Offer guides to exercising properly

Offer guides to exercising properly

DR BEN Tan spoke of Singaporeans not getting enough exercise ("Problem areas in local sport"; Feb 2). The question is: How much is enough to maintain fitness levels?

Not knowing the components - cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle strength, flexibility - of physical fitness before embarking on exercise may leave one in frustration when one's goals, such as weight loss or improved stamina, are not met.

Injuries as a result of improper technique can also diminish one's drive to keep exercising.

As mentioned by Dr Tan, too many of our young are also not enjoying sports.

The root of the problem may be the intense paper chase and the urge to score co-curricular activity points for entry into junior college, polytechnic or the Institute of Technical Education.

Parents' imposition of other activities - such as piano or ballet lessons - on their children adds to their workload too.

It is still essential to inculcate the love of exercise/sports in the young so that they will embrace such activities for life.

The benefits of running, for example, can range from having a renewed zest for life to avoiding chronic illnesses.

The Health Promotion Board and Sport Singapore should collaborate to come up with simple components of physical fitness and health.

The World Health Organisation has defined health as a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Fitness is defined as the ability to meet the demands of a physical task.

Information could be made available in a booklet to offer advice on various types of common exercises and sports which are effective in achieving fitness.

For example, the booklet could show readers how walking or jogging at a pace that is 70 per cent of one's maximum heart rate is effective in burning body fat, hence, reducing body weight.

Health is a good investment, do not procrastinate.

This article was first published on Feb 13, 2015.
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