I joined a group of COVID19 patients and survivors (Body Politic - if you are either one and wish to join, let me know and I'll send an invitation). The reason the group was created was to share information about how the disease manifested in each one of us. Because it is a new and unknown disease, there are several aspects of its early symptoms, natural history, and recovery that still cannot be described in a properly methodological manner. It will take time for these issues to be studied with randomized clinical studies.
Some people seem to (almost?) fully recover in about 4 weeks. Others take a couple of months and others may take many months. Some people report that exercise (usually low-intensity steady-state cardio-respiratory conditioning exercise) seems to be associated to improvement or at least "feeling better". Some feel worse following the exercise session but indicators (breaths per minute, O2 saturation, and heart rate) improve the following day.
In truth, nobody knows and any claim about it is mere (and dangerous) speculation.
I don't advise anything and anyone recovering from COVID19 should talk to their physician about exercising. There are many factors that can help the doctor suggest one thing or another. If the disease left cardiovascular sequelae, this patient is in a different situation than one with no apparent cardiovascular sequelae.
Most patients just try and see what happens.
I'm a health researcher and a specialist in medical information. It's my job to monitor the literature. For this reason I'm pretty sure about our level of ignorance in most biological fields. It also makes me more aware that any tentative diagnostic and treatment that I design for myself is on me and on me alone.
If you have been following this coach log you know that I have been slowly introducing exercise for the past four weeks. Now I am at about three short sessions a day, my indicators (bpm, O2 % and HR) are better, and I monitor them before and after each session. The weird "afternoon fever" (every day, between 12-4PM, during which I collapsed and slept like a baby: great quality sleep) has been gone for two days. I have no idea if it will return or not.
Soreness is bad now. It doesn't seem to be related to exercise. It may or may not be related to the disease or its recovery.
This is the fourth day that I do a short exercise session in the morning: I wake up, make my bed, change into "day clothes" and do the following sequence:
- pushups - 25
- crunches - 30
- hip exercises (sequence of 4 exercises, 10 reps each side, each exercise)
- split squats - 10/10
- pull-aparts with bands - 20
- side raises with bands - 20
That's the most unpleasant session. It takes about half an hour for the OTC analgesics to kick in and even then I'm sore.
Soreness seems random except for the hips and that's why I do not only those rehab hip exercises every day plus:
- band-assisted nordic curls
At least twice a week, barbell hip thrusts with moderate weight, high volume.
Curiously enough, hips don't bother me at all for squatting or deadlifting (or any variation of squats and pulls).