Your Muscle Mass Could Help You Fight Covid Faster

Your gains could lead to a better prognosis as far as fighting Covid-19, according to a new study. Looking at 196 patients, split between male and female participants, a study published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia and Muscle this month revealed that those with greater muscle mass and muscle strength had shorter coronavirus-related hospital stays.

The study acknowledges previous research that has shown that handgrip strength and muscle mass were often strong indicators of disease severity and how long one would remain in the hospital for other illnesses. (Check out some good handgrip strengtheners here.) The researchers wanted to note any difference with Covid-19.

Measuring handgrip strength and muscle size, particularly the vastus lateralis muscle in the thigh, researchers were able to categorize the study participants into higher and lower segments of strength and size (the average age of participants was 59; average BMI 29.5). Out of 196 of the participants, 176 survived their hospital stay.

The average length of stay was shorter for the strongest people (measured by handgrip), averaging of 7.5 days in the hospital compared to 9.2 days for less strong participants. The data was also positive for those with greater muscle mass: the average length of stay for people with the lowest muscle mass was longer (10.8 days) than for those whose muscle mass was higher (averaging 7.7 days).

Muscle mass in general is seen to be a greater indicator of general health and likely an indicator of recovery from critical illness, the study discusses, citing further research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. All the more reason to keep lifting.

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