Can Exercise Really Protect You From COVID-19?

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By now there’s only a slim chance that people don’t know what the COVID-19 pandemic is and how to mitigate the risk of infection. Most people now know to wear masks, avoid crowded areas, practice good hygiene, and to exercise regularly. The importance of all these measures is apparent except for that of exercise. The reason we say this is that despite the WHO encouraging people to perform regular exercise, you’re rarely going to see new people getting in on the habit.

This should be concerning because this is indicative that the importance of exercise and how it can help against the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic still isn’t known by most people. If people knew that exercise might one day save them from the complications of the virus, more people might be exercising regularly. And this is why we deem it necessary to write this article — to help clarify a few facts as to why people need to exercise during the pandemic.

So, what are these things that we need to know about exercise and COVID-19?

Exercise Does Not Prevent Infection, But It Does Boost Your Immune System

While exercise won’t keep you from getting infected, multiple studies have shown that moderate exercise has helped decrease the rates of flu, pneumonia, as well as chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Regular exercise also helps reduce inflammation, causes your body to produce more immune cells, and improves your gut microbiome.

You Don’t Have To Train Like An Athlete To Reap The Benefits Of Exercise

Contrary to popular belief, even a single workout session has beneficial effects on the immune system and a series of regular workouts will add up to significantly boost your immune system. Even simple activities such as walking, light jogging, and cycling for less than an hour can help boost your immunity. And even when you’re unable to head out of your home to exercise, there are indoor options that are available. 

Anything from treadmills, exercise bikes, and even rowing machines can help you boost your immunity against the effects of the coronavirus. Buying a rowing machine is expensive but hiring is an option, as is the case with all other exercise machines, so you don’t have to worry about investing a lot of money for something you might only use during the pandemic.

Let’s not forget that regular exercise also yields a wealth of mental and emotional benefits that help keep people sane during a quarantine.

If you’re just starting out on your exercise journey, it’s important to go slowly at the beginning. An abrupt and intense increase in activity has been shown to yield adverse effects on the body and this also increases the risk of sustaining an injury.

So, again, while exercise will not outright prevent a coronavirus infection, keeping fit will give you a better chance of resisting many of the complications associated with the virus. Whatever the case may be, the best way to prevent contracting the virus is to wear your face mask properly when outside of your home, wash your hands regularly, and avoid mass gatherings. Remember that the pandemic is far from over, and we need to do what we can in order to help keep infection rates low.

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