Exercise role in improving the immune system and physical fitness during Corona pandemic period and associated exercise guidelines

Document Type : review article


1 Faculty of Sports and Health Sciences, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Iran.

2 Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Sciences, Allameh Tabatabai University, Tehran, Iran.


A novel virus that expanded globally from China known as severe acute respiratory syndrome
coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), causing Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Based on the pandemic
and fast spreading characteristics of corona virus (COVID-19), it causes concerns for elderly individuals
and those with chronic diseases. To lower the chances of spreading the coronavirus, and preventing
the social and economic burden, most of the credible medical centers and organizations have
recommended social distancing and isolations. Disclosure of gyms and sport centers and isolation has
resulted in inactivity in different individuals. The corona virus disease has led to challenges for keeping
the active lifestyle and it can induce some diseases due to inactivity such as obesity metabolic
disorders (e.g., diabetes), cardiovascular diseases, and other diseases that can increase hospital
referral. Since this is a novel disease and although the effects of regular exercise on it has not been
investigated yet, exercise and active lifestyle through increasing energy expenditure, body
metabolism, and improving physical and psychological fitness can result in increasing health, reducing
virus infection and in the case of having the corona disease it helps a quicker recovery. Since, corona
disease influences on the immune and cardiorespiratory system and the person’s physical fitness can
be effective in tolerating the disease side effects, this article expands on the effects of regular exercise
on immune system, viral infections (inflammation), cardiorespiratory system and physical fitness and
at the end presents exercise guidelines for different populations.


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  • Receive Date: 21 May 2020
  • Revise Date: 07 February 2021
  • Accept Date: 31 December 2020
  • First Publish Date: 31 December 2020
  • Publish Date: 22 August 2020