Friday, 8 May 2009

Asian Institute of Gastroenterology: Doctors keep themselves fit through exercise

Syed Akbar
Hyderabad: It's six in the morning. A group of people in track suits enters a gymnasium, complete with state-of-the-art equipment including the mandatory thread mills, weight benches and height adjusters.

After a hectic 30 minutes of exercise, they check their weight on the nearby portable weighing scale. Having lost some weight and calories, they disperse, allowing others to continue with the exercise.

This is a general routine at any hitech gymnasium in the city. But what makes this gym stand apart is that it is attached to a hospital. And those trimming their bodies and losing calories are physicians, surgeons and medical experts. All of them believe that a good body gives a good mind and when both combines the results are wonderful. Patients get good attention, proper treatment and care. It's a win-win situation for both.

The modern gymnasium attached to the Asian Institute of Gastroenterology in Hyderabad stands
testimony to the latest fad among doctors to stay fit, eat fit and serve patients well. The AIG is perhaps one of the few medical institutions of repute to provide gym facility to its medical staff. Almost every doctor in the institute makes it a point to shed a few calories to ensure that they are attentive to the needs of patients.

"It all began with the concept that a fit doctor is the best doctor. A few minutes of exercise regularly keeps us healthy. Many doctors because of their busy and untimely schedules do not find enough time to do exercise. So we have opened a gym in the hospital premises. Doctors come here and burn their calories without disturbing their tight schedule. Those on morning surgeries exercise in the evening and vice versa," says Dr D Nageshwar Reddy, chairman and chief of gastroenterology, Asian Institute of Gastroenterology.

Many doctors in the city have now included exercise in their daily routine. While those not so busy prefer to burn calories every day, seven days a week, the busybees make it a point to exercise at least for 35 minutes, four days a week.

"I have been in favour of optimum exercise, not too long or too short. But I do vigorous exercise as it is the best form of shedding weight. What is important is quantification of exercise. This keeps the circulation of blood in good condition," observes surgeon Dr GV Rao.

There are some in the medical fraternity who believe that regular exercise will prevent major health risks like cardio vascular strokes, cerebro vascular strokes, diabetes and fatty liver. Argues Dr Manu Tandon "those in the top position should show the way to the juniors. If the seniors are not healthy, they set a bad trend. So our war is against obesity".

Dr Rupa, a regular at the gym, suggests isometric exercises for people, particularly those in the medical profession. "It is a sort of strength training," she says.

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