Today we face a more complex challenge than generations past. We move lesser and need no more survival instincts or skills to stay alive. We don’t need to fight for food and the day to day survival. We are technology savvy and getting out of our chair has been taken over by remote controls and according to the cardinal facts of theoretical biology, our head should be bigger than our body.
Hippocrates once said, “That which is used develops and that which is not used wastes away.” With a cardinal fact and the quote of a wise man, should we even think to refute?
As we all know very well, world health authorities has recommended that we should ‘move’ an average of 150 minutes a week. Do we or have we? Non – communicable diseases (NCD) has crept on to us over the decades to climb as the ‘Number 1’ killer of mankind. Aside from the adults that are suffering from non – communicable diseases (NCD), the Malaysian children of 15 to 19 years of age are facing body weight/fat issues, and we have ingloriously captured the ‘Number 2’ position in the Asean region in child obesity, as published by the World Health Organisation.
Who is to be blamed? Insufficient physical activities for the child? In pursuit of academic excellence? Not enough open space for physical education sessions? The teachers are not qualified enough? The weather doesn’t permit? Thus, it is the children who will have to suffer the consequences if the child turns out to be overweight or obese if we keep making these excuses.The fight against non – communicable diseases (NCD) cannot only be fought at the state level, by the parents or even the institution. This fight must be carefully strategized and be fought at an international level.
When our research unit first founded ‘exercise medicine’, we collected sufficient data from the public to find out the reason for the lack of exercise. The reason of having bad weather tops the list, lack of equipment takes second and under-trained teachers, instructors and coaches took the third place.
At the last quarter of 2019, we identified 2 public schools and a ‘Silambam’ club in the state of Perak. We designed some exercise machines and helped build indoor exercise facilities for them to overcome bad weather, of which these equipment were placed in the hall. We also sent exercise therapists that were on rotation to these centers to ensure that all the students are guided properly, and made sure they received the correct dosages of exercise in their exercise sessions. Lastly, we have plans to organize a short course in 2020 for all the ‘PE’ teachers and coaches from schools to further expose and educate them on exercise medicine and basic exercise prescription techniques.
Our ‘to-do-list’ this year will begin by hosting the 3rd International Scientific Committee meeting on Exercise Medicine scheduled from 7th to 9th February that will take place in Hong Kong. This meeting will focus on planning the next world conference on exercise medicine, the global educational plan, our publications unit and the commercialization plans. We currently have 23 countries in participation with 33 delegates comprising non – communicable diseases (NCD) head of their respective countries.
Upon our return, we will be setting up the 2nd exercise clinic in Port Dickson with the Health Ministry, then the exercise facilities in Johor for non – communicable diseases (NCD) patients, the southern part of Malaysia.
This should keep us busy until our 4th World Conference On Exercise Medicine in June 2020, in conjunction with ‘Visit Malaysia Year 2020’.