- Since the start of lockdown, more than a third (36%) of regular exercisers are more active now than before
- 79% of runners say running is currently helping them feel saner and more in control and 65% of runners say its mental benefits outweigh any other form of physical exercise; and
- 73% of runners want to keep running as much as they are now after this pandemic ends
- To support this newfound love of running, ASICS is partnering with Versus Socks for a Virtual Run unlike any before. It’s a six week programme - see it as your motivation to get back out there and in hot shape for summer. There are 300 pairs of ASICS shoes up for grabs plus tons of other gear from our partners. So sign up here to kick things into high gear, get moving and Feel the Difference with ASICS.
Amidst the isolation of lockdown, the world has fallen in love with running – that is, according to the findings of a new, ongoing research study by ASICS. More importantly, the research shows nearly three quarters of runners around the world plan to stick with their new exercise routine.
The study, which ASICS is conducting to better understand and support the changing needs of runners, spoke to 14,000 regular exercisers across 12 countries. It found that more than a third (36% globally) of them are more active now than they were before the COVID-19 pandemic began – despite most sports being brought to a standstill by social distancing measures. Meanwhile figures from fitness-tracking app, Runkeeper™, show that runners of every level are clocking up more strides, more often.
During April 2020, the app saw a 252% rise in registrations globally and a 44% increase in monthly active users compared to the same time last year. It also reported a 62% spike globally in people heading out for a weekly run. Put in context, in the days around Global Running Day last week, there was a +47.3% (globally) increase in people running compared to last year.
The study also reveals that for the majority of people, this activity surge is down to more than just physical health. Two-thirds (67% globally) say exercise helps them cope mentally when faced by challenging situations like the one we are in now and eight in ten (79% globally) runners insist that being active is making them feel saner and more in control. A similar number (81% globally) say running is playing a key role in helping them clear their mind while two-thirds (65% globally) insist its mental benefits outweigh any other form of physical exercise.
Running past COVID-19
Furthermore, runners across the board are keen to keep their active habits going when this crisis is over. Nearly three-quarters of runners (73% globally) say they want to continue running as much as they are now after the COVID-19 pandemic comes to an end while seven in ten (70% globally) people who exercise regularly are determined to hang on to the important role sport and movement is currently playing in their lives. Perhaps most encouragingly, among those who only took up running after the COVID-19 crisis started, nearly two thirds (62% globally) say they plan on sticking with it in future.
Yasuhito Hirota, President & Chief Operating Officer, ASICS, says: “For most of us, life is full of anxieties, uncertainties and restrictions at the moment. As our study’s initial findings prove, a run has therefore become much more than just a run. It’s a way for people to put aside the extraordinary mental challenges of this pandemic. And importantly, it’s something which they want to maintain as lockdowns ease across the globe”.
“It makes perfect sense that people around the world have turned to running during this crisis. When you run, you literally sense yourself moving forward in life. You can feel your muscles propel you forward. Your actions take you somewhere. In a time when so many people feel trapped or isolated, running provides a direct, physical experience of freedom. By encouraging runners of all abilities to recognize and share how running makes them feel, ASICS is helping them fulfil their aspirations to keep moving” said Kelly McGonigal, PhD, health psychologist and lecturer at Stanford University.
Helping the world run
…. And so was born an initiative, a series of virtual runs, to help people get moving and guide them in their new found love for running. This Virtual Run is unlike any of those we’ve done before though. It’s a six week programme - see it as your motivation to get back out there and in hot shape for summer. Oh and there is of course a lot more in it for you with six levels to unlock (one each week). With that comes 300 pairs of ASICS shoes up for grabs plus tons of other gear from our partners. So sign up here to kick things into high gear, get moving and Feel the Difference with ASICS.