Various investigations have suggested that practicing sports regularly protects against COVID-19, but how much exercise is necessary? According to a study published today, 150 minutes of weekly moderate physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise is sufficient.
The study, which involved researchers from the University Hospital of Navarra (HUN), concluded that these minutes of weekly physical activity reduce the risk of not only infection but the most severe forms of Covid-19 (hospitalization and death). also save from ,
Research published today in the British Journal of Sports Medicine acknowledges that although various studies have confirmed the benefits of regular activity and protection against COVID, it is still unclear how or why this protection occurs; This is probably due to metabolic and environmental factors, the researchers say.
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Some research suggests that physical activity may, in part, boost the immune system.
To find this out, the authors reviewed information from three large databases with relevant studies published between November 2019 and March 2022 that included results from 16 reports involving 1,853,610 adults (with a mean age of 53 years). 54% of women) were included.
Most of the studies were conducted in South Korea, England, Iran, Canada, UK, Spain, Brazil, Palestine, South Africa and Sweden.
An analysis of the data collected showed that, overall, those who incorporated regular physical activity into their weekly routine had an 11% lower risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Is.
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They had a 36% lower risk of hospitalization, a 44% lower risk of serious illness and a 43% lower risk of death from COVID-19 than those who were physically inactive.
The authors found that the maximum protective effect occurred after approximately 500 minutes of metabolic equivalent work (MET) per week. They make it clear that playing the game longer than that does not provide more protection.
According to the study, MET is the amount of energy (calories) expended per minute of physical activity, and 500 is equivalent to 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity.
The authors caution that this conclusion was based on observational studies and assessments of physical activity levels, and not on Omicron, on data from studies on beta and delta variants of SARS-CoV-2, which may differ somewhat. .
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Despite this premise, they defend that there are plausible biological explanations showing that regular moderate-intensity exercise can help increase the body’s anti-inflammatory responses, as well as cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, which are linked to the risk of covid-19. may explain its beneficial effects on severity. -19.
“Our findings highlight the protective effects of adequate physical activity as a public health strategy, with potential benefits in reducing the risk of severe COVID-19,” conclude the authors. (I)