150 minutes of exercise a week, according to experts.

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EFE.- Different investigations have suggested that practicing sport on a regular basis protects against covid-19, but how much exercise is necessary? According to a study published today, 150 minutes of weekly moderate physical activity or 75 of vigorous exercise are enough.

The study, which included researchers from the Hospital Universitario de Navarra (HUN), concludes that these minutes of weekly physical activity not only reduce the risk of infection but also They also protect from the most serious forms of covid-19 (hospital admission and death).

The research, published today in the British Journal of Sports Medicineacknowledges that although the benefit of regular activity and protection against Covid has been confirmed by various studies, it is still not clear how or why this protection occurs; It is probably due to metabolic and environmental factors, the researchers say.

Some research suggests that physical activity may, in part, boost the immune system.

To find out, the authors reviewed information from three large databases with relevant studies published between November 2019 and March 2022, pooling the results of 16 reports that included data on 1,853,610 adults (54% women) with a mean age 53 years old.

Most of the studies were conducted in South Korea, England, Iran, Canada, UK, Spain, Brazil, Palestine, South Africa, and Sweden.

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Data reveals that daily exercise protects against getting seriously ill from Covid-19

Analysis of the pooled data showed that, in general, those who included regular physical activity in their weekly routine had an 11% lower risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

They also had a 36% lower risk of hospital admission, a 44% lower risk of severe illness and a 43% lower risk of death from Covid-19 than physically inactive people.

The authors found that the maximum protective effect occurred after about 500 minutes of metabolic equivalent of work (MET) per week. Playing sports beyond that time does not mean more protection, they clarify.

METs are the amount of energy (calories) expended per minute of physical activity, and 500 are equivalent to 150 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity, or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity, according to the study.

The authors caution that this conclusion was based on observational studies and assessments of physical activity levels, and data from studies on the Beta and Delta variants of SARS-CoV-2. but not from the Omicron, which could vary the results a bit.

Despite this premise, they argue that there are plausible biological explanations showing that regular exercise of moderate intensity can help enhance the body’s anti-inflammatory responses, as well as cardiorespiratory and muscular fitness, which could explain its beneficial effects on the severity of Covid-19.

“Our findings highlight the protective effects of engaging in sufficient physical activity as a public health strategy, with potential benefits in reducing the risk of severe Covid-19,” the authors conclude.

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