27/04/2021

Wellbeing

Exercise can slash COVID fatalities

Regular exercise has many advantages to our mental and physical health, but many forget the all-round health benefits against chronic and acute diseases, as well as viral infections.

A woman holding a rolled foam mat over her shoulder, flexing towards the camera

Regular exercise is something that is often overlooked when talking about tackling chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, & fibromyalgia, mental health issues, and insidious and sporadic episodes of musculoskeletal pain. Unfortunately, we are in a position where the average GP appointment is 9.2 minutes in the UK, and that is nowhere near enough time to discuss external factors that may be causing, exacerbating, or facilitating a condition.

The alternative to discussing these environmental factors, such as asking the patient if they’re sleeping enough, exercising enough, how is their general wellbeing, is a medicated pathway which can be quite disconnected from the prescribing practitioner. That’s not to say that medication is not the answer, or unnecessary, but it should be used as one piece of the puzzle, tackling both the environment factors as well as possible neurochemical imbalances.

Outside of exercise helping to prevent chronic disease, musculoskeletal pain, and mental health issues, recently a new study published in the Sports Medicine Journal, completed by Glasgow Caledonian University has shown that regular physical activity strengthens the human immune system. This is the world’s first study into the link between exercise and COVID-19 immunity.

"Regular exercise strengthens the first line of defence of the human immune system and results in a higher concentration of immune cells"
Professor Sebastian Chastin, Glasgow Caledonian University


Glasgow Caledonian University conducted the full-scale systematic review of 16,698 worldwide epidemiological studies published between January 1980 and April 2020 with world-renowned immunologists and epidemiologists from other institutions to come to their conclusions.

The team of scientists found that 150 minutes a week of physical activity that gets you slightly out of breath will have a massive impact on your human immunity. This is beneficial not only against COVID-19, but common colds and other common illnesses that take advantage of a weakened immune system.

The study suggests exercise can reduce COVID-19 fatalities by 37%, while also reducing catching similar diseases by 31%, and boosts the effectiveness of the vaccines by up to 40%.

It’s important to note, we are not talking about pushing your body to the physical limits by running a marathon, squatting 500kg, the list could go on, we are looking at a brisk walk, a jog, a short sharp Youtube exercise video, something that gets you’re a little out of breath and the heart pumping.

Our Moxi message is clear. If we stay active, it will not only help to improve our physical and mental health, but also our immunity too.
David Fox, CEO & Founder of Moxi Health
A shot of a busy high street with many people walking, wearing masks

Let us know what you think.


Reference:

Chastin, S.F.M., Abaraogu, U., Bourgois, J.G. et al. Effects of Regular Physical Activity on the Immune System, Vaccination and Risk of Community-Acquired Infectious Disease in the General Population: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Sports Med (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-021-01466-1