More often than not, there is a grain of truth in almost every statement, joke or myth we come across in everyday life. How often do we hear ‘exercising is good for you’? We have been hearing it for as long as we can remember! And while staying active contributes to a stronger you, a recent study has revealed that those who exercise on a daily basis have a better chance of surviving the deadly Covid-19 virus too, when compared to those who are relatively less active or do not indulge in any form of workout at all. The research, published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, found that coronavirus patients who sweat it out on a daily are at lower risk of being hospitalised, requiring ICU care and succumbing to the virus.
According to Yahoo Life, a team of doctors at Kaiser Permanente Southern California, who conducted the study, included 48,440 subjects who were diagnosed with Covid-19 between January 2020 and October 2020 and asked them how often they had exercised over the previous two years. They measured answers by the Exercise Vital Sign, a standard that identifies whether people are meeting the government’s Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. The most recent version, updated in 2018, recommends that on a weekly basis, adults do 150 minutes to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise, with additional guidelines for strength training.
They found that those who were inactive, meaning they exercised anywhere from zero to 10 minutes per week, had a 2.26 greater chance of hospitalisation, a 1.73 greater chance of ICU admission and 2.49 greater odds of death from Covid-19, compared to patients who were mostly active. People who did “some activity,” which equalled anywhere from 11 minutes to 149 minutes per week, had a 1.89 greater chance of hospitalisation, a 1.58 greater chance of ICU admission and a 1.88 times greater chance of death than those who were consistently active.
“We’ve known from years of studies that exercise enhances immune function and [improves] mental health,” Robert E Sallis, a family and sports medicine physician at the Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center, stated. “Even beyond that, when you look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s risk factors for COVID-19 — diabetes, heart disease and more — all, for the most part, could be helped with regular physical activity.” Sallis concluded, “It doesn’t take a lot of activity — 30 minutes of walking, five times a week.”