Protective Effects of Exercise Become Especially Important for the Aging Immune System in The Covid-19 Era

Katarzyna Domaszewska, Michal Boraczynski, Yi Yuan Tang, Joanna Gronek, Krystian Wochna, Tomasz Boraczynski, Dariusz Wielinski, Piotr Gronek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Aging is a complex, multietiological process and a major risk factor for most non-genetic, chronic diseases including geriatric syndromes that negatively affect healthspan and longevity. In the scenario of "healthy or good aging", especially during the COVID-19 era, the proper implementation of exercise as "adjuvant" or "polypill" to improve disease-related symptoms and comorbidities in the general population is a top priority. However, there is still a gap concerning studies analyzing influence of exercise training to immune system in older people. Therefore, the aim of this review is to provide a brief summary of well-established findings in exercise immunology and immunogerontology, but with a focus on the main exercise-induced mechanisms associated with aging of the immune system (immunosenescence). The scientific data strongly supports the notion that regular exercise as a low-cost and non-pharmacological treatment approach, when adjusted on an individual basis in elderly, induce multiple rejuvenating mechanisms: (1) affects the telomere-length dynamics (a "telo-protective" effect), (2) promote short- and long-term anti-inflammatory effects (via e.g., triggering the anti-inflammatory phenotype), 3) stimulates the adaptive immune system (e.g., helps to offset diminished adaptive responses) and in parallel inhibits the accelerated immunosenescence process, (4) increases post-vaccination immune responses, and (5) possibly extends both healthspan and lifespan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-143
Number of pages15
JournalAging and Disease
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2022


  • Aging process
  • Exercise
  • Immune system
  • ImmunosenescenceCOVID-19

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cell Biology


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