Getting back to exercise routines after COVID-19

Why do we need guidelines to return to exercise after being infected with COVID-19?  Namely, because of the implications that this systemic inflammatory virus can have on the heart.  It’s possible to have cardiac involvement when infected with COVID, even if you were asymptomatic.  It is important to be aware of exercise guidelines so that as you recover from COVID-19, your inflammatory levels have a chance to resolve before you begin or resume an exercise program.  These COVID-19 exercise guidelines are determined by disease severity for those over the age of 16 and under the age of 65.

For people with asymptomatic infection:

  • Isolate and rest for 10 days post-positive test
  • Slow, gradual return to activity

For people with mild illness:

  • Isolate and rest for 10 days post-positive test
  • AND full resolution of symptoms
  • Slow, gradual return to activity

For people with moderate illness (recovered at home, but maybe took a while, or not able to work while sick, but not hospitalized):

  • Isolate and rest for 10 days post-positive test
  • AND full resolution of symptoms
  • THEN rest 10 more days
  • AND be screened by cardiology/primary care for echocardiogram/EKG/bloodwork. These are lower-cost, routine tests that will give the physician an idea of how your heart is functioning
  • When cleared by your physician, a slow, gradual return to activity supervised by a healthcare provider is recommended. If pain is also limiting your return to exercise, click here for more info on PDR’s therapy programs.

If you were hospitalized: 

  • You likely had imaging studies done while you were in the hospital. Your physician should review your most recent imaging and bloodwork before you slowly, gradually return to activity while supervised by a healthcare provider.

For those over 65 or under 16, the guidelines are as follows:

Anyone over 65:

  • We recommend a visit to a cardiologist or primary care physician to review bloodwork, EKG, and/or echocardiogram before you slowly, gradually return to activity while supervised by a healthcare provider.

Anyone under 15 with symptoms:

  • We recommend a visit to your pediatrician before you slowly, gradually return to activity.

Anyone under 15, asymptomatic:

  • 14 days after symptom resolution, slow gradual return to activity

If you are considering beginning a therapy program to manage pain, a visit with one of our medical team can give you guidance on how to best begin.  Visit pdrclinics.com  to learn more about the PDR method of treating pain.  We look forward to helping you get back to your daily activities!