COVID-19: Running boosts immune system - GulfToday

COVID-19: Running boosts immune system


Photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

Sound mental health and wellness are derived from being physically fit and indulging in physical exercises, specifically jogging and running.

Internal Medicine specialist Dr. Mohammed Khalid said: “Running helps in making your mind sharp. It decreases anxiety and depression. It also helps in boosting self-esteem. It increases creativity.”

Khalid of the Amina Hospital in Ajman, was interviewed on Wednesday, as Gulf Today was furnished with a 14-country research, revealing that among the upsides of the six-month Novel Coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic was the more positive approach to life of “regular exercisers.”

“Regular exercisers” in the May 5 to 13 study, conducted by Japanese multi-national footwear and sports equipment company ASICS (Healthy Soul in a Healthy Body)-with the Europe/Middle East/Africa (EMEA) regional headquarters in Dubai-are those who exercise, jog and run at least once a week. They are the 14,000 respondents, chosen after a broad “opt-in panel” selection and given the questionnaire survey upon agreeing as research participants. Between the ages of 18 and 64, they are from Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Russia and Spain with 1,000 each. They are also from the UK and the US with 2,000 each. 

Khalid added: “Regular joggers have decreased cravings for unhealthy food. The physical benefits of running are improved cardiovascular fitness, weight loss, strengthened muscles, and enhanced respiratory reserve which boosts one’s immune system.”

The research study, under the global campaign #RunToFeel, was “exploratory to understand the impact of the COVID19 pandemic on the attitudes, perceptions and behaviours of the regular exercisers or athletes.”

Among the 14,000 respondents, 36 per cent or 5,040 have pursued running and have become more active than pre-pandemic despite most sports at a halt due to lockdowns and precautionary measures like social distancing; 81 per cent or 11,340 have gained a clear perspective of the COVID19 goings-on and consequences; 79 per cent or 11,060 have claimed to become saner and in more control of their everyday duties and responsibilities despite pressing COVID19 concerns; and 67 per cent or 9,380 have realised that running or jogging have become a stress reliever or coping mechanism.

Other key findings among the 14,000 respondents: 66 per cent or 9,240 are running or jogging because this is the most practical physical exercise in the current global situation and 62 per cent or 8,680 see themselves continuing the activity post-pandemic.

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