Temple lung doctor: Simple home exercises can aid recovery from COVID-19

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Patients treated for COVID-19 are finding that what they do at home can make a big difference in how they feel.

By now, most people know that a feeling of tightness in the chest and difficulty breathing are among the symptoms associated with the coronavirus. 

Dr. Gerard Criner, director of the Temple Lung Center, says recovering patients can get oxygen into their lungs and help restore elasticity with exercise.

“Anything that can help them generate a larger breath," he said. "So they can exercise a bit. Or they can sit there and take deep breaths — they can get a simple thing called an incentive spirometer, which has balls that go up when they take a breath."

He admits it won’t cure the disease, but could make it easier to breathe. Those who were on a ventilator or hospitalized for many days will need to do more.

“Usually if they’ve been bedridden for a while, even three days you can lose 25% of your muscle mass, in your lower extremities and arms. They are going to have weakness of the arms and legs."

Getting up and moving around as often as possible can have a positive impact on their overall condition.