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Exercise is the Most Important Medicine for COVID-19

Georgia Torres, PhD; Demitri Constantinou, MBChB, FACSM; Philippe Gradidge, PhD; Deepak Patel, MD; and Jon Patricios, MBBCh, MMedSci

AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE: EXERCISE IS MEDICINE, VOLUME 22, NUMBER 8, AUGUST 2023

Abstract
COVID-19 infection and long COVID affect multiple organ systems, including the respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, digestive, neuroendocrine, musculoskeletal systems, and sensory organs. Exerkines, released during exercise, have a potent crosstalk effect between multiple body systems. This reviewdescribes the evidence of howexerkines canmitigate the effects of COVID-19 in each organ system that the virus affects. The evidence presented in the review suggests that exercise should be considered a first-line strategy in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection and long COVID disease.

With only 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise, reduction of risk is significant.

“The evidence presented in this review adds to the viewpoint, that it is time to include “treatment for and reduced risk of COVID-19 and long COVID” to the “Exercise is Medicine list of physical activity-related health benefits.” The potent, multi-organ effects of exerkines position exercise as the most important medicine for COVID-19 and long COVID.” Torres, et al. 2023

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