If you want to keep yourself safe from COVID-19 complications, dust off that workout gear.
That’s the thrust of a new study that found that people who exercise even intermittently can “vastly” cut their risk of hospitalization or death from the virus.
Researchers from Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center in California tapped into data gathered from 48,440 adults who tested positive for COVID-19 between Jan. 1 and Oct. 21, 2020. Those patients had previously taken part in logging their exercise habits between March 2018 and March 2020.
The researchers found that those who ranked as “consistently inactive” had the highest risk of COVID-19 complications. Regardless of their ages, those couch potatoes had risk levels similar to people in their 60s, or those who had a history of organ transplant, the data showed. They also had a nearly two-times higher risk of being placed in an hospital ICU if they contracted the virus, and a risk of death from the disease nearly two-and-a-half-times higher than those who exercised and got infected.
In a media release, study co-author Robert E. Sallis called the findings “a wake-up call for the importance of healthy lifestyles and especially physical activity.”
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