Covid-19 Update: Stronger Muscles Make for a Stronger Immune System

Hello everyone:

 As we move into the new year with this ongoing pandemic, it continues to be important to maintain a robust immune system and to lower, get rid of, or optimally manage any co-morbidities one may have. One way to accomplish all of these goals is with exercises that help create muscle strength. However, loss of muscle mass and strength is called sarcopenia, and while it is most common in those over 50, it is unfortunately common in all age groups. Think not only of the younger people that are absorbed in screen time to the exclusion of exercise, as well as the middle-aged and elderly that just do not move enough to maintain health. Lack of muscle strength is seen in all age groups, so this information is widely applicable. Now the research is showing that muscle strength is related to immune senescence, which refers to the gradual deterioration of the immune system brought on by age advancement. The authors of the paper in the link below state:

As our population grows older, age-related pathologies are becoming more prevalent. Deterioration of skeletal muscle and the immune system manifests as sarcopenia and immune senescence respectively. The disease burden of these pathologies emphasizes the need for a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Skeletal muscle has emerged as a potent regulator of immune system function. As such, skeletal muscle might be the central integrator between sarcopenia and immune senescence in an aging biological system. Therapeutic approaches targeting skeletal muscle might be able to restore both muscle and immune system function. 

Recently, several adverse outcomes of sarcopenia have been identified. These include but are not limited to an increased risk of falls leading to fractures, disability and functional impairment, dysphagia, lower quality of life, and all-cause mortality. (1)

Bottom Line: As part of your immune and health resiliency plan to avoid Covid-19 and improve your overall health, as well as aging optimally, keeping our muscle strength is now known to be critical in preventing many illnesses. What to do? Start exercising to restore and/or maintain muscle strength and mass. For me, yoga is a great way to do that. It is slow, gentle, and adequately builds or maintains muscle strength using only our body weight. Another reason that I like yoga so much is that is works the entire body, lowers stress, almost anyone can do the practices regardless of current health. Whatever you do, keep calm and exercise!!

Workout fads come and go, but virtually no other exercise program is as enduring as yoga. It’s been around for more than 5,000 years. Yoga does more than burn calories and tone muscles. It’s a total mind-body workout that combines strengthening and stretching poses with deep breathing and meditation or relaxation.(2)

 It takes a lot of strength to hold your body in a balanced pose. Regular practice will strengthen the muscles of your arms, back, legs, and core.” (2)


Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.