Long COVID Recovery Programme Q&A
Meet Kieran, one of our Specialist Fitness Managers.
Find out his answers to some of our most frequently asked questions for those considering joining our long COVID Recovery Programme.
What does the programme include?
It includes both nutritional advice and support. The programme works at the pace of the individual to bring them back to better health. This can simply mean bringing more energy and enthusiasm back to their lives or working to eradicate deeper rooted symptoms of the illness like joint and muscle pain or social anxiety.
We’ll include some simple fitness tests as well as weekly, fortnightly, and monthly 1-2-1 sessions that are tailored to each member around the aim of progression.
How would you describe your sessions?
The long COVID Recovery sessions take a very similar format to normal Personal Training sessions to begin with. Our instructors have been specially trained to deal with the specific needs of long COVID sufferers – of course, what tends to differ is the aims and abilities of those on the programme, meaning the activities that are performed are usually a little different.
As the client progresses, sometimes the sessions take the form of a chat to see how things are going, a simple stretch routine, or different workouts to change things up as motivation changes.
Ultimately, they are incredibly bespoke to the individual and what they are feeling that day. Anybody regardless of fitness experience or age can join the programme if they are suffering the effects of long COVID.
What symptoms do most patients struggle with and how does the programme help?
Our clients and their needs play a fundamental role in the shaping of our programme. The most common symptoms initially seem to be breathlessness and fatigue which have both become central to our sessions.
We tend to combine forms of strength training with low-medium intensity cardiovascular exercises to combat these symptoms. This varies as and when the individual requires or if they want to focus on something else.
Would you deem the programme a success and if so, why?
Definitely – every single one of my clients have overcome the most severe symptoms of long COVID.
One of my clients, Neil, is back to full health and is performing better than ever in badminton and swimming. Without the programme, I don’t doubt that they would still be struggling. Our help has offered them a fast track back to normality again.
What is the average time that you see a difference in those on the programme?
Everyone that joins the programme has a different severity of symptoms which is further dependant on age and previous fitness ability. Generally, though, we tend to see vast improvements in breathlessness and fatigue after around 12 weeks.
Describe your biggest takeaway from delivering the programme.
Building relationships with new people and watching them progress towards whatever their aim is.
Watching clients improve on this programme is especially rewarding. From struggling so much with long COVID to watching their journey back to a normal, healthy life knowing that you have helped is unbeatable.
What would you say to those thinking about it?
Give it a try, you will be amazed at how much exercise, even if it is very low intensity, can have such a positive impact on your recovery.
How does someone sign up or get further advice about it?
Please feel free to call or email your nearest centre or drop-in to speak to a member of or friendly Placemaking team or fitness team.
If someone isn’t sure whether they are suffering with long COVID, what course of action do you recommend they take?
Still come in for a consultation as this can help establish the likelihood it is long COVID or speak to GP if there is possible links to other conditions.