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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

How to Fully Recover from COVID and Resume Exercise

Updated: Mar 23

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Gary, going strong 12 weeks post-COVID: Photo - Lisa Ng Photography

I am getting requests like this one from an experienced health and fitness professional:

"Hi, Gary,

When would be appropriate for me to encourage clients who have had covid to begin their exercise routine again and get on with stuff. I feel that moderate exercise could clear out the general inertia that seems to linger—moderate exercise, not hard out.

I haven't had it yet, or if I did, it was one day of a sore throat?


I've been planning to write this guide for some time but have been waiting to get more long-term experience with COVID infections which began to rip through the country in March. Finally, I've had more than enough cases to be confident of the way forward, so here we go!

Introduction and some politics

What bothers me is that the leaders of the country's medical response to this pandemic may never have treated a COVID patient and possibly not any patients for any condition in the last 20 years. Of course, I'm describing ivory-tower academics and glorified paper-pushers here. Yet, these undemocratically appointed experts are in charge of the narrative. Worse, they tell experienced doctors and other health professionals what they can and can't do for their patients! What is most frustrating about what these experts are putting out for public consumption is the scarcity of practical advice about how people can help themselves. Instead, they seem more intent on whipping up more fear and hysteria (Monkeypox!), minimal solutions fixated on social control and a vaccine that does not work. Unlike what we get from those misinformed experts, this guide is practical advice about how to fully recover from COVID and other respiratory viral infections such as colds and influenza.


Should you exercise at all if you have a viral respiratory infection?

Apply the NECK CHECK Rule:

  • You may exercise if the infection is above the neck and confined to the nose and throat. But please remember that sore throats usually mean that your body needs a rest, so take a few days off. At the very least, keep the intensity toned right down.

  • If the infection includes below your neck, do not do anything other than the mildest exercise. If your body is infected, aching and feverish, you can assume that your heart is equally affected and distressed. Go home, go to bed. Rest up, and don't infect others!



Preparation before the infection is always the best way to ensure quick and complete recovery. This preparation means eating food from fresh, raw ingredients, keeping grains and other sources of sugar low, exercising daily outdoors, avoiding undue stress and getting regular and restful sleep. This preparation also means taking additional supplements all year to fortify what is lacking in our food these days, plus extra vitamin D, especially lacking during the winter months.

Researchers from Bar Ilan University and the Galilee Medical Center say that the vitamin has such a strong impact on disease severity that they can predict how people would fare if infected based on nothing more than their ages and vitamin D levels.

Just like training to run a marathon, begin your preparation at least a year earlier. The same idea applies to preventing and weathering disease. However, it is never too late to make a start. Read these studies about vitamin D:

vit d levels_covid risk_israel_journal.pone.0263069
Download PDF • 1.15MB

vit d deficiency_nutrients-13-03596-v3
Download PDF • 2.30MB

It just so happens that the most at-risk people in New Zealand of being hospitalised with COVID and dying are Maori and Pasifika people, the elderly and let's not forget young people who seldom get sunlight, including avid gym-goers.

Please read these articles and the ones linked to them for more information about how to prepare your body to withstand respiratory viral infections:

Have frequent cold water plunges and, ideally, a weekly sauna

The stress of sudden temperature changes, such as an early morning sea swim or the hot-cold contrast of a traditional sauna, stimulates and strengthens your immune system. So, a sauna once or twice a week, a cold plunge most mornings, or a combination of both, will do the job.

Don't have the mRNA jab!

The simple fact is that these jabs do not work other than to make people more vulnerable to infection, plus not to mention the added risk of a thousand complications ranging from a heart attack to stroke to miscarriage! The jabs are killing more than they save:

The sickest people I have dealt with are the fully jabbed, presumably due to vaccine-induced immune-deficiency syndrome.

Generally, people who invested in their health and were unjabbed before catching COVID have recovered best. Their recovery is regardless of age and gender. Many of them have had COVID and barely known it!

Keep the viral loading on your body low!

The best way for this country to get out of this mess is for all healthy people to get COVID, thus acquiring natural immunity and building population herd immunity which offers protection to the weak and immune-compromised members of society. In addition to being rested and well-nourished with protective nutrients, the key to safely weathering these infections is to keep the viral loading low and confined to the upper regions of the respiratory tract. Keeping the virus load light and mostly confined to the upper respiratory tract (throat and sinuses) gives your immune system time to recognise the invader and mount a strong and decisive defence before it gets deep into the lungs. Here is how you do this:

Don't wear a mask!

A mask is useless unless it is properly fitted, certified to filter viruses, and changed frequently. In addition, face covers increase the viral load. If you are coughing a spluttering with an infection, you should be in a ventilated place, preferably outdoors, where you can blow the virus away from you rather than re-inhale it.

If you are infected, stay home, go to bed, and rest without wearing a mask. Finally, if you are asymptomatic, you can not transmit COVID, although there is some evidence that vaccinated people can infect others while being asymptomatic.

Keep out of poorly ventilated, stuffy rooms!

Keep in well-ventilated places: the Great Outdoors is best.

Open the windows and wear warm clothing. As with not wearing a mask, the idea is to blow away viruses rather than sucking in large numbers of the bugs deep into your lungs.

Breathe through your nose!

One of the most significant failings of masks is they encourage mouth breathing which has many health issues, including anxiety, depression and chronic fatigue. Instead, your mouth should be open only when eating, talking, exercising hard, or brushing your teeth. Your nose filters out germs and warms and humidifies the air before it descends into your delicate lungs. If you constantly mouth-breathe, you risk constant lung infections, including pneumonia, especially if wearing a mask. Please don't do this to your children, as they may become lifetime chronic mouth breathers plagued with health problems, including mental ones.

Use a nasal and throat spray:

(When using this, it may sting a little if the sinus tissues are raw and inflamed: go easy on the amount of spray but persist).

Watch what and how you eat!

Viruses love sugar, so keep your diet low in grains ad sugars. It is easy to do this by following a Gentle Keto Diet:

Do not snack and do not eat until you are hungry; wait another hour, then eat. Modest fasting is an immune booster:

Be on the alert for secondary infections!

A respiratory infection can knock the stuffing out of a person, doing two things in particular:

  1. Temporarily reducing your immune defences.

  2. A buildup of mucus deep within your lungs.

Excess mucus (phlegm) is the perfect "petri dish" for cultivating bugs such as yeast, fungi, bacteria and viruses. So, being in a weakened state, there is always the possibility of developing a secondary infection, such as a bacterial one, one to two weeks after it appears you have recovered. As a result, people will often think, mistakenly, that they have re-caught the infection. But instead, it may be a new infection caused by an opportunistic bug. If you fall ill a second time, shortly after a respiratory infection, consult a doctor and take their advice, which may include antibiotics this second time around.

Supplements to assist a full recovery from respiratory infections:

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin C

  • Zinc

  • NAC

  • Quercetin

  • Serrapeptase

If suffering ongoing nasal congestion, this works well with NAC and serrapeptase:

I can assist you with selecting the best combination of these for you and your family, including the optimum doses. Drop me an email.

Here, to get you started:

When how to resume exercise after a respiratory viral infection:

Any viral respiratory illness that knocks a person around to the extent of putting them in bed for longer than a day or two requires a graduated resumption of exercise. Please, whatever you do, don't sign up to run a marathon or climb a mountain a few months into your recovery! Take your time getting back up to speed, and give yourself 6-12 weeks to get back up to full speed, depending on the severity of the illness.

So, once you feel the active infection is over, usually 10-14 days after the first signs of infection, you may do this:

  • Resume exercise but at half the workloads; weights, repetitions and duration.

  • For the first week, exercise every 2nd day with the day between being a rest day to ensure full recovery before the next workout, no matter what it may be.

  • After one week, presumably, an uneventful one, you may begin to bump up the workloads by about 10% each week.

  • Aim for a gradual increase in exercise loads, intensity and duration that has you back to where you were before you fell ill, six to twelve weeks from the day of commencing your exercise recovery. Do not rush the process: the more ill you were, the longer your recovery must be!

  • You may reintroduce exercise during recovery, but this must be easy, refreshing and not exhausting.

  • It is best to avoid intense or exhausting competition for three months or longer, by which time recovery of strength and fitness - resilience - is completed. As a rule of thumb, a competition that is not bruising and damaging and of an hour's duration or less is the better option for resuming competition than, say, running a marathon—the more challenging and more brutal the competition, the longer your recovery buildup.

Take your supplements!

What is good for resisting infections such as flu and COVID is suitable for your recovery, and it just happens that these are great for sustaining athletic prowess! This statement makes sense because a great athlete is, first and foremost, a healthy person, and a healthy person is disease-resistant!

If you need assistance with working out what is best for you and your family, contact me: I'm here to help.

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