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    • We can’t seem to get away from coronavirus in the news at the
      moment and for some people who contract it they may struggle to get
      away from the symptoms too. It is apparent that more people are
      suffering from the longer term effects of covid, ‘long covid’,
      and are in need of advice and support to know how to help their
      bodies recover and return to normal. Approximately 10% of people
      experience prolonged illness after covid and there is very little
      research on the longer term impact and effect of it but in
      observational studies approximately one in ten people who test
      positive remain unwell beyond 3 weeks with recovery delayed beyond 12
      weeks for a smaller number.

      Long-covid appears to be systemic by which I mean it can give you ongoing issues
      in almost any part of the body. The most common symptoms appear to be
      cough, fever and fatigue alongside a host of others including
      breathlessness, mood swings, brain fog, muscle pains, anxiety,
      palpitations, gastrointestinal upset, skin rashes to name a few. With
      many people not having been tested and some of those tested receiving
      a false negative, a positive covid test result is not a prerequisite
      for long covid and neither is having had a hospital admission.

      If you haven’t had covid, even if you’ve had the vaccination,
      improving diet and exercise are as ever key tools to improve your
      health and boost your immune system. Public Health England guidelines
      recommend aiming for 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per
      week and should include 2 sessions of strength training per week.
      That equates to approximately 20 minutes a day but this doesn't need
      to be done in one go. It can be daunting and difficult to achieve but
      something is better than nothing. There are a host of exercise
      professionals including physiotherapists, physiologists and personal
      trainers out there to help you if you don’t know where to start. My
      advice would be to gradually build up, do something you enjoy and
      don’t worry about form, research has shown that technique is not as
      important as we once thought.

      If you have already contracted covid and you suffer with persistent
      breathlessness then you could try some techniques such as pacing,
      breathing out through pursed lips, extending your breath out or
      positions of ease to relieve these symptoms. Daily pulse oximetry
      where you measure your oxygen levels may be useful but there are
      mixed views on this with some clinicians having concerns about
      whether the tool is used properly and whether people are correctly
      able to interpret the results. Ensure you know how to use and
      interpret one before considering it.

      Exercise tolerance is very specific to each individual and this is one of the
      rare occasions you may find a physiotherapist encouraging rest. You
      should have a discussion with your healthcare professional to ensure
      it is safe to begin exercising after covid, pushing through is not
      always the right thing. Any exercise should be paced and increased
      only gradually as tolerated. Listen to your body’s response and
      avoid overdoing it. The British Medical Journal are advising to only
      start exercising after 7 days being free of symptoms and gradually
      building up over a period of weeks. Other self management tips would
      be to ensure you are getting enough sleep, eating well, drinking
      plenty of water, not smoking and limiting alcohol and caffeine
      intake. These may seem obvious but little changes can make a big
      difference to your physical and mental health.

      If you are finding that you are having persistent symptoms after
      contracting covid do get in touch with your healthcare professional
      for quality advice. In the meantime you can find some useful
      resources here: https://www.yourcovidrecovery.nhs.uk

      As yet there is not a huge amount of research on long covid due to the
      duration of the pandemic as well as most of the focus being on
      critical and acute care. But research, as ever, continues and as the
      picture broadens over time we can hope and expect that our
      understanding of long covid will continue to improve. If you would
      like to get involved in research around long covid there are a
      variety of avenues, perhaps the simplest of which is to download the
      ZOE COVID symptom study app and/or joining this facebook support
      group “Covid 19 - Patient Recovery & Rehab Forum”.

    • Thank you so much for posting! Very informative information! I do think what's hurt the United States is so many of our citizens are out of shape. That can't help anyone who is battling the virus.

    • I mostly work with 'older adults' and I have written this more for people your age so I would say this article is suitable for you if any of the symptoms are bothersome. The BMJ article: https://www.bmj.com/content/372/bmj.m4721/rapid-responses appears biased towards athletes who one would assume are under 30 years old but there appears to be a huge variety of ongoing symptoms for any age group. This BMJ article: https://www.bmj.com/content/370/bmj.m3026 may be more interesting to you. I don't think there are any 'fancy, clever' treatments. If you have any worrying symptoms see your GP to get anything nasty ruled out. Otherwise, rest, pacing, and build up gently, it may take quite a while to return to baseline but no one size fits all.

    • No problem and I'm glad you found it interesting. I keep seeing data to suggest obesity is very much linked to poor outcomes with covid but I don't think the mainstream media have grabbed the bull by the horns about this yet. Certainly unhealthy lifestyles has a burden on organs which can only manage for so long under stress, then add in Covid and it seems that the body can't cope lading to multiple organ failure. Sad but true.