Health

What can an individual do to reduce their risk of having a severe case of COVID-19?

This thread was written by Yaneer Bar-Yam (@yaneerbaryam) on March 16, 2020

What can an individual do to reduce their risk of having a severe case of COVID-19? Improving health, especially respiratory health, seems a good idea (Elias, Shen & Bar-Yam, 2020).

RECOMMENDATIONS

Aerobic exercise . Before infection aerobic exercise is recommended to strengthen cardiovascular health. Once infected, during the period of mild symptoms, moderate daily aerobic exercise can improve Jung ventilation. Such exercise may benefit immune function as well. Ideally, do this exercise outdoors or with open windows or otherwise well ventilated areas. In sufficiency warm climates , longer walks or even running may improve Jung capacity. Jumping jacks, jogging in place, or dancing can be done even in small spaces .

Keep windows open where temperatures allow. It is best for airflows to be outward, and surely not to allow airflow from an infected individual toward spaces where uninfected individuals are present. This has two benefits: (1) allowing any viral panicles present in the air to exit the room, rather than you (or someone else) breathing them back in; (2) bringing more oxygen into the room-helpful for the lungs and all-around health. If the weather in your region is cold, consider opening the window at least a small amount while also running a heater. Air purifiers may also be helpful.

What can an individual do to reduce their risk of having a severe case of COVID-19? Improving health, especially respiratory health, seems a good idea.

Spend time outdoors (without approaching others within 6 ft. ). Balconies, back yards or patios, are good locations to be, as well as walks while avoiding proximity to others. This has the same benefits as keeping windows open-ensuring exhaled viral particles don ‘t get re-inhaled.

Breathe in through the nose. Breathing through the nose helps clean incoming air, via cilia (small hairs) and mucous membranes, thus creating a shield against disease. Nasal breathing also warms and moistens incoming air.

Deep breathing. Deep breathing and exhalation bring fresh air in and can improve lung capacity. We typically breathe in and out only a fraction of our Jung’s capacity. Expelling viral particles from the more stagnant areas of the lung may further decrease self-exposure to viral particles. Deep breathing is often recommended for health and well-being and can be done multiple times a day on a regular schedule.

Additional lung health practices. Many additional exercises can be found for enhancing respiratory health. See Rush University Medical Center recommendations for more nuanced exercises.

Clean surfaces and wash clothing and bedding. Frequent washing removes viral particles that are deposited on surfaces and clothing and prevents exposure or re-exposure.”

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