A Preventive Role of Exercise Across the Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) Pandemic

Meizi Wang, Julien Baker, Wenjing Quan, Siqin Shen, Gusztáv Fekete, Yaodong Gu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


The coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has posed a significant threat to human health around the world. A severe risk of infection has been observed in elderly populations. In addition, individuals with obesity and obesity-related comorbidities have also been identified to be at a higher risk of infection for COVID-19. We have attempted here to provide evidence in support of exercise management as a prevention strategy for improving health and minimizing the effects of COVID-19. Therefore, exercise duration, frequency, and intensity benefits are summarized in an attempt to provide guidelines for the general population. In terms of exercise effects, there are multiple benefits of exercise related to human health. These include, decreases in adipose tissue, improvements in cardio-respiratory fitness, enhanced metabolic homeostasis, and suppress inflammation active. With respect to the amount of exercise performed individuals should exercise at a moderate intensity for at least 150 min/wk as an initial target. Increases in intensity and duration of exercise training are necessary for significant fitness benefits, weight loss, and prevention of weight regain. In relation to walking, 10,000 steps/day at a rate of 64–170 steps/minute for at least 10 min duration is reasonable for healthy adults. For exercise intensity, a combination of resistance training (RT), aerobic training (AT) as well as high-intensity interval training (HIIT) incorporated with moderate-intensity continuous training (MICT) can be recognized as an optimal exercise mode for health benefits. Aerobic training and MICT should be viewed as a basis for exercise in combination with appropriate volumes and types of RT and HIIT. Activities should be performed according to professional guidelines and advice. If implemented, these measures may reduce infection rates, underlying pathologies, and assist in decreasing mortality associated with COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish
Article number572718
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sept 2020

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

User-Defined Keywords

  • coronavirus 2019
  • exercise
  • health
  • obesity
  • overweight


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