Exercise and The COVID Pandemic

Exercise and The COVID Pandemic

The human immune system is a highly intricate network of cells and molecules designed to keep the host free from infection and disease. Exercise is known to have a profound impact on the function of the immune system. 

Moreover, there is ample, clear evidence that exercise reduces depressive symptoms in everyone, including number and severity of episodes, as well as acute and chronic symptoms of anxiety. 

The Virus in Your Lungs

When the immune system detects the virus invader in your lungs, it attacks. The conflict between the virus and immune cells creates inflammation. That inflammation causes damage to lung tissue that interferes with breathing and can become severe enough to require medical interventions, such as mechanical ventilators.

When you exercise, your muscles produce compounds that reduce inflammation and improve the function of the immune system. Physical activity greatly enhances the biological processes that react to infections and although studies of the effects of exercise have not yet been conducted with COVID-19 patients, the effects of exercise on immunity, inflammation and viral respiratory infections are well documented.

Before COVID There Was (and still is) Obesity

Public Health England found that among people with a Body Mass Index (BMI) 35 to 40, the risk of death from COVID increases by 40%. Public Health England also found that with a BMI greater than 40, the risk increases to 90%.

While speaking on the subject of obesity and COVID mortality rates, commentator Bill Maher recently explained, “… the shame is on everyone in media and in government who is too cowardly to emphasize how important an issue this is… obesity was already killing us slowly, but you mix it with COVID and it kills you fast”.

Regarding the onset of the virus and the initial nationwide quarantine orders, Maher explains that aside from washing hands and wearing a mask, “A national campaign to get in shape would have dramatically improved our chances against this disease”.

Your Best Shape is Your Fighting Shape

Each bout of exercise, particularly high intensity, whole-body dynamic cardiorespiratory exercise, instantaneously mobilizes billions of immune cells - the same cell that are capable of carrying out functions such as the recognition and killing of viruses.  Immune cells that have been consistently primed through exercise stand guard, and are ready to fight.

Exercise May Protect You Against Coronavirus

It's now common knowledge that to protect yourself from the novel coronavirus, you should stay home when possible, keep at least six feet between you and non-family members when you must go out, wash your hands often, and frequently disinfect high-touch surfaces.

But researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine are proposing that another key behavior be added to this list: exercise. And they are not alone.

Is All Exercise Created Equal?

No, not all exercise is created equal.  Exercise, depending on type, direction and instruction, produces very specific effects and changes in the body's physiology and mental state.

- Aerobic exercise improves the body’s circulatory and respiratory systems, the ability to pump blood and oxygen.

- Anaerobic exercise (high intensity exercise) deprives muscles of oxygen and burns energy at a heightened rate.

- Muscular exercise builds muscle and strength.

- Power Endurance exercise helps builds strength for prolonged time periods.

The good news is, you don’t have to pick one over another. You can attain your fighting shape with a total body workout, like a Krav Maga workout, a favorite among elite military units and Hollywood stars alike. The added benefit? A valuable skill set and a sense of self-reliance, accomplishment and worth.

About Your Workout

Regardless of the workout you choose, focus on the type of exercises you're doing, the order of the exercises within your workout routine, the duration of each exercise, and the specific goal you're trying to accomplish.

It’s quite easy to understand that training with professionals will minimize the wrong exercise, with poor form and inconsistently.

Moreover, you should be less concerned with what you’re doing and more concerned about how much effort is required for you to do it.

Low intensity, short duration workouts do not produce the same results and higher intensity, longer duration workouts. But how do we measure our workout, how do we regulate it, and how do we motivate ourselves to push harder?

If you participate in group workouts in an established setting with a qualified trainer, all you have to do is show up. You don’t need to think, you don’t need to measure anything, and the group’s comradery will motivate you.

For more information and developing stories, follow Somers based Krav Maga New York at www.Facebook.com/KravMagaNY

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