You’d think that exercise would be more regularly recommended in 2021 to prevent complications from Covid-19. After all, many comorbidities are reduced or eliminated by regular exercise. The lack of recommendations from the powers that be are probably due to a lack of understanding. Can working out really protect you from serious Covid complications?
A researcher from UVA, Zhen Yan, believes it does. He points to an antioxidant that your muscles produce when you do endurance workouts called extracellular superoxide dismutase (EcSOD).
You’ve probably heard of antioxidants from food and drink advertising. Something along the lines of “this drink contains immune-boosting antioxidants!” When you workout, many free radicals (extremely reactive molecules) are produced in the body, which could wreak havoc if they’re not taken care of.
Antioxidants neutralize free radicals and protect your body. Thankfully, you don’t need to get them from food or drinks, your body produces more than enough as you exercise.
EcSOD is particularly interesting because it seems to reduce the severity of ARDS (acute respiratory distress syndrome) which is the cause of death for some Covid-19 patients. It can also help if your lungs or kidneys fail.
Dr. Yan believes that exercise can boost this antioxidant, which helps your body fight complications associated with Covid. He notes that even one workout significantly boosts the quantity of EcSOD in your body. Those who exercise regularly will gain an added layer of protection.
It’s also important to note that the research refers to endurance exercise, so make sure you balance weight training with cardio.