Study Suggests Regular Exercise Can Help with COVID-19 Symptoms

exercise and covid19

ExerciseNZ fully supports a UK study that has suggested regular exercise can improve the recovery of people with lasting symptoms of COVID-19. Researchers in Leicester found a six-week rehabilitation programme helped Covid patients with breathing problems, fatigue and brain fog.  

While Aotearoa New Zealand didn’t have many Covid cases, it is well recognised that Covid has a ‘long symptoms tail’ for many people, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie said. 

“The likelihood of an eventual opening up of our borders in the next 12 to 18 months  - once vaccination is at a high enough level -  will mean more Kiwis who had Covid will suffer from the lingering effects of fatigue.

“This UK study proves that exercise helps and we in the industry are ready to help New Zealanders who want to be more active to reduce the weariness of Covid’s impact.

Researchers found a statistically significant improvement in exercise capacity, levels of fatigue and overall wellbeing during their study. This challenged the concerns in the medical community that exercise therapy could exacerbate post-viral fatigue.

Ministry of Health’s latest statistics shows only about half of all New Zealand adults do at least two and a half hours’ activity a week. Men are slightly more likely than women to reach these levels in a week.

Only one in eight adults is physically active for less than 30 minutes a week.