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Over the past few weeks, you’ve been bombarded with contradictory, confusing, and complex facts and figures about COVID-19.

At this point, the story most often repeated in the media goes like this: 

  1. Aside from social distancing, washing your hands, and (maybe) wearing a face mask, there’s nothing you can do to avoid getting COVID-19.
  2. If you do get COVID-19, there’s nothing you can do to hasten your recovery or reduce the severity of your symptoms except wait for your body to get rid of the virus.
  3. If you’re one of the unlucky few who develops severe symptoms like respiratory failure, the best doctors can do for you is put you on a ventilator, give you some drugs to ease your discomfort, and hope for the best.

While this story is more right than wrong based on the available evidence, it paints a grim, overly simplistic picture.

Here’s how Dr. Zhen Yan, the director of the Center for Skeletal Muscle Research at the University of Virginia’s Robert M. Berne Cardiovascular Research Center, puts it: 

“All you hear now is either social distancing or ventilator, as if all we can do is either avoiding exposure or relying on a ventilator to survive if we get infected.”

Dr. Yan takes a more optimistic and, as you’ll see, evidence-based approach to the problem. 

In a review study published by Dr. Yan and his colleague Hannah Spaulding at the University of Virginia, they explain how regular exercise can prevent or at least reduce the severity of one of the deadliest symptoms of COVID-19, a condition known as acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS).

Scientists have known for quite some time that exercise improves immune function and reduces your risk of getting sick, but it’s rarely mentioned in discussions about COVID-19. 

In this episode, you’ll learn how exercise may be particularly helpful for combating the symptoms of COVID-19, how much you should exercise to get the benefits, whether or not you can exercise too much, and more.

Let’s go


12:10 – How does exercise protect you from COVID-19? 

13:20 – How does COVID-19 cause acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS)? 

15:13 – How does exercise reduce the severity of ARDS? 

20:25 – How much cardio do I need to do to boost my body’s immune system? 

21:33 – Does doing too much cardio and exercise impair my immune system? 

Mentioned on the show: 

Legion supplements

What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!

+ Scientific References