A recently published study from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health has found that women who follow most aspects of a healthy lifestyle, such as maintaining a healthy body weight and getting enough sleep, could reduce their risk of developing Long COVID by half. Long COVID is estimated to affect 8-23 million Americans and is defined as having symptoms four weeks or more after initial SARS-CoV-2 infection. These symptoms can include fatigue, fever, and various respiratory issues.
The study analyzed data from over 32000 female nurses in the Nurses’ Health Study II who reported on their lifestyles in 2015 and 2017 along with history of SARS-CoV2 infection between April 2020 to November 2021 during which time more than 1900 participants contracted Covid19 out off whom 44% developed Long Covid . Of all 6 lifestyle factors studied it was observed that keeping a healthy body weight and getting adequate sleep (7 – 9 hours) were associated most strongly with lower risk for Long COVID while even among those suffering from it, healthier preinfection lifestyles showed 30% lesser chances to have symptoms interfering with daily life activities .
These findings suggest that there are ways to reduce your likelihood of contracting Long COVID by engaging in healthy behaviors before being infected with the virus. It is important to note that no one should rely solely on these results for treatment or mitigation advice; only a personal health care provider should provide guidance on health matters.
The recent findings from this study provide an important reminder about how important leading a healthy lifestyle can be ahead of time for reducing one’s risk of developing severe cases of long covid if they do contract the virus at some point down the line. While we may not always recognize the impact that our actions have on our future health outcomes now, understanding how our day to day choices impact us down the road is essential for remaining as healthy as possible amid this ongoing pandemic landscape.
In addition to regularly engaging in physical exercise such as walking or running, maintaining a balanced diet full of fruits, vegetables, proteins and other nutritious foods are also key components in preventing long covid cases when paired with other healthy habits like sleeping 7-9 hours each night and managing stress levels properly throughout the day. Of course it’s also vital to continue wearing masks when outdoors around others, washing hands regularly and frequently sanitizing shared surfaces and objects such as doorknobs within your home or workspace.
As researchers continue to further examine potential ways to reduce one’s risk for acquiring long covid when exposed to Covid 19 infections , it will be intriguing to understand how individual traits along with daily practices may protect us against experiencing severe cases if contracted by someone who tests positive for Covid 19. As we continue working together towards controlling the spread of Covid 19 across communities , familiarizing ourselves with steps we can take now to ensure better health outcomes down the line will remain critical!