HEALTHY THROUGH THE CORONA CRISIS We are confident: In times of the global corona pandemic, running is the best sport of all. Why it makes sense to start running right now
The most critical measures to slow down the spread of the coronavirus, in addition to wearing everyday masks and the known hygiene measures: keep your distance and, wherever possible, avoid crowds – even when doing sports. So running is the best sport you can do right now—the reasons.
You Train Alone
Let’s start with the most important reason. According to the current state of knowledge, the coronavirus can be transmitted primarily through droplet infection, which is why the Robert Koch Institute recommends a safe distance of one to two meters from other people. This is easy to do while running.
Important: Run if possible alone or with regular running partners. Otherwise, keep your distance from others and consciously give a wide berth when you pass other people. It is best to avoid popular running and strolling routes and run where there are few or, best of all, no people. In the forest, you are safe from others – and others are safe from you.
You Strengthen Your Immune System
If you run, you train not only your cardiovascular system and muscles but also your immune system. When you run, the release of killer cells and lymphocytes is stimulated. These are immune cells that are part of the white blood cells and protect us from bacteria and viruses that cause infections and diseases. Those who are physically active have more of it. This is one of the reasons why, according to studies, runners are between 20 and 50 percent less likely to have a cold or flu than non-runners.
Important: Do not exaggerate. Those who train too hard reverse the effect and are particularly susceptible to infection in the post-exercise period (open windows effect). Especially with long runs or intensive training units such as continuous tempo runs or intervals, there is no hardening effect – on the contrary: strenuous training units and long phases with high loads put additional strain on the immune system. The reason is the increased release of the hormones adrenaline and cortisol. The two stress hormones cause the production of the killer cells to drop below the starting level. An entrance gate is opened briefly for the disease-causing viruses through which they can easily penetrate. But since there are no competitions in the foreseeable future,
You Improve Your Mood
The stress hormones just mentioned are also released when we are, well, stressed. And for many, the current uncertain and challenging situation is nothing more than pure stress. Suddenly life is turned upside down. There are no longer any regular processes. Running can help right here because, on the one hand, it helps to clear your head, and on the other hand – at a relaxed pace – it reduces the release of adrenaline and cortisol, an increased level of these substances is even broken down more quickly. In addition, the body’s production of the anti-stress hormone DHEA is supported.
And one more effect can be ascribed to running and jogging: If you run, you stimulate the production of the hormones norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin, which have a similar effect to drug intoxication. This makes you less prone to mood swings and makes you more optimistic and happy overall. So, take it easy on the bad situation!
Important: Go outside (see reason 1) because if you only sit in your own four walls, you risk becoming depressed in the medium term. The ceiling falls on your head. And just like with winter depression, couch potatoes lack sunlight. The body needs the sun’s radiation to produce vitamin D. This vitamin D, which should be too little due to the dark season, is of enormous importance for health and wellbeing. It enables calcium to be absorbed by the bone structure, combats muscle pain, improves endurance, ensures rapid regeneration, and – very significantly – strengthens the immune system. It should be at least 15 minutes of daylight per day. Why shouldn’t you spend it running?
You Can Start Right Away
There is practically no alternative to running at the moment. Gyms, swimming pools, yoga studios – everything is currently closed. For how much longer? Nobody knows. Therefore, you should give running a chance now, even if you have previously found it to be a chore or a necessary compensation. Apart from a pair of running shoes, you don’t need anything, and you can get started right away.
3 running shoe tips for beginners
- The all-rounder: Brooks Ghost 13
- The stylish one: Adidas Ultraboost
- The stable one: Asics Gel-Kayano 27
And even if it may be difficult at first – you are guaranteed to make rapid progress and notice that it gets easier every time. We advise bloody beginners to start with 20 to 30 minutes of brisk walking or, if that doesn’t challenge you, always alternate between running and walking – i.e., running for about 1 minute, walking for 1 minute.
The fact that outdoor sports are safe with the necessary distance applies to healthy people. If you have symptoms of the disease – it would be better to refrain from exercising and seek medical advice.