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ExerciseNZ urges seniors to get fitter before their COVID vaccinations

ExerciseNZ urges seniors to get fitter before their COVID vaccinations
January 22, 2021

Supporting the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine and the protection of people most vulnerable to the Coronavirus, Richard Beddie, Chief Executive of the Exercise Association of New Zealand (ExerciseNZ) has suggested that older people should also be more active in advance of their vaccinations.

Beddie was commenting on the very latest Trinity College Dublin research which found adults aged 60 and older should exercise, such as a brisk walk, at least two to three times per week before being vaccinated.

With exercise acknowledged as being highly effective in the preventing many health conditions, Beddie pointed to the latest research’s findings that exercise can benefit those who get COVID vaccinations.

Advising that medical experts, such as those in the Irish research report from Dublin, are supporting the message to increase cardiovascular activity prior to vaccination, Beddie noted “the good news in New Zealand is this can be done in many settings: outdoors, at home or at an exercise facility. Given our current zero community transmission situation, exercise has never been safer and more needed.

“While COVID does provide a unique reason to lift activity levels - and 50% of adult Kiwis don’t do enough - ideally this should be part of a plan to keep active.

“The early benefits of exercise include mental clarity, improved sleep and general positive state of mind. They will flow onto longer term health benefits such as cancer and cardiovascular disease reduction, through to significantly lower rates of degenerative diseases including dementia). Exercise really is the magic pill.”

Beddie’s comments are based on work undertaken by the Trinity COVID-19 Immunology Project which found regular aerobic or moderate exercise in weeks and months before the COVID vaccination can help improve antibody responses post vaccination in older people.

The report says it is critically important that lessons from previous vaccination programmes among older adults are used to inform current efforts, noting that vaccine efficacy in older adults can be a challenge due to ageing effects on the immune system. As people age, ability to produce robust antibody responses following vaccination declines, leading to their being less likely to generate long-term protection often required for full immunity to a virus.

Click here for more information on the Trinity COVID-19 Immunology Project.

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5th January 2021 - ExerciseNZ shares advice on gym reopenings

4th January 2021 - ExerciseNZ’s Richard Beddie recommends activity as a cure for personal challenges of COVID-19

21st December 2020 - ExerciseNZ’s Richard Beddie advises that steady exercise counts

10th December 2020 - Australians look forward to introduction of COVID-19 vaccine

1st December 2020 - ExerciseNZ’s Richard Beddie backs WHO’s new weekly health activity guidelines

27th November 2020 - Research shows exercise can help New Zealanders suffering from cancer

24th November 2020 - Auckland secures supreme prizes at New Zealand Exercise Industry Awards

20th October 2020 - ExerciseNZ cites growing evidence gyms and fitness clubs are safe

26th August 2020 - ExerciseNZ regrets New Zealand Government’s failure to pass commercial rent laws

27th July 2020 - NZREPS encourages employers to consider mental and physical wellbeing of staff

20th July 2020 - Parramatta’s fitness professionals help local seniors stay active

23rd July 2020 - ExerciseNZ helps countries around the world prepare for life after Coronavirus

30th June 2020 - New Zealand gym operations exceed 85% of pre-Coronavirus lockdown activity levels

18th February 2020 - ExerciseNZ questions fast food and sugary drinks sponsorship of sporting teams

30th January 2020 - ExerciseNZ’s Beddie calls for New Zealanders to be more active in 2020

20th November 2019 - ExerciseNZ findings endorses new research showing that people becoming more active with the onset of summer

20th August 2019 - ExerciseNZ’s Beddie highlights ways that activity increases life expectancy

24th July 2019 - ExerciseNZ calls for action on New Zealand’s obesity epidemic and physical inactivity crisis

19th April 2017 - Aged care gym facility achieves positive wellbeing for seniors

7th October 2016 - Seniors gym sees improvements in strength and balance


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