COVID-19: Exercise for better immunity

Yesterday, we talked about how short bursts of activity can BOOST your health.

And with cold, flu, and yet another COVID-19 season right around the corner…

Let’s look at how regular exercise can help PRIME your immune system.

Kick viruses to the curb

Research is suggesting regular exercise can combat COVID-19.

And given the potential of a terrible season of viruses ahead, this is especially important news.

(COVID and the flu ran rampant in Australia during their winter, while we enjoyed summer here in the U.S. And that’s the usual barometer that we use to predict what’s to come during our winter season.)

Researchers analyzed data from 16 studies with over 1.8 million participants. Compared to inactive adults, those who exercised regularly each week had the following protection against COVID-19:

  • 11 percent lower risk of infection
  • 36 percent lower risk of hospitalization
  • 44 percent lower risk of severe infection
  • 43 percent lower risk of dying

And I should mention this isn’t the first study to highlight the importance of regular physical activity against viral infections, like COVID-19.

Regular movement IS protective

I realize this isn’t a black or white issue, as we’re seeing some professional athletes suffering from severe infection or long COVID.

But I will always find it exciting to report that something as simple as daily exercise can support your immune system.

In fact, I routinely talk about the protective effects of physical activity on countless health outcomes, including infectious and chronic disease.

And Joseph Herrera, DO, chair of the Department of Rehabilitation for Mount Sinai Health System in New York City, explains it well: “If you are physically fit, your body is more resilient and better prepared to handle the stressors of COVID or any other disease process.”

This study found the greatest protection for those who followed the recommended 150 minutes of moderate, or 75 minutes of vigorous, exercise per week.

The best part (at least to me)? Exercising more did NOT translate to greater protection. Meaning the very attainable goal of moving your body for at least 20 minutes daily might be all it takes.

The bottom line: Exercise is safe and free. And it’s never too late to start.

So, step away from the device you are reading this on and get moving!

Until next time,
Dr. Fred

P.S. For additional ways to ramp up your immune system as we prepare for the cooler, darker days ahead, check out the February 2022 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives(“Five key strategies to help overcome the Omicron spike”). If you haven’t already, click here now to become a subscriber.

“Regular Physical Activity May Fight Infection, Illness From COVID: Study.” Medscape, 08/22/2022. (