NEW DELHI: For Dr Rajesh Acharya, age is just a number. The 60-year-old senior neurosurgeon associated with the city-based Sir Ganga Ram Hospital who started participating in half marathons after crossing the age of 50 and has successfully completed more than 60 half marathons over the last seven years.
An avid runner and fitness enthusiast, Dr Acharya on Sunday ran his 60th half marathon of 21 km on his 60th birthday.
“Doctors often have long working hours, sedentary lifestyle and at times bad food habits. Health and fitness is the key to a long, active and enjoyable life,” stated the doctor. The doctor further emphasised the need for all to indulge in physical activity amid the pandemic given that the virus is fast-emerging as a factor for strokes as well.
Apart from the respiratory complications that one might experience when infected with the virus Dr Acharya said, “We are seeing an increase in incidence of stroke due to Covid.” Strokes occur when blood supply to any part of the brain is reduced. Brain cells begin to die in minutes. As per the doctor, one in four people are at risk of suffering from a stroke.
Stroke is a medical emergency mainly due to diabetes, hypertension, heart disease and obesity, most of which can be prevented by moderate to vigorous physical activity. “It has been proven that neurological complications in Covid-19 patients can be prevented by increasing their immunity by keeping oneself fit and running. I would suggest all individuals irrespective of age indulge in moderate or vigorous physical activity. Running marathons help one to increase vital capacity of lungs, pumping action of the heart and builds strong bones and muscles,” said Dr Acharya.