Researchers at the University of Virginia found that exercise can reduce your risk of potentially deadly acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) that can affect COVID-19 patients. They published their study saying that exercise can be a powerful tool in preventing this form of lung damage that diminishes the organ’s ability to provide the body with adequate oxygen. ARDS allows fluid to leak into the lungs and makes breathing difficult, according to the American Lung Association.
Patients with ARDS often cannot breathe on their own and may require ventilator support to help circulate oxygen in the body, says Johns Hopkins Medicine. It affects 3%-17% of patients with COVID-19.
According to Eat This, Not That!, lead researcher Zhen Yan, Ph.D., said that aerobic exercise can prevent ARDS by increasing the amount of antioxidants in our bodies that protect tissues and prevent disease. Cardiovascular exercise including running, walking, swimming, or biking also trains the lungs to be healthier, says Baruch Vainshelboim, Ph.D., an expert in cardiorespiratory fitness.
Yan says, ''regular exercise has far more health benefits than we know. The protection against this severe respiratory condition is just one of the many examples.''
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