I discuss the benefits of being proactive about your health every day.
And, as a reader of mine, you know the importance of optimal nutrition, smart supplementation, sleep, digestion, stress relief, and—of course—exercise.
These healthy lifestyle choices can prevent, reverse, or delay most illnesses.
Yet, conventional medicine tends to ignore the power of this simple approach.
Did you know that, despite all of the positive health outcomes surrounding exercise, less than 25 percent of American adults achieve recommended physical activity targets per week?
Well, that inactivity is downright dangerous… especially in the age of COVID-19.
Life or death
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that, “physical activity is associated with a decrease in COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths, while inactivity increases that risk.”
Plus, various other studies support this finding.
And now, new research suggests that exercise in any amount can offer protection against serious, if not fatal, infections—even among high-risk patients.
Researchers analyzed nearly 200,000 records from patients diagnosed with COVID-19 between early 2020 to mid-2021. These patients had also seen their doctor at least three times in recent years (meaning their exercise habits were able to be monitored).
The participants were categorized into five groups based on activity levels and ranged from least active (fewer than 10 minutes weekly) to most active (150 minutes or more weekly).
Then, pre-existing conditions were recognized. And hospitalization or death rates were calculated.
Here’s what they found…
Move for even a few MINUTES
Let’s start with what I find to be the most dramatic finding of the study…
Researchers found that those who were consistently inactive (less than 10 minutes of physical activity per week) before getting COVID-19 were:
- 91 percent more likely to be hospitalized…
- 291 percent more likely to die from the disease…
In comparison to active patients.
In fact, even a 10-minute walk per week was associated with better outcomes.
(Not surprisingly, the best outcomes were seen among those who exercised 150 minutes or more each week.)
Of course, these findings aren’t particularly shocking. We have witnessed firsthand from the beginning of the pandemic that those with poorer cardiometabolic health (such as high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes) have fared far worse than their healthy counterparts.
But I hope knowing that even a small exercise target CAN help combat COVID-19.
So, for anyone struggling to become active, start small. Aim for those 10 minutes per week (though I’d recommend starting with at least 10 minutes every other day) and build from there.
To learn about additional ways to help fight against COVID-19, check out my Complete Guide for Year-Round Immunity.
Until next time,
“Physical Activity and COVID-19.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (cdc.gov/physicalactivity/physical-activity-and-COVID-19.html)
“Regular exercise protects against fatal covid, a new study shows.” The Washington Post, 12/21/2022. (washingtonpost.com/wellness/2022/12/21/covid-exercise-hospitalization-mortality/)