All posts tagged: long COVID nowWhen

Long COVID Breaks the Rules of Exercise

Long COVID Breaks the Rules of Exercise

In the weeks after she caught COVID, in May 2022, Lauren Shoemaker couldn’t wait to return to her usual routine of skiing, backpacking, and pregaming her family’s eight-mile hikes with three-mile jogs. All went fine in the first few weeks after her infection. Then, in July, hours after finishing a hike, Shoemaker started to feel off; two days later, she couldn’t make it to the refrigerator without feeling utterly exhausted. Sure it was a fluke, she tried to hike again—and this time, was out of commission for months. Shoemaker, an ecologist at the University of Wyoming, couldn’t do her alpine fieldwork; she struggled to follow a movie with a complex plot. She was baffled. Exercise, the very thing that had reliably energized her before, had suddenly become a trigger for decline. For the majority of people, exercise is scientifically, physiologically, psychologically good. It boosts immunity, heart function, cognition, mood, energy, even life span. Doctors routinely prescribe it to patients recovering from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and heart attacks, managing metabolic disease, or hoping to stave …