Coronavirus Pandemic

Use Dubai Fitness Challenge to boost health, doctors tell Covid-recovered patients

Nandini Sircar/Dubai
Filed on October 31, 2020 | Last updated on October 31, 2020 at 11.01 pm
Photos by Shihab/Khaleej Times

Under the new normal, this 30x30 fitness extravaganza can play a crucial role in increasing physical strength and uplifting mood.

Doctors have urged Covid-recovered patients to make use of the wellness mood in the city and embrace the Dubai Fitness Challenge (DFC).

Under the new normal, this 30x30 fitness extravaganza can play a crucial role in increasing physical strength and uplifting mood, thereby, helping people to stay mentally healthy," said Dr Bhuvaneshwar Machani, consultant orthopaedic surgeon, Burjeel Hospital for Advanced Surgery - Dubai.

"Covid-19 severely affects patients who are immunocompromised and obese. Regular exercise would not only improve one's immunity but would also help in reducing weight and increasing lung capacity. The lung is one organ, which is critically affected by this deadly virus."

With 30-day long physical and virtual activities lined up for citizens and residents, doctors encourage all to mask up and enjoy the city's myriad health programmes. Dr Amith Kumar Krishna, orthopaedic specialist at Aster Hospital - Mankhool, said: "Just as wearing a mask has become a part of daily protection, fitness should be a part of one's lifestyle. Fitness on a regular basis can boost your immune system and help fight off infections. Exercise allows immune cells to perform effectively - it increases blood flow, increases lung capacity, reduces stress and inflammation and can strengthen antibodies."

The DC will be therapeutic to those who've gained weight due to sedentary lifestyle, said Dr Rasha Alani, family medicine specialist from Medcare Medical Centre - Al Rashidiya. "It helps improve people's mental health, improves psychological state and helps maintain our serotonin levels. Exercising impacts our happiness hormones and in the pandemic season it will keep our lungs fit and clean."

Dr Fatemeh Aghanasiri, general practitioner, Aster Clinic - Arabian Ranches added: "Social isolation has resulted in increased anxiety and depression among different age groups. However, by regular exercise, many people can overcome these mood changes. Multiple studies have demonstrated that exercise reduces depression and anxiety rate by increasing happy hormones - dopamine and serotonin."

Those who are sceptic about stepping outdoors can find alternatives indoors with many virtual sessions at the DFC, said Dr Azam Bader Khan, specialist orthopaedics at Prime Hospital. "Indoor exercise is a better alternative for people who don't want to go out rather than not exercising at all. Other benefits of exercises are higher self-esteem, better sleep, increase in memory power and more energy."

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