Metabolic and inflammatory health in SARS-CoV-2 and the potential role for habitual exercise in reducing disease severity

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3 Citations (Scopus)


NTRODUCTION: The rapid emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 in late 2019 has infected millions of people worldwide with significant morbidity and mortality with various responses from health authorities to limit the spread of the virus. Although population-wide inoculation is preferred, currently, there is large variation and disparity in the acquisition, development, and deployment of vaccination programs in many countries. Even with availability of a vaccine, achieving herd immunity does not guarantee against reinfection from SARS-CoV-2. Emerging evidence indicates that vaccines do not eliminate infection but protect against severe disease and potential hospitalisation. Therefore, additional strategies which strengthen the immune system should be strongly considered to assist in reducing the overall health care burden and stem the rate of infection. There is now substantial evidence that SARS-CoV-2 disease severity and death are linked to existing comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, obesity, and metabolic disorders. PURPOSE: In this review, we discuss the potential medium-to-long-term strategy of habitual exercise and its relationship to targeted comorbidities and underlying inflammation as a protective mechanism against SARS-CoV-2 disease severity. CONCLUSION: We conclude that engagement in habitual physical activity and exercise could be a strategy to mitigate the development of comorbidities and improve the response of the immune system, potentially reducing the risk of symptoms and life-threatening complications if infected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27–38
Number of pages12
JournalInflammation Research
Issue number1
Early online date01 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


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