Exercise and Prevention: The importance of physical activity in combating the pandemic

Healthy habits and physical exercise are important in combating the coronavirus pandemic


Gym closures and other measures of social distancing are forcing people to make significant changes to their workout routines. Whether you do jumping jacks in your bedroom or sit-ups in your living room, one thing is clear: you should not stop exercising! Physical activity builds muscle strength, boosts brain activity, and helps us reach and keep a healthy weight. And did you know that exercising regularly also strengthens our immunity?


Studies show that moderate exercise improves the immune system. Epidemiological evidence indicates that regular physical activity or frequent structured exercise reduces the incidence of many chronic diseases, including infectious diseases such as viral and bacterial infections.


Paulo Santiago, professor at Universidade de São Paulo (USP), says practicing physical activity is especially important now, with the spread of the new coronavirus. In an interview with Jornal da USP, Santiago explains that there is a better immune response in people who practice moderate and regular physical activity. However, he warns against excess.


“High-intensity and non-regular physical activities can cause a transient state of immunosuppression and make the individual more vulnerable to infections an diseases of the respiratory tract, like the coronavirus,” says Paulo Santiago, professor at USP.

Another article published in the academic journal Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews points out that exercise of moderate intensity, in addition to improving the immune response, reduces the “risk and severity of respiratory viral infections.”


To promote healthy habits among our school community, our Physical Education team offers some valuable tips for your physical exercise sessions at home!


  • Avoid social contact. There are many creative forms of exercise you can do yourself at home that are as effective as gym exercises.

  • Wear light, proper clothing. Wearing proper clothing for physical activities is important to let your body sweat naturally and thus eliminate toxins. Give preference to fabrics such as suplex and dri-FIT and remember to put on socks and sneakers.

  • Drink water. Our body eliminates large amounts of water and essential minerals through sweat during physical activity, which is why it is important to hydrate yourself during exercise.

  • Respect your body’s limits. Do not overdo exercise. Start calmly and be aware of your body’s responses.

  • Do familiar exercises. Be careful with unknown and difficult exercises.

  • Prioritize simpler physical movements. Greater complexity may imply a higher risk of injury.

  • Take a rest. If you notice any symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath, stop exercising immediately.


If you need advice on setting up your exercise routine or have other questions, please send us an email to athletics@edn.org. Our Physical Education department is glad to help.

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