Exercise is the Most Important Medicine for COVID-19

Curr Sports Med Rep. 2023 Aug 1;22(8):284-289. doi: 10.1249/JSR.0000000000001092.


COVID-19 infection and long COVID affect multiple organ systems, including the respiratory, cardiovascular, renal, digestive, neuroendocrine, musculoskeletal systems, and sensory organs. Exerkines, released during exercise, have a potent crosstalk effect between multiple body systems. This review describes the evidence of how exerkines can mitigate the effects of COVID-19 in each organ system that the virus affects. The evidence presented in the review suggests that exercise should be considered a first-line strategy in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 infection and long COVID disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • COVID-19*
  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Post-Acute COVID-19 Syndrome