Gyms and sports clubs may be closed as a result of the coronavirus lockdown restrictions right now. But staying in shape is as important as ever. In fact researchers from Bath University say being in isolation shouldn’t mean you should stop exercising. Why? Because exercise helps keep your immune system healthy.
Published in the journal Exercise Immunology Review, their report quashes the idea held by some experts that exercise – particularly strenuous exercise – is bad for immunity. Instead, the researchers say exercise is essential for immune function.
Physiologists Dr James Turner and Dr John Campbell – the report’s authors – say exercise benefits the immune system in two ways. In the short term it helps the immune system find and deal with organisms that cause illness. And in the long term it slows down age-related changes in the immune system, which also reduces the risk of infections.
“People should not fear that their immune system will be suppressed by exercise placing them at increased risk of coronavirus,” says Dr Campbell.
“Provided exercise is carried out according to latest government guidance on social distancing, regular exercise will have a tremendously positive effect on our health and wellbeing, both today and for the future.”
Besides staying active, Dr Turner and Dr Campbell say it’s also important to get plenty of sleep and eat as healthily as possible. That way, you’ll give your body the best chance of fighting off infections.