The FBCC member Firstbeat has provided a unique insight into life after COVID-19 for one individual.
This individual, a 47-year-old man from London, contracted coronavirus in March. He was never admitted to hospital but was wiped out for well over a week and endured difficulty breathing, aches and pains, fever, and exhaustion. Thankfully, he made a full recovery and had returned to his normal routine when he took part in a Firstbeat measurement roughly one month on from the illness. This measurement involves recording physiological reactions over a three-day period using heart rate variability to provide insights into everything from sleep and recovery, to exercise and stress.
The individual’s typical routine included a return to physical activity and working life. A combination that would usually leave him feeling energized. However, the results from his three-day measurement revealed that, although he had recovered from COVID-19, the knock-on effects of the respiratory illness appeared to be impacting his ability to recover effectively from even the most moderate of exercise.
For a man of his age, the typical ‘stress and recovery balance’ score seen in a Firstbeat measurement report is 53 out of 100. And the average ‘restorative effect of sleep’ score comes in at 57. This individual’s scores were 9 and 22 out of 100, respectively.
On Day 1 of the Assessment, despite only 13 minutes of vigorous physical activity, and racking up almost eight hours of sleep, the individual experienced no daytime recovery and only minimal recovery overnight.
Day 3 was a similar story. Even though the individual noted in their diary some specific periods of ‘relaxation’ their body once again was unable to react affectively to balance the physiological stress brought on by periods of work and moderate exercise.
Although these results are only one person’s experience of life after recovering from COVID-19, it is interesting to note the apparent extended impact the illness had on this individual’s ability to recover. At least suggesting that a patient and slow approach to ramping up a return to normal life – and specifically exercise – if you have suffered from coronavirus may be the best and most sensible approach.
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