Petra Graafland (51), Clinical Chemical Analyst at the IJsselland Hospital and mother of three children, followed the BioCheck program to recover from the consequences of COVID-19: “I could not get any further with regular physiotherapy.”
April 1, 2020, a date that Rotterdam’s Petra Graafland will remember for a long time. It was the day she got sick; she developed a severe headache and started coughing. Eight days later she was admitted to hospital with double pneumonia. The diagnosis: COVID-19. She was allowed to go home after a week, but recovery was extremely difficult. “I had no energy at all, couldn’t concentrate and was just tired. Nothing worked anymore. It was so frustrating!”
If it doesn't help, then it doesn't hurt
Petra started with exercises at the local physiotherapist, but it had little or no effect. A few months later, her employer gave her a brochure about the BioCheck recovery program. Was that perhaps something for her? “If it doesn’t help, then it won’t hurt, I thought.” It was now November 2020, about seven months after the hospital admission. No one had heard of Long COVID, but in retrospect Petra’s complaints (persistent fatigue, being easily distracted, forgetfulness, having little energy) fit exactly into that picture.
Chronic Fatigue Protocol
At BioCheck, Petra received fitness training according to the BioCheck Chronic Fatigue Protocol. Due to the corona measures, the guidance mainly took place online. She first did the training with the heart rate belt on the exercise bike, later on her own bike outside.
“The breathing exercises in particular have done me a lot of good”
She also started working on breathing exercises and adjusted her diet in some respects based on the advice. For example, she exchanged the low-fat yogurt for breakfast for the more nutritious semi-skimmed variety and started using less sugar.
“The correct way of breathing in particular has done me a lot of good,” says Petra. “It also brought me a lot of relaxation.” She also enjoyed sports. “It became easier and easier. And if I had to skip one, I just missed it. I still wanted to catch up on the training.”
Finally good concentration again
Petra soon noticed results. After just a few weeks she felt a lot more energetic. “I also became clearer in my head and could finally concentrate again. That is very important in my work.” The big difference with treatment from a physiotherapist? “The training sessions are adapted to what your body can handle at that moment. This way you rehabilitate based on your personal resilience and fitness.”
“During the group lessons I met fellow sufferers”
“With the BioCheck recovery program you train three times a week based on your heart rate,” Petra explains. “After a certain period, a measurement is taken where your turning point is calculated. The training is adjusted based on this. In addition, there is respiratory therapy and also group lessons about the theory behind the BioCheck method. That’s nice, because you also meet fellow sufferers.”
Cycling 22 kilometers, with ease!
Petra is now as vital as before her illness. Her personal recovery program has therefore been completed. But she still has the BioCheck app on her phone. “I now use the app to keep fit. We will be moving soon. This means I live a lot further from my work. I want to maintain my fitness level, so that I can cycle the 9 kilometers there and back without too much effort. It looks like it will work now. During the training I can easily cycle a lap of 22 kilometers!”
“I now use the app to keep fit”
All in all, it took Petra a year before she could fully return to work. Thanks to the BioCheck program, her recovery has been improving over the past six months. Now she is 100% fit again. “I recently said to my husband: a few months ago I was dreading the move,” she laughs. “Now I even feel like it!”
Want to know more?
Would you like to know more about the various recovery and vitality programs that BioCheck offers? Please feel free to contact us for the options: https://biocheck.nl/contact/