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Rickson Gracie’s lifesaving advice

One time, Rickson Gracie met the journalist Luca Atalla in Rio de Janeiro, and they began talking about injuries, pain and recovery. "There are certain phases in life where our number-one sport becomes physical therapy," Rickson joked. After a few laughs, Rickson went back to talking seriously and offered a crucial lesson that Luca has carried for the past 20 years:

"What's important is to face injury as a limiting factor, but never as an excuse to hang out on the couch. It's necessary to spare the injured area, but you must exercise the other parts of the body, even if just the pinky toe."

This wise advice, as well as essential to the evolution of those who practice BJJ, is proving important nowadays to the health of the population, and can even save lives. 

In a recent study published in Sports Medicine, a science magazine, researchers proved that regular physical activity, of medium and high intensity, helps the body produce more important antibodies and lymphocytes -- including the ones that play a relevant role in the protection against the coronavirus. 

The group of scientists responsible for the study ran tests with people with the flu, pneumonia and chickenpox, and noticed that the sedentary subjects produced 50% fewer antibodies. 

In the study, conducted by a team of professors from American universities, more was learned: The risk of getting sick or dying from an infectious disease is 37% smaller in people who exercise around 30 minutes per day, five days a week. 

Christina May Moran de Brito, physiatrist and medical coordinator of the rehabilitation service of the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital in São Paulo, commented on the study in Brazilian newspapers. "People who exercise have a bigger reserve of muscles to lose, and that avoids overloading the immune system," she said.

Want to take better care of your body? Good nutrition, hydration, peace of mind and information are the best ways. But first you have to get away from that laziness and the couch's strong magnetic field. Stay healthy, and enjoy your training.