Exercising After COVID: When, How, Who, What

Closeup image of woman checking her phone at the gym, with a mask in hand

So… it happened. After almost two years of fear, dread, masking, sheltering, double-masking, and scrubbing pears over the kitchen sink — you got COVID-19. First off, we’re sorry to hear that. If you’ve got comorbidities, are older than 65, or you’re experiencing severe symptoms, please lay low, get all the medical help you need, and feel better as soon as you can! 

But if you’re a bit younger, don’t have underlying health conditions, and if your bout with that pesky ‘rona wasn’t terribly harsh (we’ve been hearing and seeing that for those we know that have had it, the new variant is a bit weaker… fingers crossed!), then you might be thinking about returning to your normal life. Namely, getting back to your fitness routine. We hear you, and we understand: that’s why we’ve created a little guide on how to resume exercising after COVID, to help get you back to the good-kind-of-sweating in no time. 


According to an article published by the National Library of Medicine, you’ll want to start exercising again once you’ve been free from your COVID-19 symptoms a full seven days. That might seem like an eternity, but trust us (and those doctors), you’ll want to make sure your body has had ample time to recover. Also, don’t just jump in expecting peak performance right away. You’ll want to be taking it easy for a full two weeks until you can ramp up again. 

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Once it’s time to get back up on that saddle (after that bucking virus kicked you off of it), you gotta start back up slowly. And we mean slowwwwwlly. For the first couple days, try some light movements such as: 

  • Take short trips around your house, walking from room to room carefully
  • Try a flight of stairs once or twice a day
  • Start a light stretching routine, without overexerting yourself

Once you’ve moved passed those early rough recovery days, try this next round: 

  • Deeper stretch routines, almost to the point of breaking a sweat
  • Walk up and down a few more flights of stairs
  • Take a walk, staying aware of your breaths; if you’re gasping — go home and try again later. 

When you’re feeling tough and ready to get back to your fitness routine: 

  • Head back into your gym (or garage) and pick up weights that are normally way too light for you
  • Try a light jog on the treadmill, a slow turn on the elliptical, or the step machine on the easiest setting

Here’s an easy tip: anytime you are not entirely sure about your physical capabilities when returning to your fitness, have a buddy on standby. The last thing you want is to experience an over-exertion, a strain, or worse… alone. Tell your partner, spouse, or workout buddy of your situation, and make sure they are around in case you need them to give you a spot, a lift, or some other form of help. 

What to Watch Out For

Throughout the entire process, you’ll need one key piece of advice to guide your way, and it’s literally the same piece of advice we ALWAYS give you (so you know it must be good) — and that’s listen to your body. Our physical bodies tell us everything we need to know most of the time. If your body is telling you to stop, STOP. If your body is telling you to slow down, SLOW DOWN. And if you feel any shortness of breath or dizziness, call your doctor.

Once you’re back up and running again on full throttle, sign up for a 7-Day Free Trial with Studio SWEAT onDemand. We’ve got an unlimited library of butt-kicking onDemand workouts that you can do anytime, anywhere. And with our endless selection of fitness classes, there are classes for any age, fitness level, body type, you name it. We were even named the “Best Fitness App for Variety” by Oxygen, TrendHunter, and other top publications. Sign up today, and let’s get that immunity back up and running!

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