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02.11.2005 Health

Regular exercise can prevent non-communicable diseases

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Accra Nov. 2, GNA - Regular exercises and eating the right diet could prevent non-communicable diseases that had been identified as major health problems, Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, Director - General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), said on Wednesday. He said: "There is no drug in current or prospective use that holds as much promise for sustained health as a lifetime programmes of physical exercise."

Prof. Akosa noted at a press briefing to mark the celebration of GHS month being observed this month on the theme: "Healthy Lifestyle- Healthy Living" that lack of enough physical activities had become a serious problem in all countries.

He said that the drastic reduction in physical exertion had led to many physical, mental and emotional health problems, adding that inactive people tended to have higher blood pressure, higher risk of stroke and heart attack, a higher risk of developing certain types of cancer and a higher tendency to become obese.

"In today's world as a result of the technological revolution one need not take a step to eat and therefore most people do not shed any amount of calories but put in a lot of them from eating and drinking". He said despite the well-publicised risks of physical inactivity, a large segment of the world's population remained virtually inactive and government agencies around the world had started various programmes designated to educate the public on the benefits of moderate physical activity.

Avoidable diseases like hypertension and diabetes, he said, had put a lot of burden on the health delivery service. On the need for healthy living, he said, there was the need to spread meals three times a day and avoid eating after 1900 hours. Do not skip breakfast, he said, it is the most important meal of the day and advised that people should choose foods that were in season and locally available, adding that healthy foods did not cost much citing kooko and koose as ideal breakfast. Prof. Akosa noted that locally available foods could give healthy diet useful in supporting healthy eating.

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