By Seema Mir
ISLAMABAD, Mar 01 (APP):A daily half an hour walk in clean and green environment along roadside, footpaths, parks, open spaces or trails does wonders in safeguarding human body against
Walking is a powerful mood-medicine for protecting health of heart, brain and sharpening memory. Similarly, deep breathing exercise in open area supports the systems of body which are otherwise harmed either by stress or depression.
Medical specialists opined that a minimum walk of 12 minutes in green area increases joviality, vigor, attentiveness and self-confidence as compared with the same time spent in sitting.
The physical exercise can help reduce blood pressure and even change the expression of genes. It is a medically proven fact that besides scenery of green area, chirping of birds is also considered a powerful anti-depressant.
The boost of oxygen is important because it allows cells to produce more energy. Therefore, daily walk and physical exercise allow a greater entrance of oxygen to brain. The added energy allows brain to repair, regenerate and function better.
According to reports, Bhuttan is considered as one of the happiest countries in the world due to the fact that its people consume three times more oxygen than the rest of the world.
Talking to APP, a medical practitioner, Dr. Saima Razak while laying emphasis on importance of walk, said physical activity in the open had its own merits. She said, “walk reduces depression, boosts self-esteem and improves the overall body functions”.
According to medical experts, walking and breathing in cooler air can help regulate and even lower the temperature of brain and a cool brain is more pleasurable to body and mind than the warm ones.
According to psychiatrists, a daily walk for at least 30 minutes prompts the body to release hormones endorphins. It reduces depression and triggers positive feeling inside the body.
This positive feeling, they said, is good for overall wellbeing of the body in general and for heart and brain in particular. Thus it endorses the popular saying, “A healthy body has a healthy mind”.
According to scientific studies, the consumption of Volume of Oxygen (VO2) by the body for regular functioning of its parts is essential. More the volume of oxygen consumed by the body, the more perfectly its organs work.
It merits mentioning here that highly oxidative organs such as heart had a high demand for oxygen. Therefore, it has relatively high oxygen consumption. Similarly, the brain consumes about 25 percent of oxygen intake.
Consultant Physician and Chest Specialist Dr. Zaheer Ahmed said that a brisk walk for 30 to 45 minutes daily in a park or along roadside in the morning was best for staying healthy. He, however, cautioned that a heart patient should go for a walk after consultation with doctor.
Symptoms of heart disease as pointed out by Dr. Zaheer were: Tiredness after walking a little bit, a rapid heart-beat after going upstairs, congestion in the chest or chest pain after a brisk walk. He advised that anybody having the above mentioned symptoms should immediately consult a doctor.
When asked what should be the diet to prevent heart diseases, he stressed that it should be very simple based on vegetables, fruits and fruit juices. He said, “Too much red meat should not be used; only once a week or once a month it should be taken.” White meat and fish should be preferred while use of salt and oil should be made minimal, he added.
The medical experts observed that people in communities with abundant green space generally enjoy better health. Three golden rules to stay away from diseases were advised as: Regular walk, simple food (fruits and vegetables) and avoiding heavy diet.