COVID-19 pandemic teaches us something, it is important to be healthy and have a strong immune response. In addition to old age, people with diseases such as diabetes and heart disease are at an increased risk of complications caused by it, and it has been found that obesity is the most important determinant after old age for whether a patient will need to be hospitalized.
Obesity is a risk factor for severe COVID-19 disease
According to researchers from the Grossman School of New York University, obese patients and COVID-19 are at greater risk than patients with cardiovascular disease or heart disease . This should come as no surprise, given that previous studies have linked obesity with reduced immune function and an increased risk of infection.
“Adipose tissue is now considered an extremely active endocrine organ that secretes cytokine-like hormones called adipokines, either pro- or anti-inflammatory factors that bind metabolism to the immune system.
Historically, leptin is one of the most important adipokines that play an important physiological role in the central control of energy metabolism and in the regulation of the interaction of metabolism and the immune system, being the cornerstone of a new area of immunometabolism.
Indeed, the leptin receptor is expressed throughout the immune system, and it has been shown that leptin regulates both innate and adaptive immune responses. ”
Exercise May Reduce Risk of Death From COVID-19
In addition to a healthy diet (ideally an organic diet) and the implementation of a time-limited meal, exercise is the main health strategy that will strengthen the immune system.
According to a recent study published on March 19, 2020 in Redox Biology, regular exercise can also help prevent acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), fatal complications, and the leading cause of death among patients with COVID-19. As reported by the University of Virginia's healthcare system:
“A review by Zhen Yang, MD, showed that medical research results strongly support the possibility that exercise can prevent or at least reduce the severity of ARDS, which develops in 3-17% of all patients with COVID- nineteen.
Based on the available information, the Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 20-42% of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 will develop ARDS. The range for patients admitted to intensive care is estimated at 67-85%.
Studies conducted before the pandemic showed that about 45% of patients with severe ARDS will die. “All you hear about now is either social distance or mechanical ventilation, as if all we can do is to avoid exposure or rely on the apparatus to survive if infected,” Jan said.
“The flip side of this story is that approximately 80% of confirmed patients with COVID-19 have mild symptoms that do not require respiratory support. The question is why. Our findings on the endogenous antioxidant enzyme provide important clues and intrigue us so much that we have developed a new therapeutic drug against ARDS caused by COVID-19. "
The endogenous antioxidant in question (which forms inside your body) is extracellular superoxide dismutase (EcSOD), which is produced and excreted from your muscles into the bloodstream. EcSOD protects tissues and prevents diseases by eliminating harmful free radicals, and exercises to increase EcSOD secretion are exercises .
Jahn’s research shows that EcSOD decreases in many diseases, including acute lung disease, coronary heart disease, and kidney failure. It has been shown that even one exercise session increases the production of this valuable antioxidant, so Ian encourages people to “ find ways to exercise even while maintaining social distance, ” writes the University of Virginia.
“We often say that exercise is a cure. EcSOD has shown an excellent example that we can draw from the biological process of exercise for the development of medicine. Although we seek to learn more about the mysteries of the superior benefits of regular exercise, we don’t have to wait until we learn everything, ” says Jan.
Exercise Helps Build Your Immune System
In related news, a review published in the Nutrients Journal on February 28, 2020 details how physical activity and diet form your immune system as you age. As summarized in the annotation:
“With age, the immune system undergoes a remodeling process called immuno-aging, which is accompanied by significant shifts in the subpopulations of leukocytes and a decrease in various functions of immune cells.
Clinically, the “aging” of the immune system is characterized by an increased susceptibility to infections, a more frequent reactivation of latent viruses, a decrease in the effectiveness of the vaccine, and an increased prevalence of autoimmunity and cancer.
Physiologically, the immune system has adaptive strategies to cope with aging ... Although lack of physical activity, decreased muscle mass and low amounts of nutrients contribute to the "aging" of the immune system and inflammation, lifestyle factors such as exercise and eating habits have a positive effect on immune aging. ”
It is important to note that the review describes in detail how physical exercises help improve the “aging” of the immune system and slow down these processes of both innate and adaptive elements . Studies have shown that they improve the function of natural killer cells (NKs) and neutrophils (white blood cells), which are part of your innate immune system.
Interventional trials have also demonstrated that exercise improves signs of innate immunity , such as reducing the number of pro-inflammatory monocytes (which indicate infection).
“In general, the results showed that an increase in normal physical activity improves your innate immune functions, indicating a lower risk of infection and inflammatory potential,” the review notes.
It has also been shown that exercise improves mitogen-induced proliferation of T cells, which is associated with improved functioning of the adaptive immune system . It is important to note that studies have confirmed that "exercise causes the death of aging T-cells that are resistant to apoptosis ... Thus ... regular physical activity can ... partially reduce the age-related decline in T-cell function."
Blood flow restriction training is ideal for most people
There are many types of exercises, but my absolute favorite is blood flow restriction (TOC) training , mainly because it is an almost perfect strategy for people over 50 or 60 years old to gain muscle mass with minimal risk of injury.
This type of training will not only add solid muscle mass, which again eliminates the endogenous antioxidant EcSOD, discussed in the first section of this article, but also significantly increase your strength and endurance, while reducing body fat. For most people who are not competing athletes, this is truly the only form of weight training they need.
One reason it is so useful is because TOC increases nitric oxide, which is currently being studied as a treatment for COVID-19 at Harvard School of Medicine, according to The New York Times. CTC also triggers a metabolic cascade that reverses to some extent many of the characteristics of aging. For instance:
Stimulates the production of endogenous "fitness" hormones, such as human growth hormone and IGF-1.
It triggers the release of hypoxia-induced factor-1 alpha (HIF-1 alpha), which in turn increases the vascular endothelial hormone growth factor (VEGF), which is one of the most powerful angiogenic signals in your body. In essence, VEGF acts as a “fertilizer” for growing new blood vessels and capillaries in muscle stem cells. It has been shown that TOC increases VEGF by 4–10% in young people and increases muscle stem cells by 380% after eight days of training.
It lowers the level of a hormone called myostatin, which is a negative regulator of muscle growth and mass. When you have high levels of myostatin, you simply cannot build muscle. This is important because older people have higher levels than young people. Since myostatin is a negative regulator of muscle growth that inhibits protein synthesis, inhibition of myostatin will help increase muscle protein synthesis and, consequently, muscle mass.
Increases the level of lactate that your brain uses as fuel. Lactate also increases brain neurotropic factor (BDNF), which promotes neuroplasticity and improves cognitive function.