Frequent exercise may help reduce the risk of a severe COVID-19 infection, according to new research published in the BMJ Journal of Sports Medicine in April.

Iran Press/America: Looking at patients with a documented COVID-19 infection within the timeframe of Jan. 1, 2020 to Oct. 21, 2020, researchers cross-referenced each patient’s self-reported exercise habits along with their COVID-19 outcome, either hospitalization, ICU admission, or death.

Study participants measured their personal physical activity levels based on how much time they spent exercising weekly, ranging from zero to more than 150 minutes.

A total of 48,440 adult patients with COVID-19 participated in the research.

The results showed that patients diagnosed with COVID-19 who were consistently inactive, or logging just zero to 10 minutes of exercise per week, had a greater risk of hospitalization or admission to the ICU and death as opposed to patients who were doing some level of exercise weekly.

The data for this study is not yet available, but researchers still conclude that physical activity can help reduce a severe COVID-19 infection and outcome.

“Even after we controlled for variables such as obesity and smoking in the analysis, we still saw inactivity was strongly associated with much higher odds of hospitalization, ICU admission, and death compared with moderate physical activity or any activity at all,” said Robert E. Sallis, a family and sports medicine physician at the Kaiser Permanente Fontana Medical Center and study author to CNBC.

Sallis added that this physical activity could be as vigorous or moderate as an individual prefers, including walking for just 30 minutes a day for five days a week.

Since the onset of the pandemic, public health officials have gradually found that certain conditions, such as obesity, diabetes and asthma can complicate COVID-19 infections and have a greater hospitalization and mortality rate than their counterparts.