Why you need to keep training during the Coronavirus scare!
See what the research says.
COVID-19 comes from the coronavirus family, which includes the common cold. COVID-19 appears to be an animal coronavirus, unseen before in humans, that first appeared in Wuhan City, China, and is spreading globally through human-to-human transmission. (1) It is important during this season of increased risk of contracting a previously foreign virus that we take extra steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise regimen. Contemporary evidence from epidemiological studies shows that leading a physically active lifestyle reduces the incidence of communicable (e.g., bacterial and viral infections) and non-communicable diseases (e.g., cancer), implying that immune competency is enhanced by regular exercise bouts. (2) With that said, workouts of super high intensity and/or extreme in duration can function to temporarily disable some of your body’s immune response so moderation is key. A 30-60 minute workout of moderate intensity 3-5 days per week can be a great aid to preventing contraction of COVID-19.
Other good news — sweat cannot transmit the virus! There’s a lower risk of picking up the virus at a gym than at a church service (2). Here are some helpful personal guidelines to abide by:
- Wash hands frequently. Wash hands thoroughly and often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or with a 60% alcohol-based rub, to kill any viruses on your hands. Hand dryers alone are not effective at killing COVID-19. For effective hand-washing practices, check out this page.
- Avoid touching your face. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands, as any virus on hands from a touched surface can enter the body through the eyes, nose or mouth, according to current information.
- Maintain social distance. Keep a distance of at least 3 feet between you and apparently healthy persons and stay 6 feet away if a person is coughing or sneezing (WHO 2020).
- Limit contact. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. If you’re sick with respiratory symptoms like a fever, runny nose and/or cough, stay home. Seek medical advice if your condition worsens with a high fever and/or difficulty breathing.
- Cough into an elbow or a tissue. Cover coughs with a tissue or cough into an elbow. Dispose of tissues immediately in a covered bin and wash hands with warm, soapy water. Wash clothing into which you cough. It is unknown how long the virus can live on hard and soft surfaces. According to the WHO, coronaviruses may survive on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. The best way to ensure that surfaces you touch are germ-free is to clean them with a disinfectant. (2)
Data supports a clear inverse relationship between moderate exercise training and illness risk. (3) Consistent intelligent training involving resistance training and short high-intensity intervals can go a long way toward preventing illness, this COVID-19 scare is no different. Let’s work together to prevent unnecessary sickness and stay fit and healthy!