Basic and Clinical Immunology for the Busy Clinician

Basic and Clinical Immunology for the Busy Clinician

Source:

Nieman DC. Immunology of exercise. Presented at Basic and Clinical Immunology for the Busy Clinician; Feb. 5-6, 2021. (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Nieman reports no relevant financial disclosures.
February 12, 2021
1 min read
Save

COVID-19 delivers 'wake-up call' to raise activity levels for viral defense, immunity

Source:

Nieman DC. Immunology of exercise. Presented at Basic and Clinical Immunology for the Busy Clinician; Feb. 5-6, 2021. (virtual meeting).

Disclosures: Nieman reports no relevant financial disclosures.
You've successfully added to your alerts. You will receive an email when new content is published.

Click Here to Manage Email Alerts

We were unable to process your request. Please try again later. If you continue to have this issue please contact customerservice@slackinc.com.

The COVID-19 pandemic has provided a “wake-up call” that physical activity and wellness-related lifestyle changes can reinforce immunity and viral defenses, noted a speaker at the Basic and Clinical Immunology for the Busy Clinician symposium.

With COVID-19 continuing to circulate and influenza sure to rise again, David C. Nieman, DrPH, FACSM, of Appalachian State University in North Carolina, believes that moderate physical activity should be a cornerstone of any public health initiative aimed at minimizing the impact of the pandemic.

“This pandemic is a wake-up call, a tocsin, to the world that primary prevention countermeasures are what we need to focus on,” David C. Nieman, DrPH, told attendees. “There is so much that we can do to try to get to the back side of this pandemic.” Source: Adobe Stock

“Lifestyle approaches such as physical activity and weight management will bolster host antiviral, immune defense and improve the vaccine immune response,” Nieman told attendees.

He added that in addition to aging and obesity, lack of physical activity can impair immunity and host viral defenses.

David C. Nieman

By 2030, some 50% of adults in the U.S. will be obese, while 60% worldwide will be overweight or obese, according to Nieman. This can lead to elevated risks of hypertension, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease, all of which can be particularly concerning in the setting of COVID-19.

As a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, Nieman offered a “call to action” for increased exercise and activity levels to head off these potential risks for morbidity and mortality. “We recommend that people maintain their immune health by getting out most days of the week for 30 to 60 minutes,” doing walking, running or other sports, he said.

That said, intense over-exertion is not recommended for individuals either at high risk for COVID-19 or who are less than 2 weeks out from recovering from the infection or a positive test.

Digging deeper into the benefits of regular exercise, Nieman noted that physical activity can stimulate the ongoing exchange of important types of white blood cells between the circulation and tissues. Exercise-induced increases in anti-pathogenic leukocytes may also enhance immunosurveillance, reduce illness risk and lower systemic inflammation, he added.

“This pandemic is a wake-up call, a tocsin, to the world that primary prevention countermeasures are what we need to focus on,” Nieman said. “There is so much that we can do to try to get to the back side of this pandemic.”