6. Track your activity and progress
Supporting your Long COVID recovery
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Be active at a level that’s right for you.Pushing yourself to do too much too soon will not help your recovery. If you push your body too much, you might feel a lot worse afterwards and this can last for several days. This is called ‘post-exertional malaise’.
Using a diary, like this one, will help you notice how your energy levels change after activity.You’ll be able to notice patterns in what you do and how it makes you feel during and after. That way, you can create a plan that helps you become more active at your pace and in a way that suits you.
Before you start any activity, it’s important to think about how you’re feeling. If you’re feeling tired, or not up to being active, then you should rest. If you feel like you could manage some activity, then you can plan it into your day.
You could try rating yourself on a scale from 1 – 10. It’ll help you check in with yourself and compare how you feel from day to day. If you’re not feeling good today, don’t attempt too much. Take some rest and don’t push yourself.
Think about what other things you have to do within your day. Any activities you need to do will use up energy, so make sure you take this into account when thinking about movement you plan to do. These will be different for everyone, depending on your circumstances. For example, you might need to consider any work or social commitments, as well as any household chores.
You should think about the things you have to do, as well as things you’d like to be able to do, if you can. By thinking ahead, you’ll find it easier to plan any physical activity around your life.
Note down all the activity you did that day. You could also note down how it made you feel, as well as anything else important.
By recording your activity, you’ll be able to link your current energy levels to things you’ve done in the past. For example, you might notice that you should try to not fit too many activities into one day when you’re working. Or, that you feel better when you get a good night’s sleep.
Remember sometimes the effects of activity take time to build up. So you may initially feel OK, but then become tired after a few days' activity.
It might also be useful to think about:
• What went well this week? (however small you might think it is)
• What was difficult this week?
• What can I do differently next week?
Use this form to plan out and record your activity. You don’t need to fill it out all at once – take your time to think about how you are feeling and how your activity has affected your energy levels.
Download and print out blank copies at blf.org.uk/long-covid-activity-tracker (PDF, 237kb)
We’ve developed this information with funding from Garfield Weston Foundation. The Foundation had no influence on the information, which was developed in line with our usual BLF information production process.