Lack of exercise is the single biggest risk factor for severe Covid-19 other than age and a history of organ transplants
The science is clear: exercise is one of the single most important things we can do to protect against severe Covid-19, and yet lockdown policies strongly discourage or even prevent exercise
What would you say if there was a drug that resulted in 1/3 as many hospitalizations and 1/6 the number of deaths from Covid-19? What would you say if that drug were free? What would you say if that drug isn’t a drug at all but is simply physical activity?
Well, this peer-reviewed study of almost 50,000 people in California during the pandemic found a massive difference in hospitalization and death between a cohort that was inactive vs. cohorts that engaged in regular exercise or met the suggested physical activity guidelines.
Here’s the main conclusion from the study (forgive the funny British spelling): “Being consistently inactive increased the odds of hospitalisation 2.26-fold (95% CI 1.18 to 2.83) compared with consistently meeting PA [physical activity] guidelines (figure 2).”
And: “Physical inactivity was the strongest risk factor across all outcomes, compared with the commonly cited modifiable risk factors, including smoking, obesity, diabetes, hypertension, cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
And: “This message is especially important given the increased barriers to achieving regular [physical activity] during lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions. The results of the present study suggest a clear and actionable guideline for reducing the risk of severe COVID-19 outcomes.”
What would you say if science had already established that physical activity is the single best way to extend healthspan and lifespan more generally?
What if numerous studies also showed that it dramatically reduces depression, insomnia, and other mental illnesses?
Shouldn’t it be kind of a no-brainer that the top of the list for public health recommendations during this pandemic should be to get outside and exercise daily?
So why aren’t we hearing this? Oh, right, no one makes money off people walking or running or biking or hiking outside.