Podiatric Physician Selin Sakarcan Offers Recovery Exercises for COVID-19 Patients
Selin Sakarcan is a podiatric physician, medical resident, and experienced foot and ankle surgeon. She’s also a noted athlete with experience in tennis, golf, swimming, and general fitness routines.
During COVID-19, she has advised many people about steps they can take to strengthen their bodies after they’re infected with the coronavirus. She recommends people begin exercising and taking other steps to protect their health, especially their lower extremities that might experience weakness after infection.
She recommends if someone is still actively sick, they need to give their bodies a few more days of hydration and rest before engaging in exercise.
Once their symptoms have cleared, they can begin an exercise regimen and engage in other healthy practices to get them past COVID-19 and back to enjoying life.
As you do your daily stretching, you can also work on longer walks. Walking helps to boost energy levels and moods and further stretches muscles that might be tight from the stress and inactivity caused by a COVID-19 infection. COVID-19 takes a lot out of people, even those otherwise healthy.
Try walking around your home a few times or going up the stairs as you start to feel better. Walk at a slower pace and stop if there’s discomfort. Expand your regimen to longer outside walks, gradually increasing the pace and distance covered.
Stretch and Strengthen
Recovery from COVID-19 is also an ideal time to stretch, to warm up your ankles and legs, which may have tightened while you rested. Here are some great stretches for those areas:
- Toe raises and curls. Sit in a chair and raise your heels with your toes on the floor. Hold for a few seconds, then raise the heels and point your toes, so only your big toe touches the floor.
- Have fun with the marble exercise. Grab ten marbles and put them on the floor next to your feet. Use your toes to grasp the marbles and put them in a bowl.
- Grab a towel and sit on the floor. Put your legs out straight and wrap the towel around your feet and pull slowly until you feel a stretch on the back of your lower legs.
Selin Sakarcan advises people to stretch their calf muscles during COVID-19 recovery. She suggests standing with a chair in front of you, pointing your toes upward, and then leaning forward to feel a deep stretch in the back of your legs.
Selin Sakarcan recommends considering COVID-19 recovery as a chance to “reset” bodies and habits. For example, it’s an excellent time for walking and stretching and an opportunity to eat healthier, drink more water and lead an active lifestyle that strengthens your core and immune system.