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May/June 2013
In addition to this, Beven adds that in order
to help and to maintain muscle mass and keep
the body flexible, a person should do resistance
or strength training 2 times per week for 30
minutes. “If a gym is available, ask a qualified
trainer for a workout routine,” he explains
however if there is no gym then aim to do
push ups, stomach crunches, back extensions,
squats (for the legs) and calf raises which are
all suitable if done regularly.
•Get Moving
Understanding and actually wanting to make
a lifestyle change is part of the process to
getting healthier. In fact, Beven emphasizes
that if you do not or have not exercised or
played sport as a part of your daily routine,
making the decision to embark on changing
your lifestyle is the most difficult thing you
will face. “Having made the decision, you
must next decide when your exercise or
participation in a sport will suit you best,” he
says as the point is to have fun whilst doing
it. “Remember that this activity should be
enjoyable and not a task; if it is a task, you
will very soon fail therefore select a time--
mornings, lunchtime or evenings--that suits
you best and stick to it.” Exercise is a very vast
activity and can actually encompass playing
a sport, swimming, walking, or jogging while
Beven adds that even joining a yoga class will
help you with flexibility and strengthen your
muscles. He advises, “My four recommended
exercises which can be easily done at home
include cycling, running or brisk walking for
approximately 20 minutes, push-ups, stomach
crunches, leg squats and/or back extensions.”
•Special Precautions
Beginning a new sport or exercise routine
can put strain on the body, heart and muscles
as it is not used to it, says Beven. “There are
four simple rules that you should follow to
avoid injury or over straining the heart; these
include consulting with a doctor as well as
seek advice from a personal trainer,” he says.
“Also remember to always warm up gently;
do not stretch cold muscles, a gentle walk or
jog for 5 minutes raises the heart rate and
warms the muscles.” And be aware that if
you feel uncomfortable, take rest and refrain
from pushing yourself to hard again. And
remember, the activity, reminds Beven, should
be fun. “And be sure to shower after exercise,”
he advises.
•Expert Advice
There is too much emphasis on exercise and
using a gym and there are many other ways
we can exercise, says Beven. “In days gone
by, we exercised by playing sport and a less
sedentary lifestyle in general,” he says. “My
recommendation is to join a sports club, yoga
group, (or boot-camp for the fitter) or get
together with friends who are like-minded
and play a sport or exercise together.” You will
have more fun if you “compare notes” with
a friend and enjoy the experience with other
•Real Life Case Study:
When 65-year-old British expatriate John
Sullivan was told he was diabetic and if
he didn’t take care, would eventually need
to take insulin injections to control his
blood sugar levels, he opted to change his
lifestyle completely. He explains, “Before
I used to eat my dinner and then just sit
down and relax or watch TV or read.
Now I make sure after my meals I go for
a brisk walk. I also do stomach crunches
and squats every morning as advised by
the doctor. After 2 months of doing this
regime, my doctor has said I can continue
with the tablets and do not need to take
injections thanks to my getting physically
•Body and Soul Health
The Body and Soul Health Clubs have
3 locations in the UAE-- Ajman in Jurf,
Dubai in Qusais, and Sharjah at Qasba.
The overall membership is a total of over
3,000 members with approximately 5
percent over 50 years of age.