The COVID-19 pandemic has presented countless challenges to individuals worldwide, and my personal battle with the virus was no exception. Enduring high fever, severe chest pain, and persistent coughing for four days, I found myself incapacitated, unable to do anything for nearly a week. As I embarked on my recovery journey, I learned valuable lessons about patience, self-care, and the importance of a gradual return to physical activity.
The Initial Struggle:
The initial days of my COVID-19 ordeal were marked by intense body aches, chills, sweats, and an overall feeling of fatigue. It was a stark reminder of the severity of the virus and its impact on the body. Determined to recover properly this time, I decided to take a different approach than my previous experience with long COVID.
Research and Preparation:
Last year, I attempted a 100-mile run shortly after recovering from COVID, only to suffer from long-lasting symptoms. This time, I was determined to avoid a similar fate. Armed with research on how athletes should return to activity post-COVID, I paid close attention to my Heart Rate Variability (HRV) and heart rate, waiting until they returned to normal before resuming anything more than short walks.
The Road to Recovery:
Day by day, I slowly reintegrated short walks into my routine, gradually progressing to very short and slow mountain bike rides on flat terrain. It was challenging to be patient, especially for someone accustomed to pushing physical limits, but I understood the importance of allowing my body the time it needed to heal. I still can’t believe that 3 weeks ago I was in shape to run 100 miles and now running for 30 minutes is a huge victory!
Strategic Exercise and Nutrition:
Taking a strategic approach to exercise, I incorporated Thorne Nutrition’s Curcumin supplement into my routine to address inflammation. This supplement had been instrumental in my recovery from long COVID the previous year. When the coughing subsided, I cautiously reintroduced weightlifting, using lighter weights than before. The loss of fitness, strength, and endurance over just three weeks of inactivity was a stark reminder of the toll the virus had taken on my body.
Emotionally, it was tough to abstain from the activities I loved, but I found solace in celebrating small victories, like short walks and bike rides. To fill the void left by intense physical activity, I enrolled in a weekly painting class, discovering a new source of joy during my recovery.
The Turning Point:
Monitoring my HRV and heart rate diligently, I finally went for my first run almost three weeks after falling ill. Though it was slow, the experience was nothing short of amazing. Unlike my previous attempt, where I felt terrible and had a high heart rate, this time, I felt out of shape but had perfect cardio and a stable heart rate.
Recovering from a severe case of COVID demands more than just physical resilience; it requires patience, strategic planning, and a commitment to long-term health. My journey back to running, biking, and hitting the gym was a testament to the importance of taking the necessary time to heal and reintroduce fitness gradually. If you find yourself battling COVID, remember that patience is the key to a full recovery without lingering symptoms.