Some coronavirus patients are still experiencing symptoms months after they should have recovered. They’re known as COVID-19 long haulers. The Pulmonary Wellness foundation launched an online program to help those survivors with their lingering symptoms.
On CBSN Denver, Dr. Noah Greenspan, who runs the bootcamp, said it was originally designed two years ago as a program for patients with heart and lung disease. It has since been revamped into a 42-day program for COVID-19 long haulers.
“What we found that was really quite surprising was that even though the program was built for older patients with heart and lung disease, for many COVID long haulers, the program was too vigorous. So we had to revamp it and kind of scale things back taking into account the fragile and kind of unpredictable nature of COVID long haul symptoms.”
The bootcamp includes things like breathing exercises, flexibility, strength training, and even Tai Chi. Greenspan says the program is constantly evolving to address patients, but there is one common thread he’s noticed in all patients.
“The biggest thing that we’ve learned is don’t overdo it. I’ve seen patients who think they can do an activity for three minutes and they wind up in bed for a week or two weeks, it’s enough to set them back.”
Greenspan has important advice for any long hauler struggling with symptoms.
“I think it’s really important to seek out care from people who have experience with COVID because all the things we know pre-COVID is totally different from what we know post-COVID.”
He says also have patience as you learn to heal.
“The body knows what to do to heal and the body wants to heal itself, and I’d say rather than try to do many things at once like supplements, medications, or exercises, take things slow. Don’t get in your body’s way and take things nice and easy.”
We also talked to a Colorado COVID-19 long hauler who is part of Greenspan’s bootcamp. Watch her full interview.