Medical practitioners have called on Nigerians to engage in exercise as it can help in the control of blood pressure. Speaking during the presentation of the 2018 Nigerian Report Card on Physical Activity for Children and Youth and the unveiling of the ‘Exercise is Medicine’ Initiative by the Nigerian Heart Foundation (NHF) in Lagos recently, the Director General, Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Prof. Babatunde Salako, said exercise was very essential to human health.
He said: “NIMR is meant to conduct research and I belief noncommunicable diseases are also part of it. There are health issues and until we are able to reorganise our health system, we may not be able to solve them.
“We want to appreciate the Nigeria Heart Foundation. The health card could serve as a policy development to the government.
“I could see that one of the things pointed out is that there are reports on researches done on physical activities, especially when it comes to children and youths.
“ I will say the issue of exercise is very important. People who can’t afford drugs can use exercise to maintain blood pressure.”
Speaking on ‘Exercise is Medicine’, he added that the essence of this was to ensure physicians prescribe exercise.
The Chairman, Executive Council, NHF, Dr. Olufemi Mobolaji-Lawal, said the report card will be used for research and to implement policies.
“This launch is an advocacy to research work and policy implementation. We use the card to assess the physical activities of Nigerians. There is a lot to be done on exercise because the awareness is low.
“Every environment is suitable for physical activities. The weather is friendly. The report considers the environment and making the environment very suitable for physical activities.
“The environment changes and we have to adopt. We want everybody to be active and we are trying to design a way on how they can be active which is our core motive,” he said.