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Monday - Friday 8:00 - 6:30
Saturday and Sunday - CLOSED

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Recover ITC
8877 Harry Hines #100
Dallas, TX 75235

Long-Haul COVID and Its Effect on Physical Activity: Rehabilitation and Recovery

For many people, one of the most frustrating aspects of an illness like long-haul COVID is that it infringes on your daily life. Symptoms vary by person, but the illness forces many to adjust their routines and alter their habits—including exercise.

Patients who are accustomed to working out multiple times a week—if not once a day—may find that they are no longer able to do so, at least not with the same intensity. Of course, this change influences patients’ physical and mental health. But just as important, it makes them feel like their illness is disrupting their lives or even defining who they are.

Let’s talk about how long-haul COVID can impact your physical activity and how you can ease back into exercise to gain the strength your body needs to recover from illness.

How Long-Haul COVID Symptoms Effect Physical Activity

One of the most common long-haul COVID symptoms is persistent fatigue, which can significantly reduce your capacity for physical exertion. Shortness of breath also contributes to long-haul COVID patients’ difficulty exercising or completing daily tasks around the house, such as cleaning. Headaches, dizziness, and sleep problems are also common symptoms of those experiencing long-haul COVID.

Long-haul COVID can also result in significant cardiovascular complications, including chest pain and heart palpitations. Any sort of intensive workout will cause your heart rate to spike, making cardio difficult.

Getting Back to Exercise With Long-Haul COVID

It’s possible to continue working out if you are experiencing cardiovascular symptoms such as chest pain or heart palpitations, but it’s critical to be vigilant. Instead of attempting to dive back into your old routine (even at a slower pace), consult experts who can help you formulate a graded workout plan that both aligns with your goals and keeps you safe.

For example, yoga and partial pushups can be both safe and effective for people easing back into an exercise routine, but check with your health care provider before beginning any new exercise routine.

Nutrition for Long-Haul COVID

Patients have also had success supplementing their diets with high doses of vitamin C or crafting a brand-new diet with a strong foundation in fruits, vegetables, and grains. An anti-inflammation diet may be helpful. That means eating little to no processed meat and supplementing daily fruits and vegetables with fish at least twice a week.

Treatments for Long-Haul COVID

Lastly, therapies such as physical therapy, light therapy and time in a hyperbaric chamber may be just what the doctor ordered (literally). Each of these therapies have proven successful in recovery efforts for patients with long-haul COVID.

Just like all long-haul COVID treatments, there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to exercise. But with the right help, patients can find a helpful, personalized solution that restores some much-needed normalcy to their lives.

The Importance of Rehabilitation and Recovery

For patients with long-haul COVID, the first step to feeling better is often one of the simplest: rest.

Before you restart a workout regimen, it’s critical to get back into a consistent pattern of good sleep, which means at least eight hours of sleep per night. Remember to drink plenty of water during the day and throughout the evening and limit your intake of coffee and soda.

It might also be helpful to eat earlier in the evening rather than before bed. Reduce your screen time in the hours leading up to bed. If you are still struggling to fall asleep or stay asleep, try doing something relaxing, like reading or listening to music.

It might take a little time to reestablish a healthy sleep schedule, just as it takes time to recover from long-haul COVID. Frustration is both expected and understandable, but at the same time, patients can and do recover from long-haul COVID. Pace yourself and take the time you need to rest when in doubt.

How We Can Help You Get Back to Fitness

As of today, there is no definitive cure for long-haul COVID, and there’s no one treatment for the disease. However, it is possible to treat the symptoms and their ultimate cause: inflammation.

At Recover ITC, our health care providers take a 360-degree view of your health with a comprehensive diagnostic workup and full-body evaluation. We then work with you to develop a custom treatment plan based on your unique symptoms and needs.

If you think you may have long-haul COVID, schedule an appointment with Recover ITC today. We’re ready to help you finally find relief from your inflammation symptoms and get you back to living like you’re used to — including exercising.

Each patient’s treatment plan differs, but the goal remains the same: to leave with a better understanding of your health.

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