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How Exercise Can Offer a Higher Safeguard Against Coronavirus Transmission?

In the age of the novel coronavirus, we’re constantly fighting to stay afloat and find air in an exhausting reality. According to a new study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine , exercise proves to be a promising ray of hope during these uncertain times. Researchers studied nearly 50,000 COVID-19 patients in California and found that regular exercise increases your body’s ability to fight the COVID-19 virus, making symptoms less severe and the duration of illness minimal.

What Did the Study Find?

The study found that those who were the most active before contracting the virus spent the least amount of time in the hospital. They also had lesser chances of presenting with severe symptoms which leads to death in typical cases. The data was gathered from January to October 2020 before the comeuppance of vaccines. As such, it in no way suggests that exercise can act as a substitute for vaccination.

The body’s ability to withstand illness is directly proportional to our level of health and fitness. Scientists and doctors have always known that physically fit people are less likely to catch colds and other common illnesses in comparison to those who don’t exercise. This is because exercise improves stamina, amplifying immune responses. Proper fitness also increases your body’s response to vaccines.

To conduct this study, physicians at Kaiser Permanente Southern California and other institutions compared information about how often a person exercised with whether they ended up being hospitalized due to COVID-19. The doctors took a detailed anonymized history of 48,440 COVID-19 patients and grouped the patients according to the intensity and duration of their workout routines. They then collected information about each person’s known risk factors that could have contributed to the severe COVID-19 diagnosis and cross-checked the group numbers with baffling results. Patients belonging to the least active group ended up being hospitalized at twice the rate of those belonging in the most active group.

How Does Exercise Protect the Body?

Evidence suggests that our body produces a specific antioxidant enzyme that proves especially useful in terms of protecting the lungs against the brunt of COVID-19 symptoms. One of the major symptoms tied to the novel coronavirus is ARDS, otherwise known as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome. ARDS occurs when the lungs get so inflamed and swollen, that it leads to oxygen deprivation and fluid buildup. According to a review published in the journal Redox Biology , the antioxidant enzyme EcSOD (extracellular superoxide dismutase) not only protects against ARDS but also staves off other heart and lung diseases.

Being sedentary can be the greatest risk to your health. This of course does not mean that exercise alone can eliminate your chances of contracting the coronavirus. It simply highlights the benefits of exercise and how a healthy body can serve you well in dire times. When you keep your body fit, it stays ready to fight against any unwanted virus.

Phoenix Family Medical Clinic

is a walk-in, family clinic and urgent care clinic offering same-day appointments. Our physicians treat and provide care for children with ADHD and other conditions. We offer a variety of expert services for both men and women, covering family health, anti-ageing medicine and urgent care.