Not only does exercise help keep you in shape, but it can also enhance your mental health and even your quality of sleep. It’s easy to see the positive effects of exercise on our bodies and mental health, but what many people don’t know is how beneficial exercise is for your immune system and internal health as well. While you’re able to see the physical changes of exercise on your body, the internal effects are felt. For instance, when you started exercising you probably noticed your tummy get a bit tighter and pounds begin to fall, but you may have also noticed feeling better overall, too. This is because exercise has positive effects on your entire body, from the inside out.
With COVID-19 still present, it’s more important now than ever to develop a healthy lifestyle. A good way to start is with a workout routine that works for you. Learn more below about the importance of the gym and the positive effects of exercising during COVID-19!
How Does Exercising Prevent Severe COVID-19 Complications?
Recent medical statements have suggested that regular exercise may reduce the risk of acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) in COVID patients (UVAHealth Newsroom). ARDS, which causes fluid to collect in the lungs, leads to severe shortness of breath that can only be aided by a ventilator. Because of this, ARDS is considered to be the number one cause of death in coronavirus patients.
Fortunately, top exercise researcher Zhen Yan, PhD, has found that exercise leads to the production and release of a highly powerful antioxidant enzyme called “extracellular superoxide dismutase” (EcSOD). The antioxidant works to fight harmful free radicals in the body and helps prevent tissue damage caused by disease. EcSOD is naturally made by our muscles which are fueled by cardiovascular exercise and circulated through our internal systems and organs.
The benefits of increased EcSOD levels in the body have been studied by medical experts like Zhen Yan for some time now. One study done by Yan shows that there is a link between low EcSOD levels and conditions such as acute lung disease and ischemic heart disease. Increased levels were also proven to improve lung, heart, and kidney function according to Yan’s findings.
Protects Against Disease
According to an article by Springer Link, physical exercise can also increase the production of cytokines which “are classified as anti-inflammatory and pro-inflammatory according to their functions”. Cytokines are an extremely important part of your immune system as they allow cells to properly communicate with one another in order to regulate your body’s functions. This gives your body the ability to fight off infection and protect against disease.
In the same study, pro-inflammatory cytokines were seen as the first line of defense against viral infections. They act as immunomodulators influencing the performance of specific cells within the immune system. This evidence shows that working out during COVID-19 could be a key way to staying healthy or at least reduce the extremity of potential infections.
Limits Severe Symptoms
Other studies done to determine the effects of exercise on COVID-19 patients tested the correlation between inactivity and hospitalizations. The results proved that inactive patients were more likely to be hospitalized due to complications caused by the virus. Their findings led to a recommendation of meeting physical activity guidelines in order to reduce the severity of symptoms associated with COVID-19.
Researchers have also discovered that regular exercise can strengthen the respiratory system – more specifically, the lungs. Your diaphragm, which is made of muscles, allows you to inhale and exhale air. Exercising these muscles will make them stronger, ultimately improving your breathing cycle. It’s safe to say that exercise helps the respiratory system function more effectively, even during illness. By strengthening your respiratory muscles, your risk of illness is considerably reduced and your ability to recover is enhanced.
Best Gyms in Reno During Covid-19
Your health during this time is crucial and while social distancing and wearing masks are sure to limit the spread of COVID-19, exercise can ensure you stay as healthy as possible right now. An increase in the production of EcSOD can be seen after just one session of exercise.
The great thing about exercise is you can do it from almost anywhere, including your home. If you’re ready to work out in a gym with equipment, weights, mats, and more, then stop by Flex Appeal. Our South Reno fitness center has reopened with firm guidelines and protocols designed to keep guests safe during their workout.