Working out after COVID (or any illness) is no fun, but necessary if we’re going to get back to life, especially when it comes to achieving goals. (As for working out during COVID, talk to us, because some can and should, and others shouldn’t). BUT! Below are some tips to consider when getting back into the routine after battling away that nasty spike-riddled ninja:
1 – Go slow. This might sound obvious, but even mild cases of COVID can affect breathing capacity (the amount of air you can inhale) and capability (how well you use that oxygen). This does not mean to skip all workouts until you have no issues. Since this virus is new, we don’t know how long issues will linger. The moment you are cleared to return to life and feel up to attempting a workout, do so. But…
2 – Back off on the weights. This doesn’t mean don’t use weights, but maybe drop it a bit. Go slower. Add in extra recovery time. We would NOT recommend you jump immediately back in using the same weights you did before unless you had an asymptomatic case (lucky dog, you). For example, Jess typically uses 40-50lb dumbbells with her leg-work. She’d drop to 30-40lb. Where she might do 4 rounds of exercises in 30 minutes, she’d aim for 3 rounds, etc.
3 – Consider more cardio versus HIIT or heavy volume training. Throughout the last year, we’ve learned that the body after COVID is more responsible to lower intensity cardiovascular workouts to help retrain the heart and lungs to work together with exercise. Again, don’t give up the weights, but do a little more walking, jogging, biking, rowing, burpees even (ability-dependent) in addition to or even in place of one of your strength routines. Cardio is also an excellent tool to help you cough up the last of any nasties.
4 – Break your split routine down into full-body circuits for a 2-3 weeks until the body is used to putting forth the effort again, then go back to your split. When you return, you may even realize you have more energy to recover from your splits than you’d think.
5 – And lastly, keep up that good nutrition. Obviously, HYDRATE (aim for 100oz a day), consume sufficient protein daily (about 100g for the ladies, 150 or so for the gents, generally speaking), fiber, veggies, and limit processed foods and sugar and alcohol (“Hey… this sounds a lot like what y’all always say…” I know right? So do it!) But seriously. Especially where viruses are concerned, viruses are catabolic, meaning they encourage the body to “eat” itself and we can lose strength and muscle mass pretty quickly while kicking them out of our systems. The glorious thing, though, is that our bodies have great memories and we can get back into our routines pretty quickly so long as we FUEL our bodies.
There are many other things that can help you get back into your daily lives, but this should get you started. Additionally, should you find yourself battling the dreaded “-vid,” let us know, and we can suggest a few things to help you get through to help you return to life as quickly as possible.
We might be in a new normal, y’all, but life sure is beautiful. There will always be set-backs, but it’s up to us if we let the set-back become permanent. And we, for one, refuse to let anything hold us back from life. And if you let us, we’ll help you do the same.