To maximize recovery from COVID-19, I recommend that patients must work on strengthening their breathing muscles and the muscles in their arms and legs. Pulmonary rehabilitation is part of the recovery process, since COVID-19 is an illness that targets the respiratory system. I recommend a series of exercises that helps patients improve shortness of breath, increase their exercise capacity, and improve their quality of life.
- breathing exercises to strengthen chest muscles
- muscle strengthening exercises to address muscle loss after a long hospital stay
I encourage patients to walk, even if at home, as walking can improve overall conditioning. Walking schedules can go as follows:
- Week 1: 5 minutes, five times per day
- Week 2: 10 minutes, three times per day
- Week 3: 15 minutes, two times per day
Spending many hours on your back and lying on bed all day can lead to deconditioning and other medical problems. It’s recommended to sit upright as much as possible throughout the day.
Always keep a pulse oximeter. This device monitors heart rate and oxygen levels during activities and exercises. People in recovery should check their heart rate and oxygen levels before, during, and after exercise. Normal oxygen saturation is 96 to 100 percent, and shouldn’t go below 88 percent during exercise.
The regular practice of above mentioned activities will help you to get back to your routine faster and to lead a healthy life.