Safe Return to Exercise after COVID-19 Infection

Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2021 Aug;21(3):373-377. doi: 10.18295/squmj.8.2021.124. Epub 2021 Aug 29.


COVID-19 has been posing a significant challenge to the athletic community. A wide spectrum of clinical features was reported in athletes with confirmed COVID-19 infection having mild to severe symptoms requiring hospitalisation and intensive medical care. Possibly, a lack of exercise may negatively impact the immune system, leading to an increased susceptibility to infection and comorbidities. Determining safe return to exercise after COVID-19 infection is a challenge for sports physicians. A gradual return to exercise under the guidance of a specialised medical team to achieve the pre-infection fitness level is of utmost importance. Individualised exercise programmes must be initiated at low intensity which could be gradually made more rigorous based on the pertinent metabolic equivalent. Thus, there is a clear need for clinical recommendations before athletes may return to exercise after COVID-19 infection.

Keywords: Athletes; COVID-19; Coronavirus; Exercise; Return to Sports.

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • COVID-19*
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • SARS-CoV-2
  • Sports*