Getting fit during the lockdown could save your life from coronavirus, say health professors

Those who are obese or unfit are less likely to cope with a coronavirus infection, say experts (Getty Images)
Those who are obese or unfit are less likely to cope with a coronavirus infection, say experts (Getty Images)

The coronavirus lockdown isn’t exactly conducive to high activity levels - but getting fit and shifting excess pounds by doing home workouts or getting outside for a walk, cycle or run once a day could just save your life.

Health professors are warning that an infection may prove fatal for those who are unfit or obese.

Speaking to The Sunday Times today, Professor Neil Ferguson, from Imperial College London’s school of public health, said: “It is always better to stay fit and healthy.

“We need to assess our risks from a personal perspective, including getting fit and losing weight.”

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New figures show that seven million Britons - approximately 10% of the population - are expected to contract COVID-19 by the end of May, even with nationwide social distancing measures in place.

Fredrik Karpe, professor of metabolic medicine at Oxford University, also told the paper that those with a lot of excess weight will find their bodies struggle to fight the condition.

He explained: “If you have a big belly, then when you lie down the weight of it pushes your diaphragm upwards, reducing lung volume.

“This virus is all about lung function.”

Read more: People’s sleep is improving during the coronavirus lockdown

The expert added that one of the best ways to improve fitness was to take regular walks - and your body will become more resilient in just a fortnight.

He also noted that losing weight by eating a healthy, balanced diet could also increase essential lung volume.

According to the NHS, the 38% of people admitted to intensive care for coronavirus-related conditions are obese, and of that group 55% have been dying.

It comes as Dr Thomas Falda, Training Specialist at Freeletics, previously told Yahoo Style UK that being sedentary for long periods of time can have a serious impact on physical health, including a slower metabolism, muscle weakness, obesity and raised cholesterol levels.

Read more: How to stay fit and healthy while self-isolating or working from home

He explained: “By keeping your muscles active your body will pump more blood around your body, and thus oxygen and nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy,” he explains.

“Our bodies are designed to move and designed to adapt to the situations they encounter.

“So, if you stop using any component of your body, you will lose them slowly.

“For example, you'll slightly lose strength if your body never encounter situations where one has to apply a strong force; you'll slowly lose flexibility if your muscles are never stretched very far; and you'll slowly lose some cardio-pulmonary capacity if you are never out of breath.”