Posted by: Mary | 2009-02-16

Fitness gone after viral infection

After 3 weeks of lingering viral infection, one course of cortisone and two different courses of antibiotics, I still feel tired by the end of the day, but worse, I feel as if I have never done any exercise in my life - my fitness is at zero level. I' ve never been a serious athlete (I' m a 50-year old female), but I reached an OK-ish fitness level through social cycling with the family and daily walking of about 30 minutes. How do I build up the lost strength and fitness again, and where do I start?

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Our expert says:
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HI Mary

I think you have a dual problem of not being completely over the infection and treatment, as well as the lost training. 3 weeks is not that long, and you won't have lost all your fitness. You just need to discipline your mind more than anything else so that you don't expect to return to the same level as before. That's the cause of your discomfort.

But you need to be more patient, because you have just come back from what was obviously a pretty serious illness, and the body will take time to get over that anyway, regardless of fitness. So I suggest that you give it a week where you train at 30% of your normal intensity, and then take the next 2 weeks to build up, first up to 60% then 80% and then you'll be back to normal.

But it will come, just take your time, and don't expect your body to slot right back into the point where you left off.

GOod luck

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