One should wait for at least 10-15 days before resuming any exercise or sports or return - to - activity after recovering from Covid to avoid serious consequences for one's health and wellbeing, Dr. Renu Dadiala, one of Bengaluru's foremost doctors specializing in sports injuries, has said in the run-up to the National Sports Day.
Dr. Renu Dadiala, Consultant, Sports & Musculoskeletal Physician and Interventional Pain Specialist with the Interventional Pain and Spine Centre (IPSC) in Bengaluru, said: "Covid can cause damage to several body organs. It affects every individual differently. We still don't have enough studies telling us how much it affects. People suffering from symptoms like loss of stamina, breathlessness, muscle pain, exhaustion, etc. need to be closely monitored in post-recovery months. When tested positive for Covid, one should not indulge in any exercise or sports during the quarantine period. Only gentle and slow stretches and breathing exercise should be done. After recovery, people should wait for at least 15 days before going back to their pre Covid training"
She added: "People take up sports or exercise after Covid to get rid of a feeling of physical weakness. However, if they had suffered from moderate or severe Covid symptoms, they will collapse if they go into full training after recovery. They must see a doctor for a basic ECG and blood tests. The Covid virus causes an inflammatory response in the heart muscles, causing myocarditis. The heart muscle becomes swollen. Even if the virus is out of the body, it leaves certain areas of the lung affected, impacting efficient exchange of oxygen. Any exercise or sports in such cases can be very dangerous, even fatal. If one experiences extreme breathlessness, chest pain, dizziness or a racing heart beyond that warranted by the physical activity, one should totally avoid any kind of sports or exercise till the problem is treated. However, if after 15 days of recovery people feel normal, they should go back to physical activity very slowly and build stamina over a period of 10-15 days. They should listen to their body."
Dr. Renu Dadiala said that in the last 15 years, Bengaluru has become a hub of recreational sports, with cycling, running, soccer and tennis clubs mushrooming everywhere, along with sports and coaching academies and fitness centres. Everyone from IT executives to school students to housewives are taking up recreational sports of some kind. Many schools have included sports as a part of curriculum. This has led to a rapid increase in the number of recreational athletes and, in turn, of sports-related injuries.
Dr. Renu Dadiala said: "Each sport has injuries unique to it. For example, while runners suffer from low-body injuries related to knees, ankles and lower-back, swimmers suffer from upper-body injuries related to shoulder, etc. Most people want to take up sports because they want to get fit. However, they have to first condition their body to a certain level so that they don't injure themselves. Not every sport is suited to each body type or fitness levels. Recreational athletes should get themselves screened by a doctor to check if a particular sport is suitable for them. Health conditions like hypertension, diabetes, lower-back pain, early onset of arthritis, etc. can actually worsen with sports or exercise. So, advice from a doctor is essential before embarking on any sports."