Home-Based Exercise During the Coronavirus Pandemic – A Useful, yet Challenging Treatment Strategy for Improvement of Mental Health, Glycemic Control and COVID-19 Outcomes in Patients With Diabetes
Lockdown measures to control disease transmission were implemented at the start of the COVID-19 era, worsening the already existing sedentary lifestyle. Reduced physical activity (PA) and unhealthy eating habits have a negative impact on mental health in chronically ill patients, including diabetes patients. Mental illness, on the other hand, encourages a sedentary lifestyle, exacerbating all components of metabolic syndrome. While well-controlled diabetic patients with an HbA1c of less than 7% had a less severe clinical presentation and COVID-19 mortality rates, the favorable effect of PA on immunomodulation and immunoregulation should not be neglected. Given recent data indicating that a sedentary lifestyle is the third independent risk factor for COVID-19 complications and death (after advanced age and organ transplant), including regular PA has never been more vital. Since PA has a major impact on both glycemic control and mental health, implementing structured home-based activity programs could improve glycemic control and psychological well-being, hence positively impacting COVID-19 outcomes.