Use Pilates and Low Pressure Fitness to help recuperate from COVID-19
Latest research is showing that we could be doing a better job of helping our bodies recuperate from post COVID-19 and during self-isolation. Our natural tendencies during this time are to lie down which compresses our lungs, diaphragm and abdominals – this poor posture promotes bad breathing patterns and increases the virus chance of attacking the lungs. People that have contracted Coronavirus often report of a decreased lung capacity (difficulty breathing), chronic fatigue syndrome (tiredness), muscle and joint pain (muscle weakness) and constant headaches. In some cases, problems in the cognitive system are also common sequelae (such as memory loss, for example).
It is important to understand that Coronavirus causes an inflammatory process throughout the body, affecting more than the lungs, but also the heart, thyroid, viscera, nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Even in the acute phase of the disease (until the 12th day, the person is still positive for COVID-19), breathing training is essential to increase lung expansion and increase O2 saturation for the body. This training is very effective to avoid complications (such as pneumonia secondary to Covid or atelectasis – complete or partial collapse of the entire lung). Breathing training will also help to control stress and anxiety.
The great news is that there are different forms of rehabilitation that we can do from home to re-educate our breathing patterns. One method is Pilates, which often gets pigeonholed for orthopedic problems. It is very important to know that Pilates can also work in the rehabilitation of breathing and behavioural diseases. The method offers unique breathing control and promotes concentration, body awareness and combination stimuli, factors that directly influence the improvement of symptoms of COVID-19.
If we want to focus on helping with respiratory issues we can look at Low Pressure Fitness technique – Hypopressives, a methodology that also emphasizes breathing and postural re-education. More than breathing and posture, the method works on neuromyofascial self-mobilization (Mobilization of fascia, muscles and nerves) through neurodynamic exercises. Achieving an improvement in muscle tone, especially in the diaphragm, abdominal and pelvic regions. Getting all of this firing again is vital to our path to recovery and returning to optimal balance.
Post treatment for Covid-19 must be multidisciplinary and the practice of regular physical activity is very important in this process of rehabilitation and improvement. Pilates and LPF are excellent alternatives, as the methods involve specific breathing work integrated with the exercises, providing the patient with a gradual and harmonious evolution of the movements and the simulation sequelae.
It is critical that post COVID-19 people return or start physical exercise, especially with a focus on restoring respiratory function, as well as physical and mental status too.
Now let’s try a very simple exercise, lying down or sitting down. Straighten your spine, relax your shoulders. Inhale through your nose for 4-5 seconds and exhale through your mouth for 6-8 seconds.