Exercise must for healthy immune system during lockdowns

More than one third of the world population is under lockdown, shut inside the doors. But that does not mean, people should stop exercising. Because, exercises especially during the isolation will play a major role in maintaining healthy immune system.

This was disclosed in an article in the international journal Exercise Immunology Review, involving leading physiologists Dr James Turner and Dr John Campbell from the University of Bath’s Department for Health.

The article concludes that infections are more likely to be linked to inadequate diet, psychological stress, insufficient sleep, travel and importantly, pathogen exposure at social gathering events like marathons — rather than the act of exercising itself.

“Our work has concluded that there is very limited evidence for exercise directly increasing the risk of becoming infected with viruses. In the context of coronavirus and the conditions we find ourselves in today, the most important consideration is reducing your exposure from other people who may be carrying the virus. But people should not overlook the importance of staying fit, active and healthy during this period. Provided it is carried out in isolation — away from others — then regular, daily exercise will help better maintain the way the immune system works — not suppress it,” the authors said.

Regular moderate intensity aerobic exercise, such as walking, running or cycling is recommended, with the aim of achieving 150 minutes per week. Longer, more vigorous exercise would not be harmful, but if capacity to exercise is restricted due to a health condition or disability, the message is to ‘move more’ and that ‘something is better than nothing’. Resistance exercise has clear benefits for maintaining muscles, which also helps movement.

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