Minister advises public on benefits of regular walking

The public have been advised to make brisk walking a regular feature in order to attain improved fitness and strength while maintaining healthy weight to reduce the risk of heart diseases.

Dr Victor Asare Bampoe, Deputy Minister of Health, who gave the advice said regular walking is a good way to lose weight, burn more calories and fat as well as help increase metabolism.

Interacting with members of the International Clergy Association (ICA), who embarked on a health walk in Accra, to sentitise the public on non-communicable diseases like diabetics and hypertension, Dr Bampoe said it is proper for people to adopt healthier lifestyles to be fit to fully discharge their duties as citizens.

Globally, nearly one billion people have high blood pressure (hypertension); of the number; two thirds are in developing countries, while an estimated 1.56 billion adults are expected to live with hypertension by 2025. People with hypertension are more likely to develop complications of diabetes.

On the other hand, diabetes has been predicted to become the seventh leading cause of death in the world by 2030.

Total deaths from diabetes are projected to rise by more than 50 per cent in the next 10 years.

The ICA members started their health walk from the Azumah Nelson Sports Complex at Kaneshie and went through Darkuman Cable and Wireless through Official town to the premises of the Rock Hospital at Odorkor in Accra, where they participated in various health and fitness exercises as well as health screening programmes.

Dr Bampoe, who represented President John Mahama, at the event commended the clergy for organising the health walk as a demonstration of their commitment to the total well-being of members.

He reminded the Clergy that brisk walking is one of the best types of exercises and very good for the health of people, providing great cardiovascular workouts and strengthens muscles.

“Brisk walking has also been shown to have other health benefits including mental health benefits such as helping to manage depression and anxiety. It also helps improve immune system and makes us sleep better,” added.

The Deputy Health Minister therefore urged the Clergy and their congregations as well as the public to make brisk walking a regular feature for their overall fitness.

Bishop Dr Charles Abban, President of ICA, said the health walk was the fourth in series of the yearly health event organised by the Association to create awareness on various health implications among its members and the society at large.

He said as part of this year’s event, the Association started various education programmes on television and radio stations and in the churches, educating the public on diabetes and hypertension, which he described “ as a silent killer”.

He described the turnout for the walk as great as more than 400 people including members of other keep fit clubs and the Artisan and Traders Association joined in the exercise.

Bishop Abban, who is also the President of the Rock Investment, comprising Rock Hospital, Rock Foundation and Rock TV Africa, said as a physician himself, he had noticed that more people are having hypertension due to the increase in alcohol intake, late eating and lack of regular exercising.

He, therefore, advised people, particularly the youth to stop taking alcohol in large quantities, and rather channel their strength in more useful activities.

He advised the clergy to check their health status regularly to avert needless deaths.

Mr Kwame Amporful, Greater Accra Regional Director of Sports, who represented the Regional Minister, urged Christians who are majority of the Ghanaian population to remain peaceful and healthy as well as keep their surroundings clean to ease the burden of perennial flooding that has been devastating many communities. GNA

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