New studies have revealed another important benefit of physical activity or participating in a regular exercise routine: People who are physically fit are less likely to develop severe illness from COVID-19. Research appears to reinforce new findings linking exercise to a lower risk of serious illness from other viruses, such as the common cold or the flu.
The most compelling study, published by the journal in May British Journal of Sports Medicine, reviewing data from nearly 50,000 Californians who have contracted COVID-19. The researchers found that those who were more physically active before contracting the disease had a lower chance of being hospitalized or dying as a result of COVID-19.
These findings appear to be in line with the experience of primary care physicians who often see a major difference between patients who lead sedentary lives and those who are active in various activities or who simply follow minimal US guidelines for regular exercise.
“The more physical activity you are, the lower your risk of complications and the lower your risk of hospitalization,” he explains. Patricia Vito Fernandez, MDDr Baptist Primary Health Care. His immune system is also working better as well as his lung function and heart function.
US government and American Heart Association They recommend at least 150 minutes a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity — or a combination of both, preferably throughout the week. Add moderate to high-intensity muscle activities (such as resistance training or weights) at least two days per week, according to the directions. (June 12 is Family Fitness and Health Day).
Another recent study found that patients with long-term symptoms of COVID-19, known as “long-distance transportation,” can benefit from an exercise program. The study, published in the Journal of Chronic Respiratory Diseases, included 30 patients. They participated in supervised rehabilitation classes twice a week for six weeks. The program included aerobic exercises including walking or using a treadmill, and strength exercises for the arms and legs. Most of the patients “showed significant improvement in their ability to exercise, respiratory symptoms, fatigue and cognition,” the study authors said.
Dr. Vito Fernandez knows the difference exercise can make. Patients who engage in moderate and intense activity — or those who engage in moderate levels of exercise — “have significantly fewer complications from COVID and fewer problems in terms of long-term transportation or even hospitalization.”
“For a patient who exercises and is at risk of contracting COVID or who have contracted COVID, it is definitely a great protective factor,” adds Dr. Vito Fernandez. “Physically active people who become infected have much fewer complications. This is what we see in the community.”
There are many benefits to exercising regularly, other than COVID, assures Dr. Vito Fernandez. She says regular exercise is “included in our outpatient advice and guidelines.”
“We usually say it’s not just about COVID,” says Dr. Vito Fernandez. Exercise helps our immune system fight other viruses. In addition, it has benefits in terms of the cardiovascular system, the pulmonary system and the prevention of the most dangerous conditions, such as hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.