Coronavirus: Fitness condition could affect COVID-19 history

Coronavirus: Fitness condition could affect COVID-19 history

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Exercise strengthens the immune system and could promote milder corona diseases

Even if the number of new infections with the corona virus no longer increases as quickly as a few days ago, the danger from the new pathogen is far from over. In order to protect yourself from infection, it is important to comply with hygiene rules and keep away from other people. A strong immune system is also recommended, which cannot prevent infection, but could contribute to a milder course of the disease.

The number of infections with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus continues to increase. So far, there are no drugs or a vaccine against the new pathogen. However, a strong immune system could help prevent a serious illness with the virus. Because the fitter the immune system, the more likely it is that we will stay healthy. Sport can help strengthen our defenses.

How exercise affects the immune system

Politicians are taking extensive measures to contain the disease caused by the novel corona virus. However, according to experts, the risk of infection remains for a large part of the population.

Prof. Dr. Claus Reinsberger, neurologist and head of the sports medicine institute at the University of Paderborn, explains in a current communication how sport influences the immune system and thus contributes to a possibly milder course of the disease.

The risk of infection is not reduced

"If there is an infection, it is advantageous to be in the best possible health and in terms of your own fitness," explains Reinsberger, who is researching clinical and scientific performance and health diagnostics.

The expert calls for action: “Strengthening physical performance and the immune system is essential - in times of corona more than ever. Even those who have not or only a few active people should train now if they do not suffer from symptoms of illness. "

As the doctor further explains, sport "not only maintains fitness, but also helps the body to deal with infections better by acting on the immune system".

At the same time, the specialist makes it clear: “The risk of infection as such is not reduced. The virus affects fit and less fit people alike - but the courses are probably different. "

Body can respond better to infections

According to Reinsberger, self-regulation of the immune system is of central importance: "New pathogens provoke immune reactions, which are primarily used to fight the virus," says the doctor.

“The mechanisms of self-regulation normally ensure that this reaction does not overshoot. If it does, the entire organism is overloaded, ”says the scientist.

“Studies have shown that an increase in physical performance also optimizes the processes of self-regulation. The result: the body can respond better to infections. ”

Strengthen the body's defenses sustainably

Sport helps to sustainably strengthen the body's defenses. Among other things, Reinsberger advises on endurance activities such as jogging: “A moderate intensity is particularly recommended. This is probably the best way to activate the immune system. However, I do not recommend extreme loads ”.

However, if you can't, don't want to or can't go outside, you can also find simple fitness tips for at home on the Internet.

According to Reinsberger, positive effects on the cardiovascular system and various organs such as the lungs in particular are also confirmed by medical research. In this context, the expert also refers to the positive effects of sport on the brain and psyche.

In addition, the connection between physical fitness and the course of serious illnesses in medicine has increasingly come into focus. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • University of Paderborn: Corona, Sport and the Immune System, (accessed: 04.04.2020), University of Paderborn

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