Cure for the Common COVID
Cure for the Common COVID?
Catchy headline, isn’t it? Well, in this post, I’m going to walk you through a THEORY I have that may actually be something to consider when it comes to COVID and running — and I want to hear back from you to see if this theory holds true in your part of the country!
My theory is this: Exercise Significantly Reduces the Impact of COVID. Please read on while I qualify that statement and see if you don’t see the potential of there being some truth in this.
To begin with (and to my knowledge), no professional athlete in any sport (which requires significant exertion) has died from COVID, I believe ONE college athlete has died, and to my knowledge, no or extremely few high school (or younger) athletes (even non-athletes) have died of COVID. In fact, athletes seem to typically be asymptomatic, though not always.
Now, I look around at my running partners and acquaintances, I’ve talked to other runners (including Marathon Mission founder Lisa Harper) and interestingly enough, we don’t know any runner that has a significant COVID experience (as in hospitalization) – actually, I don’t know any runner who has had COVID . . . well, they may have had it, but they were asymptomatic, so we didn’t know.
I also got to thinking about other people I know who work out — people who break a sweat, raise their heart rates, tax their bodies at least three times a week for 30-40 or more minutes each time out. Here too, no friends/people I know who workout relatively strenuously have been hospitalized due to COVID.
And you know what exercise does for a person, right? It helps keep the body “young” and healthy, especially when compared to those who don’t exercise. It’s not uncommon for those who exercise to have “body ages” that are significantly younger than their chronological age.
Okay, let’s look at those that COVID seems to really target: People in nursing homes, people who have significant underlying health issues, and individuals who are obese. Think about this: many, if not most, of the people who fit into one or more of these categories would not be capable of serious sweat-inducing extended exercise.
So is there something to exercise that weakens the impact of COVID? Is it the sweating, the endorphins, the flushing of the lungs, raised body temperature, the immunity boost exercise can provide, or even a combination of these things? I don’t know, but it is an interesting phenomenon.
A friend of mine challenged me on this, referring to the younger, healthy-looking doctors and nurses that succumbed to COVID in New York during the height of the pandemic there. At first, it seemed like maybe it was an exception to my theory. BUT THEN I recalled that those doctors and nurses were working shorthanded for weeks at a time (three consecutive days of 12-hour shifts are NORMAL — they were working far more than that) . . . not only were they likely not exercising during that time, they were physically depleting/weakening themselves, working in a highly stressful environment, AND working in conditions with a high concentration of the virus (the hospital) – all very big negatives. And if any of them smoked or vaped, that’s another big negative.
I’m not saying that there will never be anyone who regularly exercises (as mentioned earlier) in the hospital or possibly even dying due to COVID. Athletes and exercisers are NOT immune. However, there does seem to be a conspicuous absence of those who exercise (at least it SEEMS to be a very, very low percentage) in the hospitalization/death categories. So, perhaps this MAY just be another reason to keep exercise as an important and regular part of your week.
So, what is YOUR experience? Do you know of people who fit into the regular exercise category as described earlier who have ended up hospitalized or passing away? Or do you too, now that you think of it, notice that your friends who regularly exercise (I’m not talking taking leisurely strolls here) seem to not be among those who end up hospitalized?
Well, let me know OR at least take notice concerning those you know. Could exercise help reduce the impact of COVID? There does seem to be at least some good reasons to think it just might!
Have an awesome run today!