Dozens of enthusiastic cyclists from entire Karachi participated in a diabetes awareness exercise in Clifton on Saturday under the banner of the Cycologists group to highlight the importance of cycling and other physical activities for the prevention and management of diabetes as well as other diseases related to lifestyle.
The cyclists, who included men and women of all ages, covered a stretch of 18 kilometres within half an hour in a bid to convey the importance of physical excursion in burning extra calories, living a healthy life and most importantly, preventing lifestyle ailments like diabetes, hypertension, ischemic heart disease and various other diseases.
A diabetes screening camp was also held outside the Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (Szabist) where cyclists, doctors and people were screened for diabetes, hypertension and body mass index (BMI). Experts at the camp advised people having high blood sugar and hypertension to exercise vigorously to remain fit and healthy.
Two young children were also given new bicycles through a lucky draw on the occasion.
The cycling event and awareness session was organised by various organisations, including the Pakistan Endocrine Society (PES), Szabist, Rotary and local pharmaceutical firm Pharmevo to raise awareness regarding lifestyle modification and healthy activities in preventing and managing diabetes.
The cycling rally and awareness session were part of the activities organised in connection with World Diabetes Day, which is observed every year on November 14 to raise awareness and promote the importance of adopting healthy lifestyle, regular exercise and balanced diet to avoid diseases like diabetes.
Speaking at the awareness session after the cycle rally, diabetologist Dr Ashraf Memon said nothing was healthier than an early morning walk, jogging and cycling in cities like Karachi where hundreds of thousands of people were becoming obese and developing diseases like diabetes, hypertension and ischemic heart disease.
“Diabetes is a lifestyle disease which means that our sedentary style of living, unbalanced diet and habits are seriously affecting our health. We need to give at least one hour to ourselves on a daily basis where we exercise to get rid of extra calories and pounds from our bodies. Cycling is one of the best exercises to achieve these goals”, he added.
Highlighting the importance of consuming a balanced diet, Dr Memon said there was a need to promote eating of vegetables and fruits among children and added that parents should discourage the use of juices, both fresh and packaged, as the “nature has produced fruits for eating, not for drinking”.
Leader of the Cycologists group Asad said that unfortunately, a majority of adults in Karachi were either diabetics or pre-diabetics, which means that they were going to develop diabetes sooner or later in their lives.
“We at Cycologists are cycling for health and well-being. We want to promote this activity as much as possible so that people could prevent themselves from developing serious health conditions like diabetes,” Asad said, adding that they were trying to promote cycling among children as childhood obesity was on the rise in Pakistan, especially Karachi.
Director Commercial of Pharmevo Mansoor Khan said they were promoting and sponsoring healthy activities like cycling to fulfil their dream of a healthy society and in this regard, they had also established their own cycling club titled ‘Evodian Riders’.
He maintained that in addition to organising the cycle rally, screening camps and awareness sessions, they were also offering new bicycles to two enthusiasts through a lucky draw to promote the healthy activity and highlight the importance of physical activities.