Can respiratory training help dealing with post-Covid symptoms?
Like millions of people around the world, Cathrine’s life unexpectedly took a turn when she got infected by Covid19. She had heard of the devastating effects of this disease in the elderly generation, or even in those with some medical conditions but she would have never imagined what it could actually do to her, a 26-year-old woman. Her job had always required her to stay very fit and active. Moreover, during her free time, she was a very avid handball player, an activity that clearly added up to her already energetic everyday life.
However, everything changed in December last year, when the world’s destructive pandemic got to her very own home. She was tested positive for Covid19 and, as soon as the disease hit, all the symptoms began. Cathrine felt terribly sick, she felt she had a “tight” chest, and her body was not responding. She was constantly out of breath and her energy levels were so low that walking up the stairs felt like a titanic task. Even her sleep and her ability to focus got affected:
“It got so bad that I almost slept for 10 days straight because I was so depleted of energy”.
Eventually, her symptoms got to the point where she had to be hospitalized. For an active, young, and energetic woman, without a history of lung disease and who had never even suffered from allergies, getting to the hospital because of being out of breath was certainly shattering. What’s more, the doctors had discovered she had pulmonary infiltrates. This meant that, in an attempt to fight the disease, her lungs were filled with infectious fluids, making it more difficult for her to breathe.
Post-Covid: Recovered? Not quite.
Once she got out of the hospital, Cathrine thought she could go back to the life she knew, that she could continue with her bike rides to work and more importantly, with her beloved handball. Yet, the traces of Covid19 were stronger than she believed. Her lungs never fully recovered, her breathing was extremely challenged and as a result, her energy levels “dropped to rock bottom”. She could not get a single restful night's sleep, she was always cold, and she found she could never focus anymore. In essence, she stopped feeling “normal”, she lost her own self.
Then, in April, four months after her initial diagnosis, when the disease was supposed to be gone, she had to be hospitalized again. This time, the doctors found that her sternum, her ribcage, and part of her spine were swollen. As these are the bones that surround your lungs, if there is inflammation around them, it means that your lungs cannot move properly, making it harder for you to breathe in a regular way.
Briefly, Covid19 was never gone. Cathrine had not fully recovered and with this second hospitalization, she soon started feeling hopeless. She told herself that if medicine was not enough, then she would try to look for a different solution. And, at that moment, her father's friend mentioned how Airofit could potentially help her. As she had heard that Airofit had helped other people recover from Covid19, she decided to give it a try. It was then that her Airofit journey began.
Finding Airofit: getting back to the normal
Only a couple of weeks after she started consistent training with Airofit’s personalized program, Cathrine could already feel a difference, she was no longer out of breath; she could walk without having to gasp for air and she could focus on daily chores once more. In essence, she started feeling "normal" again.
"Initially, I could only inhale what felt like 50%, now I can feel the a filling my lungs up fully!”
Her improvement was so remarkable that she even started riding her bike to work “without having to stop and recover”. More importantly, she has taught herself the breathing patterns that her body requires to get the energy it needs in specific situations. The perfect example of this is when she gets tired during those bike rides in to work and uses some of the breathing patterns she has learned to keep herself going.
"When I’m riding my bike and I get tired, I use some of the breathing techniques that Airofit has taught me.”
Although she now has both good and bad days, Cathrine mentions how the good days happen more often. Those bad days, the ones when she “feels like have been out in the cold without enough clothes for too long” occur less and less since she started training her breathing. So, with enthusiasm and motivation, she recalls Airofit’s central role in her recovery process.
“I’ became a part of a long-Covid clinic, but the most help I’ve gotten is from Airofit.”
Cathrine’s improved well-being
“The biggest difference for me now compared to before I trained with Airofit is that I have reduced the symptoms of long Covid. And it has increased my well-being significantly!”
With getting her breath back, Cathrine has also seen an important improvement in other aspects of her daily life. One of the most important areas where she has noticed a difference is in her sleep quality. If you have ever had a poor night’s sleep, you know the huge impact it can have on everything you do. Cathrine was therefore more than excited to feel that this, too, had changed. Back in the spring, she frequently needed to take naps for her body to function properly; she was so tired that she would fall asleep during working hours and could not manage to get a regular schedule.
But since training with Airofit, she no longer needs to take those long breaks to get the energy she needs. She actually gets a good night’s rest now, which means that “waking up in the morning is not too hard anymore.” And apart from the fact the infiltrations in her lungs have disappeared, Cathrine’s numbers since training with Airofit speak for themselves. While, at the beginning, her accessible lung capacity was 3.3 liters, now it can reach up to 5.8 liters.
Also, in the Airofit app, she has been able to track how her inspiratory pressure has gotten from 21cm H2O to 57 cmH20 and her expiratory strength, which was of 18cm H2O when she started, was of 45cmH2O last time she took the test.
Cathrine’s impressive progress would have never been possible without her dedication and motivation. Her great results in her Airofit journey are therefore the perfect example of the role that dedicated breathwork can play when recovering from the damage that Covid19 has left behind.