As is common knowledge, there are many things you can do to deal with COVID-19. For example, the most familiar are social distancing, wearing masks, and avoiding crowded areas. However, there are other things you can do to help yourself. For example, aerobic exercises can help get your body better prepared in case you come in contact with COVID-19 virus.
How Aerobics Helps
Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome
First, what is known as Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome or ARDS affects 3 to 17 percent of all patients with COVID-19. Which means that, at a minimum, 83 percent of those with COVID-19 did not develop ARDS. So, the question became what factors helped the 83 percenters.
To answer this question, a study from the University of Virginia School of Medicine reported on the possibility that aerobics or general cardiovascular health may prevent or at least reduce the severity ARDS.
Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase
Therefore, the study entertained the possibility that the reason for this may lie with an antioxidant known as Extracellular Superoxide Dismutase (EcSOD). Namely, that the 83 percenters may have higher levels of EcSOD.
Now, the antioxidant EcSOD protects tissues and helps to prevent disease by going after the body’s free radicals. By the way, EcSOD is created by muscles. Also, muscles secrete the EcSOD into circulation. Consequently, circulation carries the EcSOD so that it can bind with vital organs.
Meanwhile, several diseases like acute lung disease, ischemic heart disease, and kidney failure cause a decrease in the antioxidant EcSOD. Also, this decrease in EcSOD is associated with chronic conditions like osteoarthritis. Furthermore, a decrease in EcSOD worsens heart problems.
Most of all, production of EcSOD increases during cardiovascular exercises like aerobics. In fact, research suggest that even a single cardio session increases production of EcSOD. So, cardio workouts result in high EcSOD, which, in turn, gives you a good chance to be among the 83 percenters who are not affected by ARDS.
However, for all the benefits of cardio workouts, it is important to follow Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines. In fact, these guidelines recommend 150 minutes each week of moderate-intensity aerobics or 75 minutes each week of vigorous-intensity aerobics.
Now, you can exceed these guidelines. However, you can always go too far and far exceed these guidelines. Regrettably, doing too much cardio workouts has negative consequences on your body. And the major one being that overdoing these workouts puts a lot of stress on your body.
However, stress is the last thing you need to be in if you do get infected with COVID-19 virus. In fact, stress weakens your immune system. As a result, you become susceptible to viruses such as those that cause COVID-19. Therefore, it is important to be able to quickly recognize that you are in stress and take steps to reduce your stress.
How Stress Weakens Your Immune System
Now, when you are in stress, the brain’s hypothalamus tells the two adrenal glands on top of each kidney, to generate the hormone cortisol.
Meanwhile, the immune system’s fighters include two types of white blood cells – lymphocytes and phagocytes. So, when you are stressed, the stress hormone corticosteroid suppresses the effectiveness of the immune system by lowering the number of lymphocyte fighters. Incidentally, B cells which are one type of lymphocytes produce antibodies that are released into the fluid surrounding the body’s cells to destroy invading viruses and bacteria. So, when you are stressed, there are not enough B cells to help destroy the invading viruses or bacteria.
Signs of Stress
So, how can you tell you are in stress?
- First, you may find it difficult to concentrate.
- Second, you may overreact to petty annoyances.
- Third, your mouth may feel dry.
- Or, there may be an increased tendency to forget things.
- Also, you may feel a rapid heartbeat or even chest pain.
- In addition, there may be a feeling of lethargy.
- Furthermore, you may get a headache.
- Next, your muscles may feel tense or your body hurts.
- Moreover, you may have a hard time sleeping, staying asleep, or keep waking up throughout the night.
- Finally, without realizing it, you may be grinding your teeth.
So, in these days of social distancing, to be prepared for COVID-19 virus, it is also important to get your aerobic workouts. Moreover, do not let house cleaning chores get in the way of getting your aerobic workout. Finally, without overdoing it, here are some possibilities:
- Brisk walks
- May be easy jogs
- Going on hikes
- Using workout gear you may have at home
- Working on your lawn
- Or anything else that gets your heart beating faster for extended periods of time.