Corona: Does sport protect against a severe course?

Sport and physical activity can have a positive effect on the body and mind. Lack of exercise often favors the most important risk factors of COVID-19. In addition to obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases also increase the risk of a severe course of a corona infection.

In the United States, health plan members who reported a lack of exercise during regular doctor visits were more likely to have severe coronavirus infections than those who were more physically active. A British study also suggests that the risk of death could be significantly higher with less physical activity.

Sport strengthens the immune system and reduces risk factors

Regular exercise and sport have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system and the immune system. In addition, risk factors can be minimized through exercise. How exercise affects the body:

  • Sport has a positive influence on the immune system:  Regular physical activity has an anti-inflammatory effect and can reduce respiratory diseases. During exercise, the body releases the stress hormone  adrenaline  , which in turn increases the number of immune cells in the blood.
  • Sport reduces the risk of stroke and  heart attack :  Exercise and sport have a positive effect on the cardiovascular system. The blood circulation and the heart muscle are strengthened by moderate endurance training and daily exercise.
  • Strength training supports diabetes prevention:  Sporting activity stimulates an insulin-dependent mechanism in the body, through which the body’s cells can better absorb glucose from the blood. This reduces blood sugar levels and increases insulin sensitivity.
  • Sport has a positive effect on the psyche:  In addition to adrenaline, the body also releases the “happy hormones”  dopamineserotonin  and noradrenaline during sport. The reward system is activated: mood is lifted and stress is reduced. According to studies, endurance training is particularly effective in this regard.

If you don’t exercise regularly and want to start exercising, you should start with short and appropriate sessions. These sports are particularly suitable for this:

Older people or people with previous illnesses should have a brief consultation with their family doctor before the start of the training sessions. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends adults (18 to 64 years) 75 minutes of vigorous (jogging, brisk cycling) or 150 minutes of moderate exercise (brisk walking, short bike rides) per week.

Since sport per se has a positive effect on the organism and also has a positive influence on some specific risk factors of COVID-19, sport can certainly protect against a severe corona infection.


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