Physical activity is one of the most effective ways to prevent chronic disease.
A recently published systemic review (which is a summary of all currently available studies on the topic) showed that meeting the recommended exercise guidelines reduced the risk of falling ill and dying of infectious diseases by 37%.
They also found reliable evidence that exercise strengthens the human immune system, by elevating levels of the antibody IgA (the antibody which coats the mucosal membranes of our airways and gut where viruses and bacteria van enter) and also by increasing CD4 + T cells (responsible for regulating the immune response to an attack).
Finally, in the studies analysed, vaccines appear to be up to 50% more effective, leading to higher antibody counts after the vaccine, in patients who exercise regularly.
This study should really serve to motivate all of us to keep moving and active in the face of the current Covid pandemic and vaccination programmes!
LET’S GET MOVING! Just 30 minutes of exercise, five time a week, has so many benefits.
Reference: Sebastian Chastin et al. Effects of regular physical activity on the immune system, vaccination and risk of community-acquired infectious disease in the general population; systemic review and meta-analysis. Sports Medicine 2021 , published 20 April 2021