In our previous blog, we spoke to our specialist in internal medicine, Éva Bajnok, who gave us some advice on what type of screening tests are recommended after someone has recovered from Covid. We also summarized what kind of symptoms you might experience even after the infection has passed and in what instances you should pay even greater attention to your recovery. Now we will focus on people who do sports.
In recent weeks, you may have read that in addition to making training sessions harder and causing significant loss of muscle mass, this coronavirus has left various elite athletes struggling with chronic fatigue, often for months. Naturally, a Covid infection can have an impact on the body of amateur athletes, not just professional ones. It is essential for patients to only gradually return to their previous level of exertion, and to attend a specialist examination as soon as possible if they experience any persistent or worsening symptoms.
What should athletes look out for after suffering from a Covid infection?
- If the infection was mild, or if it was only identified through a positive test, then it is still a good idea to take a week's rest. You should only return to your previous exercise regime at 50% intensity. You should then gradually build up to your previous level of performance, step by step. If you experience any complaints during your workout, then don't push it too much. Reduce you intensity and walk instead of running, for example. If you still experience any shortness of breath, chest pain, fever, palpitations, coughing or pronounced joint pain, then you should attend a specialist examination as soon as possible. At the examination, you may undergo laboratory tests, a physical examination, a chest X-ray or CT scan, an ECG or heart ultrasound, a stress test, or other specialist examinations based on your symptoms.
- If your symptoms were significantly more serious, or if you also had pneumonia, then you should begin with focused breathing exercises and walks of increasing intensity. If the treating physician recommends any check-up examination, it is essential that you attend. If you experience chronic or escalating shortness of breath, you may need a chest CT scan (or a cardiology check-up).
- If you experienced any cardiovascular complications during the course of your illness, you may need to take a 4-6 week break from exercise, or up to six months in the case of myocarditis.
- If you experience vomiting, diarrhea and sweating, then you will require electrolyte replacement.
- The above is also true for elite or high-level athletes. It may be a good idea to undergo an internal medicine or especially a cardiology examination before beginning intensive workouts.
And which screening tests are recommended and for whom? You can read more about recommended examinations after a Covid infection and our free lifestyle program on the RMC website.