Sport after Corona: When can you train again?

This is very different from person to person. Many people who otherwise do a lot of sport come to our outpatient clinic and say: After Covid, it’s like having the handbrake on. My pulse is a few beats higher, it takes me significantly longer than before to cover the same distance, my muscles feel heavy and tired. Presumably, fragments of the virus are still circulating in the body, maintaining the inflammatory response or causing it to flare up again and again. Experience has shown that this lasts for about six weeks. Then, as many report, it is often as if a switch has been flipped: full resilience is restored within a day or two.

When I start again: are there clear warning signs that it is still too early for sport after Corona?

If you become dizzy under the strain, feel a slight pressure on your chest or have to cough heavily, you should go to your family doctor or a sports medicine outpatient clinic.

“It’s better to run 500 meters several times than jog for an hour at a time”

Should anyone who wants to start exercising again after Corona have a “check-up” in advance?

Not in amateur sports, but more ambitious athletes and those who are insecure and have felt something in their hearts. An electrocardiogram shows if you have an arrhythmia. A blood test can be used to determine whether an inflammatory reaction is in progress. In addition, you can also do a lung function test, a stress ECG and an ultrasound of the heart. If the findings are normal, you know that everything is fine.

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How should I train to avoid relapse if possible?

In the beginning, the focus should be on strength, stability and coordination. Train with machines, weights or your own body weight. Anything that strains the muscles but doesn’t get the pulse high is okay. You should only start with endurance training in the next step. Overall, multiple short loads are better than one long one. It is better to run 500 meters several times and take breaks in between than jog for an hour at a time. Or do ten push-ups three times instead of 30 at a time.

How to avoid sore muscles? How much should athletes drink? Biochemist Annika Röcker addresses these and other questions in her column “In Best Form”. She discusses what happens in the body during sport and what healthy training looks like with experts from sports medicine.

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