The challenges that COVID-19 has brought to the world on a global scale are immense. The virus and subsequent illness are serious threats to individuals’ health and wellness, prompting the aggressive countermeasures governments and healthcare professionals have taken.
From lockdowns to record-pace vaccine development, the steps taken in an attempt to blunt the impact of COVID-19 have been nothing short of astounding. Still, many people have been seeking ways in which they can be proactive on a personal level aside from embracing an enhanced level of hygiene and disinfecting.
A piece of that personal proactive puzzle may be here, as recent studies have shown that physical activity can dramatically reduce the risk of complications caused by COVID-19.
A study recently evaluated the hospitalization admissions, intensive care unit rates, and mortality for 48,440 COVID-19 patients. What it found was that inactive patients had substantially higher rates of all three outcomes—hospitalization, ICU admission, and death—than patients who were moderately or consistently active.
In other words, physical activity is a simple, effective COVID-19 risk mitigation that you can take personal responsibility for in your daily life. The opposite is also true—by remaining inactive, you put yourself at a higher risk of COVID-19 complications.
The research goes even further than simply identifying physical activity as a risk factor mitigator. In fact, it identifies inactivity as the third strongest risk factor for severe outcomes related to COVID-19, ranking only behind old age and a previous organ transplant.
Regardless of your current physical state, beginning a regimen of proper exercise can significantly improve your overall health and your ability to avoid severe complications from COVID-19. It is important to keep in mind, however, that your exercise routine should be scaled to fit your current abilities.
To get started, consider talking to your doctor about your concerns and your desire to mitigate your COVID-19 risk through exercise. They can work with you to formulate a suitable approach to physical activity that is safe and effective. As you improve, that regimen can be scaled up to fit your new level of fitness.
Given the restricted access to fitness facilities—including gyms and outdoor parks—in certain areas, you may have to adapt your exercise to the resources currently available to you. Be sure to bring this up when conversing with your doctor so that they can help tailor your exercise to the facilities you have access to.