You're positive. Unfortunately positive isn't a good thing in this scenario.
Hopefully you and your loved ones faired well with your Covid-19 infection. Are you feeling ready to get back to your regular activities? Exercise might be at the top of the list.
Can I jump right into exercise?
One thing that's important to keep in mind as you start increasing your activity level again is that your body might be over the acute phase of the infection but that doesn't mean everything is smooth sailing from here on out. There are many reported cases of "long covid" symptoms that are incredibly impactful.
You should be asymptomatic for at least 7 days prior to return to exercise
Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE)
To better understand how to progress your exercise, we need to discuss the Rating Perceived Exertion (RPE) Scale. This scale measures how hard you think an activity is. There's no right answer and it's different for everyone.
6 No exertion 14
7 Extremely light 15 Hard (heavy)
9 Very light 17 Very hard
11 Light 19 Extremely hard
12 20 Maximal Exertion
13 Somewhat hard
Any abnormal shortness of breath for a given activity level, or return of symptoms including temperature, lethargy or chest pain is an indicator to stop and follow up with your physician.
Phases of Exercise
Minimally 7 days should be spent at each phase to allow your body to adapt
Goal: Prepare for return to exercise
Activities: Breathing exercises, stretching, balance, light walking
RPE level: 6-8
Goal: Low intensity activity
Activity: walking, mild yoga, light housekeeping or yard work. Progress by 10-15 minutes per day
RPE Level: 6-11
Progression when you can walk for 30 minutes at an RPE of 11
Goal: Moderate intensity aerobic and strength exercise
Activity: 2 blocks of 5 minutes of aerobic exercise with a recovery period in between. Add one block of exercise per day as tolerated
RPE Level: 12-14
Progression when can achieve 30 minute session and feel recovered after an hour.
Goal: Return to baseline exercise
Activity: Regular exercise pattern
RPE Level: Greater than 15 as tolerated
You should only exercise if you feel recovered from the day before. Don't forget to spend a few minutes warming up and cooling down at the beginning and end of an exercise session.
If you have any concerns at all, hold all exercise until you can be seen by your physician.
Reach out to our office if you need help getting moving again after a Covid infection!