Moderate Intensity Exercise vs COVID-19

While there has been much speculation and controversy on the idea of exercise being positive or negative towards our health during the current COVID-19 outbreak, many physicians and university studies have concluded that while “High Intensity” exercise is not recommended because of the heavy stress its puts on our respiratory system (which is the area most effected by the virus), that daily stints of moderate intensity exercise are beneficial against protecting not only ourselves but others from the virus as well.

It has been shown in various studies that moderate intensity exercise has a positive effect on immune system defense against viral respiratory infections, specifically with the increase of production in T-cells and neutrophil which both play a part in our bodies to help recognize and kill potential cancerous cells or cells that have been infected by a virus. Each time that we participate in some for of exercise our bodies almost instantaneously release immune cells that are transported through the blood to our spleen and bone marrow before making its way to our secondary lymphoid organs and tissues such as the lungs or gut where more immune defense is usually required. This in turn not only decreases the chances of us contracting the virus but minimizes the effects and potentially speeds up the recovery process if we were to get infected.

Some of the forms of Moderate intensity exercise can be of the following:

  • Brisk walking
  • Bike riding at an easy pace (not more than 10mph)
  • Light swimming for 20 min
  • Jumping rope for about 15 min
  • Dancing
  • Gardening/ mowing the lawn for 30 min
  • Calisthenics
  • Yoga
  • Hitting a punching bag for 15 min
  • Weightlifting

While there are no direct test results concluding that exercise can conclusively eliminate the chance of getting or killing COVID-19, it has been shown that moderate exercise can help fight infection where the virus is most prominent. As you can see from some of the examples above most of these activities do not surpass 15-20 minutes, and most with minimal use of equipment making it a bit easier to accomplish. So while we still should be following all the CDC guidelines (social distancing, washing hands, taking appropriate quarantine time if displaying symptoms) don’t stray from doing some daily exercise to help protect yourself even more.