Scientists have collected and analyzed all available studies from the seven largest databases on the effect of physical activity on the effectiveness of vaccinations and the likelihood of getting sick and dying from infectious diseases, including pneumonia, the most common cause of death in COVID-19. Since the study was conducted in the early months of the pandemic, it was not possible to include data on the coronavirus.
“In six studies involving more than half a million participants, we found consistent and compelling evidence that following recommendations for physical activity – 30 minutes, five days a week – reduced the risk of illness and death from infectious diseases by 37%,” the scientists wrote. They noted that these findings complement the results of a recent American study, which also confirms a direct link between physical activity and a decrease in the likelihood of contracting SARS-Cov-2.
Scientists have also found strong evidence that regular physical activity strengthens a person’s immune system. In 35 independent randomized trials, regular physical activity led to increased levels of IgA antibodies. These antibodies coat the lining of the lungs and other organs that are vulnerable to viruses and bacteria. Regular physical activity also increases the number of T cells, which “alert” the immune system to invading pathogens and regulate its response.
“Finally, in the studies we studied, vaccines were more effective when given after a physical activity program. A person who exercises is 50% more likely to have higher antibodies after vaccination compared to less active people, ”the study authors emphasized.
Scientists recalled that active people have a lower risk of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease – as you know, these are serious complication factors in COVID-19 and other infectious diseases. In addition, exercise relieves stress and chronic inflammation, while most pneumonia deaths are associated with an uncontrolled inflammatory response.