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Return to fitness after months long illness
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alittleprivacy · 30/07/2020 12:40

Is anyone else trying to return to their old fitness levels after an illness/injury? I had suspected Covid in mid-March followed by several months of post-viral issues, mainly pleurisy in my right lung, costochondritis, esophagitis and recurrent esophagial/oral thrush. So I went from being extremely active and averaging several hours a day of a mix of cardio, strength and flexibility. To being on enforced rest for 3 and a half months.

I've been mostly fine since the start of this month, I still have some costochondritis and bad bouts of thrush. I'm working my way back to my former fitness levels and my general endurance feels not too far off normal but my strength is in the toilet, my muscle tone isn't poor compared to how it was and I'm carrying about a stone more fat than feels best for me (some of the medication and supplements I was taking until a couple of days ago are associated with weight gain). My chest in particular is very weak and I have to be extremely careful with rebuilding that strength as I don't want to retrigger the costochondritis. I'm also very aware that I repeatedly relapsed due to attempting to exercise, especially between the initial virus and the triggering of the post-viral conditions.

One of my biggest issues as I restore my fitness is my utter frustration with myself. I've gone from complete delight at recovering and being able to exercise again. To bouts of frustration as I come up against all of the things I can't do right now. And really childishly I have an occasional pout about the things I thought I'd have achieved by now but are much farther off. I'm fighting my temptation to push myself too hard and set myself back while desperately wanting to get back to where I was.

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alittleprivacy · 30/07/2020 12:41

my muscle tone is poor

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Dozycuntlaters · 31/07/2020 10:56

Yes I am. I used to be a real fitness freak, down the gym every day, taught pole fitness and loved it, but in the space of four years I've had about four ops and it's really thrown me off. I've put on loads of weight and my fitness level is zero.

I'm starting again. Forget about how fit you were and what you could do because that's just disheartening and frustrating. Wipe the canvas clean, and go from now. Good luck :)

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roundandsideways · 31/07/2020 11:30

Yes. I was ill at the beginning of COVID, and am only just starting to feel like my old self again, but not quite there yet. I was shocked at how much strength I lost, and I was only out of action for a month. A lot of problems are caused by the resulting muscle weakness. I now am slowly increasing my strength training, after mainly concentrating on body weight HIIT workouts. Yoga has been very beneficial

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evilharpy · 31/07/2020 11:35

Not illness but injury - I suffered bad sprains to both ankles separately (no particular weakness, just really unfortunate). The first sprain took months to recover and I felt sorry for myself, lost motivation and gained weight. I was just getting my shit together again, getting back into running and the weight had started to come back off when I sprained the other ankle and couldn't do any running for about 12 weeks - this was in the middle of March and I still have swelling although no more pain. And of course I went back into despair mode, felt sorry for myself, ate crap and didn't keep up my fitness in other ways.

I've been running since but barely managed 5k, have added about two min/mile to my comfortable pace and it's soul destroying. My fitness is improving now but I still need to shift about a stone.

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BobbinThreadbare123 · 31/07/2020 11:39

Yes I am. I have Crohn's so I do suffer from lack of nutrition sometimes, and I have the joint problems that go with IBDs. I became so exhausted over the winter and had to stop exercising. I started on the C25K in lockdown but had to give up as my joints hurt too much. No swimming pools were open and I'm not overly keen on it anyway. I have done a lot of weightlifting in the past and got quite muscly and fit. It seems so far away now and I feel so fat!

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BogRollBOGOF · 31/07/2020 12:33

Start from the beginning. A tough pregnancy/ birth/ SPD and other complications have had me starting with walking 100m to the end of the road and back.

Walking and gradually adding distance then shorter bursts of speed is a good start. Short/ yoga/ pilates videos are good. Adriene has lots of short and gentle options.

Mr Motivator does a "daily dozen" 12min youtube video aimed at older people, some even chair based and they work well for rehab.

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TheNestedIf · 31/07/2020 22:25

I am and I'm so glad you've started this thread. I was walking around 70 miles/27 hours a week with added weight up until about April last year (I had previously endurance swum). Then my thyroid stopped working. My energy plummeted and I had to exercise less and less and sleep more and more. Lockdown was the final nail in the coffin exercise-wise as I'm introverted, working from home and have little interest in going out to have to dodge other people.

Finally got diagnosed in December and have been on the right medication since about the beginning of June. I had a very low BMI before but put on 3 stones and am now at the top of a normal BMI.

I've enjoyed the free time I've had during lockdown and I really don't fancy going back to traipsing round on the same old routes for hours on end, so I've decided exercise will be more strength and cardio based rather than endurance. I've bought some resistance bands and have started with some resistance and HIIT sessions from YouTube.

First HIIT session was an error. It was far too long for my current poor condition and for a beginner. I only got through the warm up before having to stop so as not to be sick. Disappointing. I then found Anabolic Aliens on YouTube who have just started some daily sessions that will be building up from 4 minutes. That, I managed, which was encouraging. I also made it through the first 30 minute resistance band session by HasFit and actually felt good in an achy sort of way afterwards (definitely not during). That was a pleasant surprise.

I'm planning to scale up to 1/2 hour HIIT and 1/2 hour resistance on weekdays and see how I feel on Saturdays. Sunday can be rest day.

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alittleprivacy · 01/08/2020 10:35

A big things I have to face is that I am currently not the extremely fit person I was and be very careful about getting myself back there. I wonder if one of the online programmes would be helpful. My Facebook targeted adds are all either "amazing food hacks" or online fitness programmes.

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BobbinThreadbare123 · 01/08/2020 10:50

I was thinking about joining the Joe Wicks programme, but I think the HIIT sessions might be beyond me just yet. I feel like I need some accountability to get myself going again, because I will give into the pain and tiredness. I know I will feel so much better when I do work towards fitness though!

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TheNestedIf · 01/08/2020 12:11

This is the HIIT series I've just started, if it would help anyone. It starts with a couple of 4 minute sessions (I'm on day 3).



I can empathise very much with having to accept that you are not currently in a state you like very much. I'm trying to spin it to myself as "the only way is up" and as an opportunity to form new habits that leave me more time for other things.
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alittleprivacy · 20/08/2020 12:14

Hey guys just checking back in. I recently spent some time visiting family and the driving triggered my costochondritis again. It wasn’t painfully debilitating after the first day of each relapse. But when it’s sore it really shows up how weak my chest and upper back has become. So as I’ve gotten better I’ve really focused on rebuilding my upper body. I’ve also learned just how inflexible my back was, even before I was sick. So I’m working on increasing my back flexibility while I strengthen. I’m looking on being weaker as an opportunity to create better foundations as I rebuild!

I’m getting a bit addicted to yoga/Pilates. I have a daily routine aimed at my legs/hips and back. If I don’t have time for it all I do a quick all over stretch. I can feel myself getting stronger and more flexible day by day.

What’s funny is that even though my body is still a bit flabby (I’m being tested for post viral hypothyroidism which is probably contributing to the extra weight) I’ve started to be able to do a few things I couldn’t before, like increasingly controlled headstands and crow pose. So while my 6 pack is gone, I guess my ab muscles are rebuilding under the flab.

I guess I still have several more months before I’m back to myself but the thought that I’ll have picked up a few new skills on the way back to my old self is really heartening!

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