Coronavirus (COVID-19) exercise recommendations

Access this content in another language:

En español | En français

As we work together through your recovery from Coronavirus, we encourage you stay active and start an exercise routine. You may be asking why we recommend exercise at a time like this?

Here are a few key reasons:

  • It helps your lungs recovery during and after illness
  • It helps your arms and legs stay strong
  • Prevents blood clots
  • Improves your mental health

We want to give you resources you need to be safe and successful with your exercise program. We always recommend you start exercising at a slow pace, so you do not feel more fatigue or shortness of breath. Use your Pulse Oximeter (in your kit) to measure your oxygen levels with exercise.

  • Exercise at an intensity you feel is “fairly light” to “somewhat hard”
  • Always keep your pulse oximeter 90% or higher during exercise

Start gentle exercise if you:

  • Do not have a fever for 2 days
  • Do not have chest pain or feel severely short of breath while walking inside your house. 
  • Do not have leg swelling

Do not exercise if you have:

  • A fever above 102.2° Fahrenheit (39° Celsius) in the past 2 days
  • Severe shortness of breath or pulse oximetry below 92% at rest
  • A breathing rate above 24 breaths per minute
  • A heart rate above 105 beats per minute
  • A systolic blood pressure (top number) 30 points below your “normal”
  • Chest pain or palpitations (feeling of rapid, strong or irregular heartbeat)
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Confusion
  • Recent falls
  • Not eating or drinking for past 12 hours

Description of your exercise program:

Level 1 Exercises:

Do these if you feel very weak and must lie down most of the day.

Level 2 Exercises:

Do these if you can do level 1 exercises with ease and sit up for longer periods of time.

Level 3 Exercises:

Do these if you can do level 2 exercises with ease and safely stand/walk around your house.

Let’s get started!

  • Start and end each exercise session with 1 minute of slow, deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
    • Deep breathing may cause you to cough. That is okay.
  • Do the exercises in the order they are listed. Level 1 is easiest. Level 3 is most difficult.
  • Try to exercise 2 to 3 times a day.

Review complete list of exercisesRevoir la liste complète des exercicesRevise la lista completa de ejercicios

Last reviewed: 
May 2020

Interested in using our health content?