and exercising at a lower intensity.

It is important to stress that anyone who wants to increase their physical activity or start exercising after being infected with COVID-19 should talk to their primary care provider first.

A recent report a The BMJ suggested that, although there may be certain risks associated with resuming physical activity after hospitalization due to COVID-19, people who experienced mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19 and did not needing hospitalization can resume physical activity about a week after they have decreased. It is recommended that these people return to activity gradually, perhaps starting with a week of low-level stretching and muscle-strengthening exercise. You can walk with gradual increases in exercise time, while avoiding high-intensity workouts or prolonged exercises during the initial return to normal activity. Inpatients should seek medical advice from a health care professional to assess their risk before returning to activity.

You should be realistic about how quickly you can return to your activity level before COVID-19, given the possible effects of untraining after a long period of inactivity. In addition, those with persistent symptoms of COVID-19 sometimes called post-acute COVID-19 syndrome or “long COVID,” may find it more difficult to exercise again. Again, these people should seek the advice of their healthcare provider before returning to their activity level before COVID-19.

Always talk to your primary care provider if you have any questions about exercise or symptoms.


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Citation: Q and A: exercise after COVID-19 (2021, July 13) retrieved July 13, 2021 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2021-07-covid-.html

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