Engaging in physical activity a few times a week significantly contributes to a healthier lifestyle. Dr Ruchika Mukherjee, associate medical director, Cigna Global Wellbeing Solutions, Dubai, points out that these days people easily get stuck in a lifestyle that lacks physical activity, mainly because of the strong influence of mobile devices that does a lot of chores including shopping. A survey Cigna conducted indicates physical well-being diminished compared to last year, with the sharpest decline registered in the ability to exercise regularly. Only 23 per cent of the UAE respondents said that they exercised on a regular basis compared to 29 per cent in 2017. This is mainly due to long working hours and a sedentary working environment.

Studies show that introducing some sort of exercise into the daily routine can bring immense health benefits. Dr Mukherjee recommends starting with running 20-30 minutes a day. Adjust the hours and days depending on your goals and physical fitness levels. ‘Cardiovascular exercises such as running significantly improve physical and mental health. Running helps burn calories thereby reducing fat, fosters restful sleep, boosts heart health, reduces anxiety and relieves stress, fights age-related cognitive decline, and lowers the risk of developing cancer and neurological diseases,’ she adds. Running is an effective yet inexpensive way to include exercise in your routine.