Regular Exercise Improves Immune Response to Viral Infections

regular exercise improves immune response
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    A new preprint article is suggesting that transmission of the novel SARS-CoV2/COVID-19 occurs mostly through close contact and not via open-air. [1]

    This paper is important because it reinforces the safety of going outside, getting some vitamin D, throwing “air high fives” as long as they're 3-6 feet away from anyone else.

    Thankfully this paper is going against the current narrative created by another study that was suggesting people avoid running or cycling behind others.

    Transmission of Covid-19 virus in the Diamond Princess Cruise Ship

    What makes this study interesting is that unlike most of the other studies out there – it consists of a closed system allowing for uncompromised data.

    In other words, all the other models we have and any other research studies coming out of hospitals or surrounding clinics contains data that is compromised in some form or fashion.

    Between January and February 2020, an outbreak of COVID-19 occurred on the Diamond Princess cruise ship. 

    This is probably the best data set to date on the transmission, contraction and case fatality rates of COVID-19.

    In this particular study, researchers analyzed the data to try and understand potential modes of transmission of the virus.

    What they discovered is that the ships central air conditioning or open air circulation did not play a role in the transmission of the virus. 

    Most transmission appears to have occurred through close contact and fomites (objects that carry infection such as clothes, utensils, furniture).

    This is important because recently, a Belgian study went viral, because their “model” simulated the ability of COVID-19 to be transmitted in air streams of people outside running or exercising.

    Talk about ri-donk-ulous science.

    In a time when people should be increasing their physical activity, we're being told to tuck-tail and hide in the shadows.

    Does Exercise Protect You From Viral Infections?

    Hellz Yes It Does!

    In 1985 it was demonstrated by a group of serious nerds that moderate exercise can decrease the severity of influenza infections and reduce lung viral load. [2]

    In 2008, another group literally asked the question, “Is Exercise Protective Against Influenza-Associated Mortality?” because little was known about the effect of physical exercise on the death rates of the flu.

    What did they find?

    When compared with those who never or seldom exercise, exercising at low to moderate frequency is beneficial with lower influenza-associated mortality. [3]

    One year later, another paper found that chronic exercise reduced the severity, viral load and increased anti-inflammatory effects compared to acute exercise during viral infections. [4]

    This should tell you that deciding to get healthy only when the shit hits the fan, is not as beneficial as someone who “lives a healthy lifestyle” regardless of said shit, hitting said fan.

    Oh… and guess what, Exercise is beneficial whether you're losing weight or not.

    A 2015 paper found that exercise improved host response to viral infections in obese and non-obese mice. [5]

    Overall, the results of this study showed that exercise “restores” the immune response of obese mice to mirror that type of response similar to non-obese mice.

    Then, in 2019 a large review was published covering dozens of scientific discoveries between 1900 – present, summarizing the compelling links between physical activity and the body's defense system. [6]

    Here's a snapshot of what they found:

    • Acute exercise (moderate-to-vigorous intensity, less than 60 min) is now viewed as an important immune system adjuvant to stimulate the ongoing exchange of distinct and highly active immune cell subtypes between the circulation and tissues. 
    • Several epidemiologic studies also suggest that regular physical activity is associated with decreased mortality and incidence rates for influenza and pneumonia.
    • Regular exercise training has an overall anti-inflammatory influence mediated through multiple pathways. 
    • There is increasing evidence that the circulation surge in cells of the innate immune system with each exercise bout and the anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect of exercise training have a summation effect over time in modulating tumorigenesis, atherosclerosis, and other disease processes.
    • Recent studies indicate that exercise and physical fitness diversifies the gut microbiota.
    • Immunosenescence is defined as immune dysregulation with aging. Emergent data support that habitual exercise is capable of improving regulation of the immune system and delaying the onset of immunosenescence.

    This Fear and Panic Bubble is Worse than the Virus Itself.

    Ever since this story broke out of Wuhan, I was never concerned about the big, bad coronavirus itself.

    What I have been concerned about, and it still concerns me… 

    Is the panic, fear and lack of pandemic resiliency we've demonstrated over the last 2 months.

    As a population we've turned bat shit crazy. Our leaders are on another playing field all together.

    The current coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has been called a once-in-a-century pandemic. 

    But it is also a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco.

     

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