As we continue to adjust to the impacts of COVID on our daily lives, it’s worth considering how the virus can impact some of our most natural and cherished routines, such as exercise. We tend to think of exercising as essential to good health, great for the body and mind, and a way to help prevent getting sick. However, as a JAMA Cardiology study from August 2020 demonstrated, exercising while you have COVID can be a dangerous mix.
What the Study Found
The study in question found that working out while you have COVID can lead to medical complications, including serious heart issues. While the study indicated the need for further research, its preliminary findings suggested broad cardiovascular issues were a potential problem for those suffering from COVID, which might then be exacerbated by exercise.
Why it Matters
When you exercise, you are deliberately putting your body under a degree of strain. Normally, this can be beneficial so long as you manage yourself and stick to a healthy workout routine, allowing you to build muscle and increase things such as flexibility and breathing ability.
However, the conditions that can make for an “intense exercise” under normal conditions can create a dangerous one with COVID. One of the most significant side effects of COVID is that it can cause breathing issues in patients with moderate to severe cases.
Needless to say, trouble breathing is the last thing you need when engaging in running, cycling, weight lifting, or other types of workouts.
This is not merely theoretical speculation. While testimony on COVID’s impact on those who exercise remains early and largely anecdotal, early evidence from fitness fans who have contracted COVID seems to corroborate the study’s findings. As a result, doctors are increasingly recommending patients who have contracted COVID refrain from intense activity and exercise for at least two weeks following their diagnosis. Even after that window has passed, you should take it very easy – extra stress is the last thing a body battling COVID needs.
There will be plenty of time to exercise when the pandemic is over, so don’t put your body at increased risk in the meantime.