Exercise linked to improvement in Covid-19 symptoms recovery, says researchers

New York: Patients with lasting symptoms of Covid-19 who completed a six-week, supervised rehabilitation programme demonstrated significant improvements in exercise capacity, respiratory symptoms, fatigue and cognition, say researchers, including one of Indian origin.

The study found a statistically significant improvement in exercise capacity, as measured by scores of distance travelled and ability to keep going without rest using incremental and endurance shuttle-walking tests.

“This adapted rehabilitation programme for individuals following Covid-19 has demonstrated promising improvements in clinical outcomes,” said researcher Sally Singh from the University of Leicester.

“There were no drop-outs due to worsening symptoms and the high completion rate suggests that patients found it to be an acceptable treatment,” Singh added.

The team also found that fatigue improved by 5 points on the Functional Assessment of Chronic Illness Therapy (FACIT) Fatigue Scale over the six weeks.

In addition, participants demonstrated improvement in their overall wellbeing and cognition, as measured by standardised clinical assessment tools.

The small yet significant study, published in the journal Chronic Respiratory Disease, followed thirty patients who took part in face-to-face exercise rehabilitation classes twice a week over six weeks.

The programme included aerobic exercise, such as walking or using a treadmill, strength training of the arms and legs and educational discussions to support symptom management based upon the information on the Your Covid Recovery platform.

Participants were referred through a hospital discharge follow-up telephone assessment, at a face-to-face Covid-19 clinic assessment, or via their GP.

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