Has he tested positive for Covid 19? Be calm with yourself – try not to rush back to work or exercise

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Opinion

With Covid isolation rules largely gone, some people are feeling pressure to rush back to work, school or other activities after testing positive for Covid.

If your symptoms are mild, you may be tempted to continue (remotely) working through the infection, quickly returning to your regular exercise program so as not to lose shape.

But while we may be used to bouncing back quickly after other viruses, we need to be more careful with Covid. Aside from the risk of transmission, excessive stress can exacerbate and prolong symptoms.

Pushing too hard can set you back

Clinical guidelines recommend that you get adequate rest when you are diagnosed with Covid. Pushing yourself too hard too soon during your recovery from your initial Covid infection can set back your progress.

While about four out of five people with Covid experience mild illness and recover within a month, for others, it may take a few months or even longer.

When people have symptoms such as fatigue and/or shortness of breath for three months or longer, this is called Long Covid. Up to 89 percent of people with long Covid experience post-exercise malaise, as excessive physical or mental activity exacerbates symptoms such as fatigue and causes new symptoms such as pain and anxiety.

So you tested positive for Covid. How do you know if you are well enough to return to your normal routine?

Here are five tips:

1) Take your time

If you’re feeling sick, use your paid vacation entitlement, if you have it, even if it’s just for a day or two to relax and unwind.

While it may be tempting to return to work quickly after Covid, avoid going into the workplace for at least seven days if you work in a high-risk environment such as health, disability and aged care. For other factors, it’s a good idea to isolate until your symptoms resolve.

One of the hardest effects to bear with prolonged COVID can be fatigue.  photo/Getty
One of the hardest effects to bear with prolonged COVID can be fatigue. photo/Getty

If you’re feeling exhausted but want to get back to work, you may be able to start with a half day, or work a few hours, and then build up to your usual workload.

2) Speed, planning and prioritization

Pace, planning and prioritizing are important while you are still experiencing COVID symptoms:

  • Distribute activities into smaller, more manageable tasks with rest in between
  • Plan your activities in advance
  • Prioritize what you need to do over what you want to do.

If you are experiencing burnout while recovering from COVID, a referral to an occupational therapist or physiotherapist can provide further strategies for coping with these symptoms.

3) Wait until symptoms disappear for seven days to exercise

You may feel ready to start exercising after symptoms resolve, but to avoid stress it is important to wait until you have cleared any symptoms of Covid for at least seven days.

Start with light exercises – where you can breathe easy, hold a conversation, and feel like you can stay active for hours – with 10-15 minutes to start.

Only exercise again if you feel recovered from the previous day’s exercise, without new or worsening symptoms such as fatigue and pain.

4) Ask for help

If you are experiencing more serious symptoms of covid, consider checking in with your friends and family. They may be entitled to paid caregiver leave or up to two days of unpaid caregiver leave for casual workers if they need to care for someone with Covid.

If you are struggling to manage your health and other financial stresses, contact your financial institution to discuss payment plans.

If you work in a high-risk environment such as health, disability and aged care, you may also be entitled to additional government support to help you in the event that you are unable to work due to Covid.

Know when to see a doctor with COVID.  photo/123RF
Know when to see a doctor with COVID. photo/123RF

5) Know when to see your healthcare provider

If you’re over 70 (or over 50 with added risk, or you’re Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander and over 30 with added risk), talk to your doctor about antivirals once you’ve tested positive. covid positive. Antivirals lower your chance of developing severe COVID that would require hospitalization, and are best taken within five days of diagnosis.

If you are managing Covid at home, use the symptom checker to see if you need medical advice for your condition.

If you have persistent symptoms after your initial infection with Covid, make an appointment with your doctor to monitor your condition and refer you to other health professionals, when appropriate, to help manage your symptoms.

While there are no medications to treat COVID symptoms such as fatigue, exercise-based health professionals such as physiotherapists can create an exercise program for you and progress accordingly to reduce fatigue and help with shortness of breath.

Mahatma Gandhi was right when he said “good health is true wealth”, so be kind to yourself when you are recovering from covid.

Clarice TangSenior Lecturer in Physiotherapy, Western Sydney University

This article has been republished from Conversation Under Creative Commons Licence. Read the The original article.

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