Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha) has stressed the importance of exercise in boosting the body’s immunity and preventing mental, metabolic, muscle, and bone diseases, resulting in a longer and healthier life.
Dr Bachar Omar Al Afandi, Head of the Division of Endocrinology at Tawam Hospital, one of Seha’s facilities, said, “Studies have established that exercise strengthens immunity. It has been proven that regular walking is an acceptable healthy alternative to high-intensity physical sports. Additionally, evidence supports that increasing the number of steps per day can gradually decrease the risk of various diseases.”
He added, “The studies given by the National Library of Medicine (NIH) recommend a daily step count of 7,000 to 10,000 for adults and 12,000 for youngsters. Research shows that increasing daily step count from 4,000 to 8,000 steps a day reduces mortality rate by 50 per cent.” According to Dr Al Afandi, most people are satisfied with taking only 3,500 steps a day which is insufficient. “This combined with lack of adherence to a healthy diet contributes towards obesity, heart disease, and cancer.”
Dr Bachar Al Afandi further explained, “Walking is highly beneficial for the elderly. The doctors advise older people to avoid lethargy and recommend walking, at an average speed, for 30 minutes a day, five days a week. The daily step count for healthy senior residents in developed countries ranges from 1,600 to 5,800 steps, while the recommended daily range is between 3,000 and 10,000 steps. The studies confirmed that in people over 65 years, every 1,000 steps taken over 3,000 steps, reduces the likelihood of diabetes by 6-13 per cent. Additionally, experts suggest that continuous brisk walking, or an average speed of about 100 steps per minute, is the healthiest practice.”
Dr Al Afandi advises on following a healthy lifestyle and incorporating certain daily habits such as regular walking, taking the steps over using elevators, and moving during breaks among others to live a healthier and longer life.