Benefit of Exercise in Reducing the Severity of Covid-19 Symptoms

At Kinetic Edge, our mission is to transform lives and restore hope through movement!  In this uncertain time, there is a lot of fear about emerging from isolation and returning to normal life.  There are so many things outside of our control that can be scary. Finding hope can be challenging!  While many scientists are looking for potential treatments and immunizations to combat COVID-19, they are also researching the benefit of exercise in reducing the severity of Covid-19 Symptoms.

What Does the Research Suggest?

In an article from Neuroscience News, researchers have found strong support that cardiovascular exercise can decrease the occurrence and severity of Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS).  While around 80% of people with COVID-19 have minimal to no symptoms, those hospitalized from COVID-19 have ARDS up to 50% of the time.  About 45% of these people with severe ARDS die.  During exercise, the muscles in your body produce a powerful anti-oxidant that moves through the blood and binds to your heart and lungs.  Research suggests even ONE episode of cardiovascular exercise can increase the amount of this anti-oxidant in the body and can decrease the effect of the COVID-19 on the heart and lungs. The anti-oxidant EcSOD has had positive affects on multiple disease processes.

How Much Exercise Should I be Getting?

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and American Heart Association (AHA) recommend 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days per week. Exercise is considered any physical activity above the normal activities you would do in a given day.  Exercise can include walking, biking, running, swimming and/or dancing, as well as yard work and other household chores that aren’t normally a part of your day. 

What if I Can’t Tolerate 30 Minutes at a Time?

If exercise hasn’t been part of your routine, 30 minutes per day can seem daunting.  Start where you are able!  Start being more active for 5 or 10 minutes per day and work your way up to 30 minutes as you are able.  Would 10 minutes of exercise 3x/day work better for you than 30 minutes at a time?  Be flexible and give yourself grace as you work to improve your cardiovascular health and your immune system!

What Should I Do if I Hurt When I Exercise?

The movement specialists at Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy are happy to help with any movement issues that cause you pain.  There are in-clinic appointments available to individuals who feel comfortable going into the community and telehealth appointments for those who are not comfortable leaving their houses available at our Kinetic Edge Physical Therapy clinics.  In-clinic and Telehealth appointments are accepted by most insurances including, but not limited to, Medicare, Medicaid and Wellmark.  Call (866) 588-0230 to schedule an appointment or receive a complimentary benefits check.

Sources:

American Heart Association. (2018, April 18).  American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity for Adults and Kids.  Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/fitness/fitness-basics/aha-recs-for-physical-activity-in-adults

Center for Disease Control.  (2020, April 10). Physical Activity Recommendations for Different Age Groups.  Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/age-chart.html

University of Virginia Health System. (2020, April 15).  COVID-19: Exercise May Protect Against Deadly Complication.  Retrieved from https://neurosciencenews.com/coronavirus-exercise-16169/?fbclid=IwAR1X0q1z8kPWv17UiNSY16xtAKg2hJ2rc9ZOqpa_wLGmJgBiuLXC7ILrS3Q

Yan, Z., & Spaulding, HR. (2020). Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase, a Molecular Transducer of Health Benefits of Exercise.  Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213231720303190?via%3Dihub