Despite the current need to quarantine to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, researchers from the University of Bath say that consumers should be finding a way to exercise regularly so that they can boost their immune system and stay healthy.
“Our work has concluded that there is very limited evidence for exercise directly increasing the risk of becoming infected with viruses,” said researcher Dr. James Turner. “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 researchers’ work sought to disprove the “open window” theory, which posits that consumers are at a higher risk of getting sick in the period following physical activity.
Dr. Turner and fellow researcher Dr. John Campbell concluded that there isn’t enough evidence to support that claim. In fact, they say exercising can actually help consumers fight off infections and stay healthier in the long-term.
During these times of self-isolation, it’s important that consumers stay active so they can help keep their immune systems functioning optimally. The researchers recommend that consumers be mindful of precautionary measures, such as remaining at least six feet away from others while exercising and washing hands after working out, as doing so can reduce the risk of getting sick.
Additionally, it’s important that consumers listen to their bodies and do exercises that feel comfortable and right for them. There’s no need to overdo it, but incorporating more movement into the daily routine can be good for the immune system.
“People should not fear that their immune system will be suppressed by exercise placing them at an increased risk of coronavirus,” said Dr. Campbell. “Provided exercise is carried out according to the latest government guidance on social distancing, regular exercise will have a tremendously positive effect on our health and well-being, both today and for the future.”