Covid-19 is spreading rampantly once again, raising curiosity in and around all that we can do to raise our guard and boost our immunity! A recent global analysis of data suggests that indulging in at least 20 minutes of daily physical activity can reduce Covid-19 risk or at least saves one from falling chronically ill because of the virus.
A study published in British Journal of Sports Medicine further recommends a total of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity workout weekly or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity workout to guard your body against Covid-19. It deduced that regular physical activity was associated with lower risk of infection, severe Covid-19, hospitalization and mortality.
According to the experts, practicing exercise regularly gives one the best protection against the gravity of respiratory infections. Not just Covid-19, consistent workout also offers protection against various other issues such as obesity or having type 2 diabetes as an after-effect of Covid-19.
To understand the benefits of adhering to a regular exercise regime, Health Shots reached out to Dr Pritha Nayyar, a consultant in Respiratory Medicine at Asian Hospital.
Health benefits of daily physical activity to reduce Covid-19 risk
Eating the right diet to boost immunity is important, but so is a physical exercise regime. According to Dr Nayyar, moving your body daily offers a myriad of health benefits. She reckons at least 20-30 minutes of workout a minimum of 3 times a week. It could be anything ranging from a simple daily brisk walk to bicycle riding to running.
1. Lowers stress levels
Exercises are believed to decrease the stress hormones in the body. Stress attacks your body’s immunity in totally unfathomable ways. Being a major cause of bad immunity, a regular workout is believed to release endorphins that are happy hormones and keeps stress at bay. Also, what’s better than feeling good every single day?
2. Gives a tough fight to any type of infections
Engaging your body in a workout helps fight infections better with increased antibody response. A regular 30 minutes of physical activity increases cd4 cells and IgA which further aids in giving a boost to your immunity.
3. Improved quality of sleep
Normally, 7-8 hours of daily sleep is suggested to rejuvenate your body and increase productivity levels. When your body engages in strenuous high-intensity workouts regularly, your body feels exhausted by the end of the day. This exhaustion further translates to improved quality of sleep. And, daily deep sleep works miraculously as an immunity booster.
4. Prevents obesity while keeping you fit
Obesity can lead to a set of chronic health issues and makes you lazy and lethargic. Workout can help shed that extra weight from your body and aids in healthier weight management. Being physically fit is a boon in its own ways. A fit person with an ideal weight has a lesser chance of developing chronic illnesses. And, even if one catches any illness, the body is in its perfect state to give a tough battle against infections.
5. Decreases severity of Covid-19 illness
Exercises such as running or cycling are proven to increase lung capacity and better respiratory health. Covid-19 tends to attack people’s respiratory organs. So, it is essential to keep your respiratory health under check to combat the risk of catching covid or reduce the severity of its symptoms. Techniques like deep breathing further enhance the working of your respiratory organs.