The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently released updated information about people who are at increased risk of becoming very sick from COVID-19 due to having one or more health conditions. Included on that list of health conditions—alongside things like cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), type 1 and type 2 diabetes and heart disease—is physical inactivity.
According to the CDC, “People who do little or no physical activity, or exercise, are more likely to get very sick from COVID-19 than those who are physically active.”
Physical inactivity often contributes to weight gain and increased fat mass, which can lead to several other conditions on the CDC’s list, including overweight, obesity and type 2 diabetes. The underlying fact is that being physically active contributes significantly to overall health and well-being.
Physical activity is important for:
- Reducing the risk of chronic conditions: These include type 2 diabetes, heart disease and certain types of cancer.
- Improving mental health and cognitive function: In addition to improving mood and reducing feelings of anxiety, physical activity can reduce the risk of depression and of developing dementia.
- Sleep quality: Insufficient sleep has been linked to the development of many of the chronic diseases and conditions on the above-referenced list.
- Immune function: This is an area of emerging research, but evidence suggests physical activity may also boost immune function.
After reviewing research of COVID-19 severity, the CDC found evidence of increased risk of several COVID-19 outcomes among people who were inactive, including hospitalization, ventilation and death, so we can now add “reducing the risk of severe COVID-19” to the seemingly endless list of reasons to live an active lifestyle.
We are here to help. ACE offers a number of resources to help you be more physically active:
- ACE Fitness & Health Lifestyle Blog: This ongoing blog series covers everything you need to know to get moving. From youth exercise to active aging, from strength training to behavior change, ACE’s experts provide an evidence-based approach to living a healthy life. Recent articles have included How to Move Beyond Coping: Tools for Self-care and Improved Emotional Well-being, A Simple Yet Powerful Method to Motivate Yourself to Exercise Consistently, A Guide to At-home Workouts for Beginners and How Exercise Can Boost Mental Health in Young Adults. Search through the categories to find the blogs most relevant to you and your needs.
- ACE FIT® Exercise Library: Whether you’re a beginning exerciser who needs help getting started or someone looking to add variety or progression to your fitness routine, the Exercise Library should be your go-to resource. Browse through total-body exercises or movements that target specific areas of the body. Each exercise includes a detailed description of how to properly perform the exercise, animated gifs that illustrate proper form, a list of the body regions targeted, the equipment needed and the difficulty level.
- Find an ACE Pro: If you decide you’d like a partner on your wellness journey, use this tool to find an ACE Certified Professional in your area, and then browse through their profiles, specialties, certifications and rates to find the best match for you. Working with an ACE Certified Professional can not only help you maximize your short-term results, but it can also help you stay motivated to achieve your long-term health and fitness goals.
The past two years have taught us all the hard lessons that our health is more vital—and perhaps more fragile—than we’d previously realized. Being physically active is an essential element of an overall healthy lifestyle, which is why ACE’s mission is to “Get People Moving.” Physical activity can help reduce your risk of getting certain diseases and conditions—including COVID-19. And, if you do get them, being active can help you manage and minimize the symptoms.
ACE is here to help every step of the way!