It is a good news that children from 5-11 years old is now eligible for Covid-19 vaccination, which means that they can also be better protected against Covid-19. At the same time, it also raise concerns if the children could continue their physical activity within 2 weeks after the injection.
So we invited Casper, our in-house Exercise Physiologist and Swimologist, to share more insights on 3 most common questions that we have been getting on Covid-19 vaccination.
MOH has advised that children should avoid strenuous activities after vaccination for 2 weeks, do we need to adhere to it strictly?
The keyword is "strenuous". Yes, anybody, not just children, should avoid strenuous exercise after vaccination. Most of us had went through the vaccination, we know that we don't really feel good for the first few days. This is the way how your body is telling you to rest up and recuperate. If you feel ok after that, I think it is reasonable to resume some of of physical activity. Similar to resumption of physical activity after u recover from any illness, you should start easy again and slowly progress back to your usual intensity. I would not recommend 2 whole weeks of inactivity, any research will say the same thing.
The keyword is "strenuous".
MOH has indicated swimming is one of the strenuous activities, so we should not swim for 2 weeks right?
It really depends. If we are talking about sprints and long distance swim, then yes, it is strenuous. We need to look at a few factors:
Like what I mentioned before, sprints and long distance swimming will be high intensity, it will be strenuous to the body. On the other hand, if we are looking at swimming short distances leisurely with plenty of rests in between, I wouldn't consider it as strenuous.
How strenuous the physical activity to individual depends on their fitness levels. If a child has been sedentary, any form of physical activity may be strenuous. If you are looking at a child who has been doing competitive swimming since young, swimming a few laps might not be a concern at all.
Physical and Mental Wellbeing
If you are not feeling well, then a usual routine might seem more strenuous.
So overall, we cannot determine the intensity of the activity just by the activity alone. The reason why MOH stated that swimming is a strenuous activity is probably because it is an easy reference or benchmark, but it is definitely not one size fit all answer. We still have to do our own judgement call on whether if swimming is considered strenuous or not.
We cannot determine the intensity of the activity just by the activity