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Amsterdam Amstel
13-09-2016 / 11:00

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rebuild - after covid

recover after covid

Most people who go through an infection with the coronavirus experience only mild or moderate symptoms. However, this infection can unfortunately be accompanied by persistent symptoms. This is also known as long COVID or post-COVID syndrome. Common residual complaints include persistent fatigue, loss of concentration, feeling depressed, shortness of breath/tightness, tired muscles and sleeping problems.

The natural course of recovery from COVID-19 varies from person to person and is influenced by a variety of factors, including age, the individual's health prior to viral infection, and the nature and severity of the infection.

Exercise and a complete diet are very important for health and recovery, and this certainly applies in the case of COVID-19. Good nutrition, sufficient exercise and an optimal biorhythm can promote recovery.

Movement
After having been through an infection, the lung function may have deteriorated somewhat and after complete bed rest, approximately 1 to 5 percent loss of muscle strength per day occurs. The recovery must therefore be built up slowly. It is a good goal to go for a daily walk or bike ride, for example. Then move preferably outdoors in a wooded area. The forest has a positive influence on the immune system and lung function.

Plan a body coaching session, then we will quietly build up more intensive moments of movement in and/or outside the cabin. We do of course take into account the balance of the tax and the taxability. We have created special exercise programs. Ask the coaches about it!

Recovery with nutrition
After a period of severe illness, the body needs sufficient building materials to be able to recover. Proteins are especially important. Proteins are an important building block for our body. Muscles are made up of proteins. In times of energy shortage, muscles are the first to be used and used as fuel. Because in periods of illness there is an increased energy requirement, but often a reduced energy intake, an energy deficit can arise. The body then breaks down muscles. This is one of the reasons why you often feel lower in energy after a period of illness. In addition, a body must replenish reserves after a period of illness. The body needs nutrients and time to fully recover. You can get the best nutrients from whole, unprocessed foods.

Unprocessed foods often contain fiber naturally. Fibers are beneficial for a good intestinal function, which in turn supports the immune system. Our immune system is located for 60 to 70 percent in the intestines.

Below is a description of which diet you can best choose to make your recovery as optimal as possible. In a recovery period, your body therefore needs more calories (about 150 kcal more) and proteins (1.2 to 1.7 grams of protein per kg of body weight). In short, feed your body!

  • Eat at least 300 grams of vegetables, steamed, stir-fried or fried. Preferably fresh or from the freezer. This is important for the soluble fiber and antioxidants. With an extra focus on green leafy vegetables because of the liver-supporting function and calcium.
  • Eat at least 2 pieces of fresh fruit for the antioxidants, vitamins and soluble fiber. Soluble fiber keeps stools moist and supple.
  • Opt for whole grains for the insoluble fiber. These fibers stimulate the intestine so that the whole can be digested and kneaded is pushed forward in the intestines. Think oats, spelled, buckwheat, quinoa, brown rice, black rice.
  • Take unsweetened, plantbased dairy fortified with B12. Preferably choose soy if you need calcium, oats/rice/coconut contain no calcium. (If you get a lot of calcium from, for example, green leafy vegetables and legumes, oats/rice/coconut are also fine.)
  • Don't you eat fish? Then algae oil can help to get the essential fatty acids. 
  • Grab legumes for calcium, a good vegetable source of protein and fiber. Always make sure to rinse them well if they are in cans or jars, because of the natural toxins in legumes. Do you cook them yourself? Soak and cook for a long time and rinse well after the soaking and cooking process.
  • Take a handful of nuts, kernels and seeds daily for the essential fatty acids. This can also be in the form of 100% nut butters or products such as tahini.
  • Consume legumes in combination with grains or pulled oats at least once a week. 
  • Drink plenty of water and (herbal) tea without sugar.

What can be less?

  • Moderate with sugars. This is a breeding ground for pathogenic (bad) intestinal bacteria, which in turn is detrimental to the immune system.
  • Moderate with processed products. This also costs the immune system energy to process, so it may take longer before you are completely on top of it. It is better to opt for a base with nutrient-rich products, which promote your recovery.
  • Moderate with alcohol. Your liver has to work hard to break down alcohol, but it actually has plenty to do already. Namely breaking down the pathogens. So give your body a helping hand here and choose consciously.

And finally, some tips on what you can do best with the following complaints:

  • Nausea
    Choose smaller, non-greasy meals spread over the day. Provide sufficient moisture. Too little fluid increases nausea. Cold products may be better tolerated than hot products/meals.
  • Slime build-up
    Try some fresh fruits and vegetables, such as grapes, apple, cucumber, pepper.
  • Diarrhea
    Keep the fluid balance at a good level. You lose a lot of fluid through the stool. If you have a lactose sensitivity, avoid dairy. Do not eat too often, so that the intestines get a little more rest.

Good to know: Eating anti-inflammatory foods is associated with improved lung function in healthy adults and children and improved lung function. For example, anti-inflammatory foods contain flavonoids such as fucoxanthin and astaxanthin. These flavonoids are mainly found in yellow, pink and orange foods, including various fruits and vegetables, algae and shellfish. Turmeric and green tea also have an anti-inflammatory effect and can positively influence the immune system and energy metabolism. In addition, an optimal metabolic health are achieved by limiting the number of meals to three times a day.

Optimal Biorhythm
An optimal biorhythm is important for good health. Our biological clock ensures that our body functions in harmony with the environment. The body reacts to daylight and signals when we should get up and go back to sleep. When this rhythm is disturbed, it has consequences for both our physical and mental well-being. An optimal biorhythm improves the sleep pattern and thus the brain function, the functioning of the metabolism and the immune system.

Below are some recommendations to restore the biorhythm:

  • Take enough relaxation during the day and before going to sleep.
  • Go to bed at set times and get up at set times.
  • Avoid screens and bright lights after 9 p.m.
  • Use a blue light filter on screens at night or wear special glasses.
  • Try not to eat for several hours before going to bed.
  • Provide a dark room with sufficient oxygen and no noise.
  • Avoid substances that interfere with sleep, such as caffeine, nicotine and alcohol.

Also read the tools: mindful living, digetox, meditation and good sleep!

Supplementation
Sometimes residual complaints persist because the immune system is not yet functioning optimally, or because the virus has not yet been properly 'cleared up' by the immune system. To bring the immune system back into balance and to allow it to function optimally, vitamins and minerals are important, including vitamin D3, vitamin C and zinc. Vitamin B12 not only supports the functioning of the immune system, but is also a co-factor for various enzymes in the energy system and can therefore help to reduce fatigue.

Fatigue
Fatigue in long COVID can be long-lasting. Recovery is often grim and energy levels can vary from day to day. Fatigue can also suddenly occur a few hours after an activity. It is therefore possible that exercising during the workout goes well, but that you suddenly collapse completely after the workout. So it is wise to do less than you think you can handle. Opt for light and relaxing workouts. Do not plan too much in one day and shorten your working days if your body asks for it. It is often difficult to adapt behavior to your new energy level. This is often accompanied by resistance and frustration. Try to be mild and give yourself time to adjust your behavior to the new situation.

Loss of concentration
Many people who have had COVID report a loss of concentration and increased forgetfulness. Because of this, ordinary life can quickly feel like too much. The loss of overview can sometimes also be accompanied by anxious feelings or panic. Raise the problems to your employer, colleagues and friends as soon as possible. In this way you can avoid stressful situations and you can count on more understanding and support. It can be very nice to follow extra coaching or therapy during this period to learn to deal with a changed brain. Make sure that your breathing is calm and take several moments of rest and/or meditation every day. Use the Insight timer app for meditations to regulate stimuli, so that your mind becomes calm and clear again.