Apart from its physiological symptoms, COVID-19 has also taken a toll on people’s psychological well-being. While things like social alienation, fear, and devastating news from all across the globe have resulted in enough psychological trauma for many, getting tested positive for the virus would further deteriorate their mental health. The damage done by the virus may require post COVID rehabilitation exercises to manage the aftereffects of the virus.
What is Rehabilitation?
Rehabilitation is a set of interventions that help improve bodily functions and reduce disability among individuals with health conditions. It helps people to gradually build up stamina. Physical therapy majorly aims to:
• restore function to the muscles
• reduce the risk of developing health conditions that may occur as a result of limited mobility
• help people to return to their normal routine
Factors to consider in creating a rehabilitation plan for survivors of COVID-19 include:
• Comorbidities like cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases
• Direct lung trauma
• Injuries and damage to organs
Here are some easy to do, at-home exercises that you can perform and accelerate your recovery post COVID-19:
1. Brisk Walking
People who used to go for regular runs before COVID-19 should also take things slow. So, brisk walking right at your home would be a good way to start. You can begin with just 10-to-15-minute walks and work up gradually. This is a really effective COVID rehabilitation exercise for the knee. This would not only help you feel better but will also get your heart rate up. If this seems a lot at the start, you can also try ‘standing march’. You can use the support of a chair or a sofa for balance and safety. And while standing, you need to raise your knee, set it down. Then, switch to the other knee.
2. Leg and Toe Lifts
To get your lower body up and active and strengthen your joints, you should perform certain knee and ankle exercises. With leg and toe lifts, you will have to raise and lower your heels. Repeat this around 10 to 15 times which will make one rep. You can do 3 such sets and gradually increase the reps once you feel you are building up the stamina.
3. Wall Push
This exercise will help strengthen your arms, shoulders, and chest muscles. Begin by extending your hands on the wall and keeping your elbows straight. Now, slowly start bending your elbows, lowering your body towards the wall and then slowly push away from the wall. Repeat a few times. This COVID rehabilitation exercise for the shoulder will help you a lot in strengthening your upper body. If you do not feel comfortable, you can practise shoulder circles which is a much easier exercise.
4. Side Steps
Performing side steps on a regular basis will help you strengthen your butt muscles (glutes), thighs (quadriceps and hamstrings), and calves. It is one of the best rehabilitation exercises for knees and will help with knee straightening. Start by standing in a neutral position and take a lateral step to one side. Do this while bending both knees as if in a small squat position. Straighten your knees as you bring your foot back to the centre. Repeat with the other foot. Be sure that you maintain balance and proper posture.
5. Sit to Stand
This exercise can help people with weakened legs, knees, or bones. You can also perform sit to stands if you are having severe back problems post COVID-19. Begin by sitting down on a chair. Then lean forward, raising your hands to eye-level and push yourself to stand up. You need to stand up without using the support of your arms. Then, lower your arms to the side, sit down and repeat a few times. Since this exercise offers a high level of balance and support, it can be performed by the elderly as well. It is one of the best exercises for elderly people and will help if they are experiencing any mobility issues as well.
Yoga can help a lot to people who are suffering from extended symptoms of COVID-19. Practising yoga asanas and pranayama (deep breathing exercises) on a regular basis can have both physical as well mental benefits. Various health experts have recommended yoga for COVID 19 patients. This is because it can reduce stress and anxiety, strengthen the immune system, rebuild respiratory muscles, and also help people experiencing chronic coughing and breathlessness. Performing yoga for COVID 19 recovery can really help you a lot.
We hope that these exercises will help you restore strength and also fight fear, stress and anxiety. Also, it is suggested that one should consult rehabilitation physicians and therapists if they need additional support during COVID-19 recovery.
Keeping in mind the current situation, we, at Emoha, are providing expert COVID care at home for the elderly that includes COVID test assistance, 24*7 COVID helpdesk and emergency coordination, COVID isolation hubs across Delhi NCR, and a lot more. For us, it is always #EldersFirst