Dr Rebecca Robinson is a Consultant in Sport and Exercise Medicine, splitting her time between British canoeing, the NHS and CHHP. Most recently Dr Robinson runs the ‘Long COVID’ clinic at CHHP in London helping patients get to exercise safely.
In the first episode of Journal Club with Randall Cooper, Randall asks Dr Robinson what advice and tips she has for athletes who are returning to sport after having covid.
For anybody diagnosed with covid, you must take the rest. Definitely for the first 5 days in isolation, don’t do anything at all. It’s ok to do some breathing exercises but nothing that will raise the heart rate.
Whilst you’re still in isolation it’s important to get your general movement patterns back. So walking, or depending on your sport, very light exercise for the rest of your 10 day isolation. (At the time of recording the isolation period when you test positive in England was 10 days).
Once you’re fully symptom free
It’s ok to go really steady back into training the following week if you’re fully symptom free. Obviously, if you’ve got a coach, use them. Miss your planned training sessions in that first week back. It’s important to just get back into the rhythm.
Watch your recovery and make sure there is no overriding fatigue.
When it comes to long covid, we don’t quite know who will and won’t get it, what’s really important is that we don’t see tiredness spilling into the next day. We want full recovery and heart rates staying nice and low. If heart rates are spinning up just as we’re coming back to easy exercise at the end of the first week, and say for example it’s a light jog, we want to pair it back and walk.
What is your experience with Covid as an athlete? Continue the conversation #PremaxJC
We’re super excited to announce the launch of the Journal Club with Randall Cooper. The Journal Club is a leading show for health professionals, exercise scientists and serious athletes who want to learn about the latest research on how to improve health and sports performance. Make sure you're subscribed to get each episode as it drops every Thursday.
You can listen to the first episode where Randall discusses recovery times and the prolonged impact of COVID-19 on athletes with Rebecca Robinson here.