Get your fitness back, Cardiovascular fitness, Fitness & Training, Health & Fitness, Workout at home

Getting back into training after COVID-19 in 4 steps

You stayed at home while your body fought COVID-19, as recommended by health professionals. You
have been symptom-free for the past 7 days and want to resume training. Here is a 4-step recovery
programme to get back to your usual exercise rhythm with confidence. With targeted goals and
benchmarks to help you know when to move on, you should quickly catch up to your pre-
coronavirus fitness level.

COVID-19 and resuming exercise: Where to start

cycling covid cardio health fitness

After battling a bout of flu or a respiratory condition such as COVID-19, it may take a few weeks for
your fitness level to return to normal. Here are some things to consider when gradually returning to
● Your breathing may be less efficient than before, which can cause anxiety. Breathing and
heart coherence exercises can help, as can meditation.
● You have less energy than usual because you have been resting, but mainly because your
body has used up a lot of resources to fight the virus, including protein, which explains the
muscle wasting after an illness. Work on mobility first with gentle stretching, and then you
can resume more intense physical activity to regain strength.
● You are more quickly out of breath than before, and you need to take care of your heart
after testing positive for COVID-19. Get back into the swing of things with gentle cardio
exercises as soon as you can.

Step 1: Breathing and stretching

yoga stretch health fitness woman

The first step in recovery is to find a comfortable breathing pattern and gently re-mobilise each part
of the body without increasing your heart rate.
● Prerequisite: no more aches or fever for at least 7 days (or one week after a positive test if
you have no symptoms).
● Your goal: breathe freely and get your body moving again.
● Recommended activities: stretching, breathing and walking at a slow pace.
● Schedule: a 5-minute breathing exercise and some stretching for 5 minutes every day,
aiming to target each body part. Rest after stretching.

● iFIT Inspiration: now is the perfect time to try the Costa Rica Sound Bath series by Thalia
Ayres Randolph. This 6-part, 5-10 minute series focuses on mindfulness and breathing, with
soothing sounds to promote healing of the body and mind. Take care of yourself in the
beautiful landscape of Costa Rica!

Stage 2: Resuming daily activities

incline uphill stairs running health

It is time to resume some of your daily activities: first, walking, but you can also resume housework,
gardening and DIY projects, though you should not force yourself to do so.
● Prerequisite: you no longer cough, breathe easily at rest, and have mobilised your body over
the previous few days by engaging in light stretching exercises.
● Your goal: to do 30 minutes of moderate activity without feeling out of breath.
● Recommended activities: yoga, daily physical activities, if possible in the open air to recharge
your batteries.
● Schedule: 15 to 30 consecutive minutes of slightly heart rate-raising movements, followed
by at least 1 hour of rest.
● iFIT Inspiration: Stay in Costa Rica, again with Thalia Ayres Randolph, to follow the 6-part
Transformative Costa Rica Yoga series. Discover the benefits of restorative yoga surrounded
by lush tropical forests.

Step 3: Cardio training

ashley paulson treadmill running fitness

Get back to the home fitness room for moderate cardio activities. Mobilise your cardiorespiratory
system at your own pace with interval work.
● Prerequisite: you can walk for 30 minutes without feeling out of breath or having heart
● Your goal: succeed in doing 30 minutes of slow cardio without difficulty.
● Recommended activities: swimming, walking, running, elliptical, rowing, cycling, etc.
● Planning: work in 5-minute intervals, with 5 minutes of recovery time between each interval.
For example, you can alternate walking and slow running. Your sessions should not exceed
30 minutes, including the warm-up, and you should always reserve the next hour for
complete rest.
● iFIT inspiration: The Progressive Jogging Training series with Ashley Paulson features
beginner’s splits to build endurance. Get your fitness back on track!

Step 4: Get back to your pre-COVID-19 training schedule

HIIT woman home fitness exercise

The recovery period is over: you can gradually resume your training schedule as before. Simply
observe a rest day after each day of effort.
● Prerequisite: when you run, swim or do cardio activity, you are not out of breath and have no
chest pain. A moderate endurance session will not cause soreness, as your muscles are
accustomed to the effort.
● Your goal: resume your favourite physical activities, even the most intense ones.
● Recommended activities: muscle strengthening, circuit training, HIIT, Tabata, running,
swimming, cycling, athletics, etc.
● Schedule: every other day, then resume the frequency you were at prior to COVID-19 as soon
as you feel able. Listen to the signals sent by your body and slow down if you feel tired.
● iFIT Inspiration: start again with a set that you enjoyed before COVID-19 and compare your
performance. You should quickly find your footing!

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