Study: Regular exercise shielded COVID-19 patients from hospitalization, death

Study: Regular exercise shielded COVID-19 patients from hospitalization, death. By Paul Sisson.

Kaiser members who reported that they were regularly engaging in at least 150 minutes of moderate-to-strenuous exercise per week — essentially a brisk walk or better — when they were diagnosed with COVID-19 had significantly lower odds of hospitalization, intensive care unit admission and death than those who estimated their weekly efforts at 10 minutes or less.

Researchers found that the risk of hospitalization for those with low activity levels was more than twice as high as for those who got moving for at least 2.5 hours every week. Low activity levels also correlated with death rates that were about 2.5 times higher than they were for those with high activity levels.

Consistent physical inactivity was found to be a more severe risk factor than pre-existing heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and high blood pressure among the group of patients studied. Only having had a previous organ transplant or pregnancy at the time of infection correlated with greater odds of COVID-related hospital admission. …

Exercise works, but is ignored:

“Physical activity is one of the most powerful producers of health that exists, and yet it’s basically ignored in most medical care,” [Dr. James Sallis] said.

For years the empirical evidence has been growing stronger in cancer, for example. Cancer patients with seven main types of disease have been shown to have measurably-better outcomes if they keep exercising during their course of illness. …

There is plenty of research that shows that compounds critical to immune system function, and to inflammation reduction, are produced by the body’s muscles. …

Lockdowns prevented exercise:

He said that though he and his colleagues urged that a call for maintaining as much exercise as possible be a major part of the pandemic message alongside pleas for hand washing and mask wearing, that urging generally fell upon deaf ears. …

“We feel like our concerns about physical activity were not being prioritized during the pandemic, when the message was generally to stay home,” Sallis said.