45% of disease burden can be prevented with physical activity, says Harsh Vardhan
Being a physician with public health experience, he says he understands the importance of physical activity.
Dr. Harsh Vardhan put the spotlight on the need for daily physical activity when he cycled 2km from his home to work in the summer heat to take charge of the Union health and family welfare ministry at Nirman Bhawan on June 3. While he hasn’t cycled to work since, he makes sure he hops on his bike to cycle for 10km on Delhi roads at least two to three times a week.
“I do a combination of activities for at least 60 minutes every day. Depending on when I’m free for about an hour, I either cycle from home (Tees January Marg) to a little beyond Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to Lajpat Nagar, walk at Lodhi Gardens or my own lawn, do yoga and stretching exercises at home or when I’m travelling, or hit the gym for treadmill, cycling and some weights,” he said.
The 64-year-old usually finds an hour for himself after 10pm, which is when he can be spotted cycling or walking in Lodhi Gardens, where he says he has stray dogs for company. “I meet people from my constituency before going to work, so exercising in the morning becomes difficult. I used to go to the gym at Constitution Club, but that’s stopped because it shuts at 10 pm. So I cycle and walk late at night, when it’s cooler and there is less traffic on the roads,” the minister said.
Being a physician with public health experience, he says he understands the importance of physical activity. “The Health Organization recommends at least 150 minutes of moderately-intense physical activity a week and doubling of that for health benefits, such as prevention of diabetes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and obesity. An estimated 45% of the disease burden can be prevented with physical activity, so we all must find time and exercise whenever we can,” he added.