Exercise shows promise against long COVID

May stop cycle of inflammation that can lead to diabetes and depression

Research shows that exercise may break the cycle of inflammation that can lead to developing diabetes and depression long after a person recovers from the virus. Long COVID can increase blood glucose to the point where people develop diabetic ketoacidosis, but exercise can reduce the inflammation the leads to elevated blood glucose and the development of diabetes and clinical depression.

Estimates of the prevalence of long COVID range from 15 percent to 80 percent of the people infected. Long COVID causes what the CDC describes as “a constellation of other debilitating symptoms” including brain fog, muscle pain, and fatigue that can last for months after a person recovers from the initial infection.

The study authors say that even walking slowly can make a difference. While the ideal might be a 30-minute session of exercise, any amount can be beneficial.

The research was led by the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. The center conducts basic, clinical, and population research, and is affiliated with Louisiana State University. The research enterprise at Pennington Biomedical includes over 480 employees within a network of 40 clinics and research laboratories, and 13 highly specialized core service facilities.