Long Covid and Exercise

What is Long Covid?

Long covid are symptoms you can continue to experience day, week or even months after having Covid-19. These symptoms can vary between people.

 Common symptoms include:

  • extreme fatigue or tiredness
  • shortness of breath
  • heart palpitations, chest pain or tightness
  • problems with memory and concentration
  • changes to taste and smell
  • joint and muscle pain

We acknowledge that these symptoms can arise from a multitude of other medical conditions, so please consult with your GP if you experience any of these symptoms.

Exercise plays a huge role in the management of Long Covid. It is important to when first start to return to exercise you can complete activities of daily living first without excessive fatigue or breathlessness. It is suggested that you begin exercising when you are at least 10 days symptom free. When you start exercises its important to start small and build up. For example a light walk of 15 minutes or less is a great place to start. If you can manage light intensity, you can then progress the intensity and during of the activity.

Your Exercise Physiologist (EP) can provide guidance and a suitable exercise plan when battling Long Covid. Some areas you may work on with your EP:

  • Fatigue and exercise load management
  • How to track your work-load and understand the data
  • Suitable selection of cardiovascular, strength, flexibility, and neuromuscular control/balance exercises
  • Progressive increases in activity to help with your fatigue levels

Nutrition and diet will also play a large role in resuming activities after having Covid, for questions specific to this please contact our in-house dietitian ([email protected]) or read our blog on isolation and a healthy diet. For questions around exercise physiology please contact Diandra or Luke ([email protected] or [email protected])

We encourage you to continue using our multidisciplinary allied health-team to your advantage during the management of Chronic illness. For information on government rebates for physiotherapy and allied health sessions please see our other blog.

For the British Journal of Sports Medicine recommendations on Long Covid see the infographic below: