Exercise and Covid-19

Exercise plays an essential role in maintaining a healthy and hygienic lifestyle. Exercise has also been known to boost our immunity and keep diseases away. Now, new research has found out that exercise can make Covid-19 infection less severe. However, it doesn’t guarantee you that you won’t get affected by Covid-19, nor does it says that people who exercise daily do not die.

In a study on 50,000 Californians who developed Covid-19, those who had been most active before infection were least likely to be hospitalized or die. The data also found out that the ones who lead a sedentary lifestyle are at greater risk of severe infection, hospitalization or even death. Regular exercise, whether swim, walk, run or ride a bicycle, lowers the risk of getting severely infected by Covid-19. Exercise is also known to increase antibody responses quickly on common cold, influenza, and other related viral diseases.

Another study by Glasgow Caledonian University revealed that exercising for 30 minutes a day reduces the risk of death or severe illness by 37%. The same survey reported that you are likely to have 50% more antibodies after vaccination if you are active than somebody who is inactive. So being physically active makes you more immune to the virus after vaccination. That doesn’t mean you soon after taking a vaccine dose. You will start high-intensity workouts. Exercise, whatever mentioned here, does not mean something extraordinary athletic but refers to easy and moderate exercises that a healthy individual can do daily without any guidance. On the contrary, it is better to rest for a few days after vaccination as your immunity lowers temporarily, causing side effects like tiredness, drowsiness, weakness, or even slight fever.

Now comes the critical point that whether a workout is good post-recovery from Covid-19. If you are asymptotic but Covid-19 positive, you shouldn’t be working out too much as an intense workout lowers immunity. It is best to take a rest and remain in isolation until you recover. Now you have tested negative, it doesn’t mean you are fully recovered from Covid-19, as the virus can damage many body parts. It takes some time before your body starts functioning normally. Thus before beginning any moderate or high-intensity exercise, you should consult a doctor. Usually, respiratory exercises are first suggested after Covid-19 recovery as the respiratory system is most prone to get damaged. After that, aerobic activities like brisk walking or cycling may be taken up, followed by moderate exercises after a good number of days.

Yoga is an age-old Indian traditional exercise done regularly to keep the body fit. Breathing forms one of the key factors in yoga, and there are several breathing exercises such as pranayama. Pranayama has shown a positive response from both doctors and yoga specialists as effective against Covid-19. Thus, while lockdown is in place outside, it is better to remain active at home doing exercises and yoga.

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Written by Himadri Paul

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