As 2021 begins, a study conducted by Kaiser Permanente has found that exercise can be an important factor in preventing severe cases of COVID-19. The study, which included 194,191 adult patients who tested positive for the virus, revealed that those who exercised for less than 10 minutes a week before contracting the virus were 91% more likely to be hospitalized and 291% more likely to die from the disease than those who exercised regularly. The best outcomes were seen among those who met the national guidelines of more than 150 minutes a week of brisk walking.
It is important to note, however, that even highly conditioned athletes can become very ill with COVID and can suffer lasting symptoms. People who have had COVID-19 should ease back into exercise, and consult with a healthcare professional if they experience any symptoms. Vaccinations and regular exercise are two key components to reducing the risk of disease and severe cases of COVID-19.