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Exercise and COVID-19 Resistance

I’ve been doing a bit of research on COVID-19 and the role exercise plays in the battle. Personally, I believe that regular exercise can help fight various illnesses and create greater immunity. I’ve formed this opinion over the years through listening and observing my students as they progress through their own health and fitness journeys.

I’ve supported this belief by referring to several studies drawing the link between fitness and immunity. However nothing that is extensive and all encompassing as this recently published review from one of Scotland’s most respected Universities.

Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) led an international team of researchers on a study on the role of exercise in the battle against COVID-19. The group, which included world-renowned immunologists and epidemiologists, carried out a full-scale systematic review of 16,698 worldwide epidemiological studies published between January 1980 and April 2020.

I’ve included the link to the full study here.

To summarise, the study concludes that 30mins of moderate exercise (leaving you slightly out of breath) a day for 5 days a week, or 150 minutes can result in:

“31% decrease in the risk of infectious disease such as COVID-19, a 37% decrease in the risk of death as a consequence of infectious disease such as COVID-19 and an increase in the efficacy of vaccination against viral disease such as COVID-19”.

GCU Professor of health behaviour dynamics, Sebastian Chastin
kettlebells during covid

The findings of the study found that physical activity strengthens the first line of defence of the human immune system and a higher concentration of immune cells as well as make Covid vaccines up to 40% more effective.

The clear message from this study is:

“Stay active – it’s not only good for your mental and general health but we now have the proof that it is also good for boosting your immunity.”

GCU Professor of health behaviour dynamics, Sebastian Chastin

The recommendations from the study is that people should engage in a 12 week physical activity programme before vaccination which could result in between 20 and 40% more effective immunisation. The study goes on to recommend walking, running, cycling and strengthening exercises.

As a fitness professional these findings affirm my own philosophy, but it also shows that exercise is another tool that can complement the current vaccine rollout. If we choose to exercise on a frequent and consistent basis we can greater protect ourselves from COVID-19 and a whole host of infectious diseases in the future.

So what are you waiting for? Get moving and stay healthy.


If you’ve got healthy intentions but don’t yet have the motivation to embark on a 12 week exercise programme then you might need a coach to help. Our flagship Platinum Programme is exactly what you need to get on top of your health and fitness, boost your immunity, and feel healthier and happier.

If you’re not ready to take that step yet, then download our FREE Mobility is Medicine ebook. It’s packed full of value that will give you some foundational tools to train in the comfort of your own home.

Whether you choose to train with us or download the free ebook, it’s my hope that you take the step to kickstart your health and fitness journey.

Until next time, “Strength for Life”



Davie McConnachie

Davie McConnachie is Scotland’s leading health and wellness coach, multi-award-winning gym owner, motivational speaker and the founder of DMC Fitness, a fitness education facility known as the premier choice for 1-2-1 personal training. He has inspired thousands of people to fall in love with fitness – his true purpose and mission in life.

Diving into the world of fitness and wellness has helped Davie to deal with his own trauma and inner demons. He, overcame many dark times using his own unique methods to continue his cycle of healing.