Many people currently have a mild course of Corona. But even when the symptoms are gone, the body often doesn't seem to be really fit. Everyday things like weekly shopping suddenly become stressful. That's completely normal. There is no illness that progresses in such a way that I am back to my old self immediately after the illness has healed. Even the weekly shopping can be tiring - and it should be. But it's also a sign from my body that I should take things slowly. Anyone who has just recovered from an infection should use the first week after recovery to slowly get back into everyday life. I may still be a little tired and worn out. But it should get better day by day. So I should be able to do a little more every day.
And what about exercise? The rough rule of thumb is a seven to ten day break after the symptoms have completely subsided. This only applies after healing, so there really shouldn't be any symptoms left. The start should be moderate: amateur athletes should, for example, start with a brisk walk or some cycling. They should listen to themselves to see whether the moderate exercise triggers new symptoms or whether the exercise is good for them.
Should you seek medical advice in advance if you want to do endurance sports again? Many amateur athletes have similar performance expectations as professionals. Anyone who has such an expectation should actually consider it. Otherwise there is a risk that you will start training too hard. In contrast to professionals, amateur athletes have no care or medical supervision. Those who exercise moderately can start training again on their own. If you have previously run eight kilometers, you should initially shorten your laps to three or four kilometers and gradually increase your laps.
When should I pay attention? And is it better to go to a doctor again? If you see warning signs such as shortness of breath, chest tightness or heart problems, you should definitely see a doctor to find out whether your lungs or heart have been damaged by the corona infection. Patients can also develop a hyperactive bronchial system after a corona infection. The bronchi are more sensitive and react more strongly to stress or cold. Patients can develop a severe dry cough or asthma with shortness of breath. Of course, this needs to be addressed further. The good news: Such symptoms should disappear after four to six weeks. Many people who come to my consultation want to have an imaging procedure, an MRI, done straight away to rule out myocarditis. If there are no loss of performance or symptoms, I strongly advise against it. Because: It may be that there are indications of myocarditis in the pictures, but there is nothing behind it without any other symptoms. So I suddenly make something really bad out of nothing.
What about returning to work? Can I get back on without any problems if the symptoms go away and my test is negative? You can. But you will also be amazed at how strenuous the work can be. We notice that some patients suffer from fatigue syndrome for a few days or a little longer. This can make tasks that are normally easy to do very difficult. The same applies here: get back to work slowly and don't work piecework for twelve hours every day.
What else is a normal, longer recovery period? When do I have to worry that I have Long Covid? After the symptoms have completely healed, you can still feel weak for around ten days. If there are further losses in performance or patients have the feeling that nothing has happened, they should visit their family doctor's practice. The family doctor can check whether the recovery is slow and whether medication or a sick note is necessary. Or everything is fine.