Nigerians have been advised to engage in regular exercise as a means of preventing risk factors of coronary heart disease that now kills people in large numbers worldwide.
Dr. Funmi Akinloye, who made the appeal at a recent screening for the detection of hypertension organised by Nigerian Heart Foundation in Lagos, as part of activities marking the World Health Day noted that researches are still trying to find out exactly why physical activity plays such an important part in preventing coronary heart disease, but said that physical activity helps to lower high blood pressure and prevents it from occurring.
Akinloye who revealed that high blood pressure is one of the major risk factors for coronary heart disease, explained that regular, moderate rhythmic exercise, such as walking, cycling or dancing help to reduce blood pressure in people with the condition.
According to her, regular physical activity plays important role in achieving or keeping to healthy weight. ‘’The amount of activity you do is as important as the food you eat. This is because the exercise you do is as important as the food you eat. This means balancing the energy taken into your body (the calories in your food and drink) with the energy you use up (through activity), she noted.
People who are overweight according to her, are more likely to have high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol levels and so have a greater risk of coronary heart disease. she also noted that physical activity helps with diabetes, stressing that if one already has diabetes, physical activity can help to control it.
‘’Physical activity can also help prevent people from getting diabetes, which is very important because men who have diabetes are about three times more likely to get coronary heart disease than those without diabetes and women with diabetes are about four times more likely to get the disease,’’ she stressed.
Exercise according to her helps to prevent blood clotting as it helps to raise the protective cholesterol, but however warned that it is important to increase physical exercise gradually.