Sport and exercise during and beyond the COVID-19 pandemic

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a global crisis of unprecedented scale in modern times. As we approach the second half of 2020, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has already infected over 4.5 million worldwide with more than 300,000 deaths.1 The collective focus on combating this pathogen has led to an exponential increase in knowledge on COVID-19. Nonetheless, effective antiviral therapy and a vaccine remain elusive. What is established and repeatedly emphasised include the importance of hand hygiene and physical distancing measures to minimise disease transmission. The overarching need to reduce disease transmission has had an enormous impact on sports and exercise. From an individual perspective, geographical restrictions on outdoor exercise and the need to stay home have led to reduced physical activity and increased sedentary behaviour. Within the sporting community, all forms of organised sport have been either cancelled or postponed. These range from mass participation events such as marathon races, to financially lucrative football leagues, and even the pinnacle of sporting excellence, the Summer Olympic Games. As the pandemic runs its course, uncertainties persist regarding exercise safety, resumption of sporting activity and how to manage infected athletes.In this issue of the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, Bhatia and colleagues utilise a `question and answer` format to: (a) highlight the impact of COVID-19 on the heart, (b) stress the importance of regular physical activity and (c) provide guidance outlining the management of athletes and competitive sport during and beyond this pandemic (Figure 1).
© Copyright 2020 European Journal of Preventive Cardiology. SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.

Subjects: heart circulation athlete load exercise / load tolerance health training competition prevention virus infection
Notations: training science biological and medical sciences
Tagging: Coronavirus
DOI: 10.1177/2047487320933260
Published in: European Journal of Preventive Cardiology
Published: 2020
Issue: in print
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced