PAAC – Physical Activity Against Covid

How you can fight Covid Variants and be a Local Super Hero …

“Regular, moderate to vigorous physical activity is associated with reduced risk of community-acquired infectious diseases and infectious disease mortality, enhances the first line of defence of the immune system, and increases the potency of vaccination.”  Effects of Regular Physical Activity on the Immune System, Vaccination and Risk of Community-Acquired Infectious Disease … Published: 20 April 2021

Multiple studies have linked moderate physical activity with decreased rates of influenza, pneumonia, and other infections, as well as chronic diseases like diabetes and heart disease. Regular exercise has also been shown to improve your ability to regulate your immune system, which may help avoid severe symptoms of COVID-19. There is also evidence that regular exercise can enhance antibodies after vaccination against influenza, this may also apply to covid-19 vaccines.

Physical activity results in immune cells (i.e. neutrophils, monocytes, lymphocytes, natural killer cells and cytotoxic T-cells, B-cells) being mobilised. These cells survey the body for damage, infection and tumour cells. Furthermore, the release of cytokines from muscle produce an anti-inflammatory response after each individual exercise session.

Engaging regularly in moderate to vigorous physical activity is associated with a 31% risk reduction of community-acquired infectious disease and 37% risk reduction in infectious disease mortality. Engaging regularly in moderate to vigorous physical activity is associated with the increased strength of the mucosal immune barrier (salivary IgA immunoglobulin) and higher concentration of immune cells that prepare, orchestrate, regulate and effect immunity (CD4 T-cells). Engaging regularly in moderate to vigorous physical activity could also strengthen the effect of vaccination campaigns

Moderate exercise (eg 30mins of jogging, walking, cycling) is the order of the day. Very high intensity can potentially reduce immunity temporarily (research still unclear), and it is not recommended to exercise if you suspect you have Covid-19. Everyone has some level of fitness, there is always something that can be done.

Hopefully there will be more research into exercise immunology following the Covid-19 pandemic so that we can provide more specific exercise recommendations.

In the mean time, be a Local Super Hero, work out and encourage friends, family, colleagues to work out too! #PAAC

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