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After COVID-19

Physical activity after COVID-19

Physical activity takes energy. It can range from light to intense. You may have less energy due to COVID-19, so you may not be as active as you were before you got sick. Start with getting back into your daily routine and lighter intensity activities before you do harder, more intense tasks.

What is physical activity?

Physical activity is any movement you do throughout your day. Here are some examples of physical activity:

  • walking around your house, to your community mailbox, or up stairs
  • washing and dressing yourself or other self-care activities
  • doing laundry, vacuuming, and other housework or yard chores
  • lifting boxes, reaching repeatedly, or other workplace tasks
  • walking to the store, riding your bike to work
  • gardening, playing sports, or other hobbies that get you moving
  • exercising

What should I know before starting physical activity?

It may be hard to do your regular activities when you have COVID-19 or if you still have symptoms. Add activity to your day slowly and carefully, but don't overdo it.

  • Don't push through fatigue. It may make your symptoms worse.
  • Don't do too much on days you feel good. It can make your symptoms worse in the following days.
  • Don't try to do all of the things you did before getting sick. Start with easier tasks, and don't add more until your symptoms are not getting worse, not coming and going, and no new symptoms are starting.

What are some tips for starting physical activity safely?

When you start physical activity again after COVID-19, here are the things you can do:

  • Be patient. Getting back to your regular routine may take longer than you expect.
  • Do regular movement throughout the day. You can add gentle movements while in bed. As your symptoms improve, begin to move around your house (sit up in a chair or walk to the kitchen).
  • As your energy allows, get back to your basic routine. Ask for help from a health professional if you're struggling to get back to your daily routine.
  • Choose the type or amount of activity based on how you feel and what's important to you.
  • Keep track of how you feel. Notice what makes your symptoms better or worse. Limit activities that make your symptoms worse. Limit activities that make your symptoms worse.
  • Stop, rest, and pace as you return to activity. Pacing means balancing activities with rest to manage your energy.

For more about managing your energy and pacing techniques, see the following links:

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