Physical Activity and Covid19 Outcomes

Those who met or exceeded the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week saw significantly better outcomes to COVID-19

While there is a lot to learn still about COVID-19, a new study to be published in British Journal of Sports Medicine by Kaiser Permanente shows individuals who constantly meet the recommended guidance of 150 minutes a week or 22 minutes a day of moderate exercise led drastically better outcomes to the COVID-19 virus. Individuals who met the target of 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise saw significantly less chances of hospitalization, ICU admission and death.

The guidelines, which are the same as the World Health Organization guidelines and used by many nations, are based on research supporting the ability of physical activity to boost immune function, reduce systemic inflammation, increase pulmonary and cardiovascular health, and improve mental health. 

“22 minutes a day of moderate exercise led to drastically better outcomes”

It then comes as no surprise that regular exercise would lessen the severity of the virus. Those who live a sedentary lifestyle also showed drastically higher occurrences of cardiovascular disease, COPD, hypertension, and diabetes.

To reach the 150-minute exercise threshold over the course of a week, you need to exercise just under 22 minutes daily. For someone who is just beginning again that might sound a bit overwhelming. But 22 minutes a day doesn’t have to mean signing up for a gym membership or buying a fancy treadmill. With the correct strategies, you can accomplish your daily exercise goal with very little disruption to your life, which is important for being able to sustain your new lifestyle. How do you reach this goal though? Let’s run through some easy ways to get started if you haven’t been exercising for some time:

  1. Take a Walk

    Taking a walk is easily the most accessible activity and it’s easy to discount its benefits. The reality, though, is that a brisk walk is one of the most underrated, health-boosting, fat-burning exercises available to humankind. It’s highly likely you are already walking during the day you just need to expand on it. Park farther away, when going to get the mail do a quick walk around the block, or take a quick walk to decompress from the day after all of your household chores are done. One of the easiest ways to get a walk in is if you know you have a phone call coming up and it doesn’t require you to be at your computer, take the call while walking!

  2. Not being Intimidated

    Most individuals still continue to think that 60 minutes a day is the minimum required and that large number keeps them from even getting started. Studies continue to show that 150 minutes a week or 22 minutes a day is all it takes to obtain significant health benefits from a large variety of diseases and viruses.

  3. Use Short Burst of Time

    The 22 minutes you need does not have to be done all at once or even every day. You can combine days or break up your exercise throughout the day. Got 10 minutes before a meeting? Take a walk around the building. Found yourself with 5 minutes? Go walk up and down the stairs a couple times. Anything to get your heart rate up and complete that total of 22 minutes. You will be shocked at how quickly 22 minutes can add up when broken into very small bit size portions!

  4. Track Your Activity

    With so many apps and devices available now to track your activity it is a no brainer to take advantage of them. Chances are the phone you are likely reading this on has a fitness app on it already. Put it to good use and start tracking your activity! Accountability goes a long way in helping us stay on track with fitness goals. A recent study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that people walk almost an extra mile per day when using an activity tracker on their phone or watch. And those study participants who had fitness trackers that provided exercise prompts did even more.

It’s all about getting moving again! Having trouble getting started? Absolute Endurance is here to help. Find out more about cycling coaching and nutrition programs today!

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