The three years of Covid-19 pandemic have not only disrupted the lives of millions of people across the world but also taken a toll on their mental health and physical fitness. While some have escaped the wrath of the deadly coronavirus, others are either still battling it or are struggling with their post-Covid conditions.
Since after Covid-19, one seems to feel a lot more fatigued and weak which may in turn continue to prolong for a long time, Nutritionist Pritika Bedi, Founder of Healthsake, listed a few steps, in an interview with HT Lifestyle, that can help on reviving the inner strength and immunity:
1. One can start by integrating movement into the recovery routine by prioritizing exercises such as completing three 15-minute workouts per week is a great starting point and patients can increase frequency and duration as recovery progresses.
2. Protein is needed to build, repair and maintain muscle, but also to support the production of antibodies and immune system cells. One can increase the intake of Vitamin A, C, D, and E and zinc which are critical to immune function, but they also play a role in both muscle health and energy.
3. After an initial duration of recovery, one can start taking small steps for endurance and motion. Performing everyday tasks you used to take for granted, like walking downstairs or lifting household objects, is part of functional fitness which can immensely help in reviving inner strength.
Dr Ravi Kesari, MD-Internal Medicine, at Bangalore’s Apollo Spectra Hospital, advised, “Eating a healthy diet is the best tool to overcome post-Covid malnutrition and tiredness. To overcome it energy-rich food that is carbohydrates from grains, pulses, fruits, vegetables, roots, and tubers to be included in the diet. Eat small frequent meals. To include protein like a piece is panner. Good hydration- drink water, milk, buttermilk, etc. To increase intake of healthy oils and fats like sunflower oil, groundnut oil, olive oil, etc. To start with regular exercise like walking for 30 minutes daily will also help to recover from post-Covid symptoms.”
According to Abhishek Gagneja, Founder of Yoga Brands, Covid-19 results in a loss of appetite, many vital nutrients are lost in the process hence, it is important that you eat enough calories in addition to a well-balanced diet. He said, “This reduces stress on your body, allowing the food you eat to go toward rebuilding your strength. To boost your immune system, round out your protein portions with vegetables, fruits, whole grains, or other starches such as brown rice, potatoes, whole grain bread, and beans, which have significant concentrations of both carbohydrates and proteins.”
He added, “Different vitamins and minerals play an important role in muscle strength generation. It is also an extremely important aspect of the immune system. Therefore, according to many nutritionists, a person recovering from their Covid-19 illness must incorporate foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals.” Adding to the list of tips to revive inner strength post-Covid, Abhishek Chatterjee, General Manager at SWITCH Wellness, shared 2 steps:
1. Nutrition – Eating on schedule is highly recommended in order to ensure the right amount of nutrition for our bodies. Caloric deficit and weight-loss diets are not advisable immediately after recovery. Vitamin C, vitamin D, and minerals like Zinc are essential for reviving the inner strength of our bodies post-recovery. Additionally, incorporating a good amount of fruits, fish, and eggs into the diet is recommended. Furthermore, a protein-rich diet is advisable, ensuring that the food is not too tough on the digestive system, as sometimes the digestive system takes a long time to recover.
2. Workout – It is advisable not to work out during Covid-19 or after 2-3 weeks of recovery, due to decreased immunity levels and body strength. However, it depends on the individual’s condition, given that not everyone is faced with the same intensity of symptoms, and not everyone has the same levels of immunity before and after the infection. Starting with stretches and a bodyweight workout will help recover smoothly and help condition the body and muscles for a more intense workout later on. Progression should be periodic and a high-intensity workout only after 4 weeks of resumption is advisable. This is advised as it takes greater respiratory capacity which the Covid-19 affects.