This doc­tor duo leads by ex­am­ple

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - People - By DI­NESH KU­MAR MAGANATHAN star2@thes­

CY­CLING is the best form of ex­er­cise.

This is what Dr Raja Ah­mad Sha­harul and Dr Azura Rozila Ah­mad tell their pa­tients.

“Every day, I see at least one pa­tient who is over­weight or has high choles­terol lev­els. When I tell them that they need to ex­er­cise and they ask me what they should do, I al­ways sug­gest cy­cling.

“It’s the best ex­er­cise be­cause it is a low im­pact form of ex­er­cise, un­like run­ning,” shares Dr Raja Ah­mad, a med­i­cal di­rec­tor at a pri­vate med­i­cal com­pany.

“I tell my pa­tients to do the same as well,” says his wife Dr Azura, a con­sul­tant clin­i­cal on­col­o­gist at Bea­con Hos­pi­tal.

“Ex­er­cise can help can­cer pa­tients deal with their treat­ments bet­ter as well,” she says.

The cou­ple cy­cles every week and is ea­ger to sup­port Ride for Malaysia, the July 30 cy­cling event or­gan­ised by Star Me­dia Group and prop­erty de­vel­oper Sun­suria Ber­had.

“Ride for Malaysia is cer­tainly a good way to unite peo­ple. I be­lieve cy­cling is very mul­tira­cial, it’s one of those ac­tiv­i­ties where you see peo­ple from all sorts of back­grounds en­joy­ing them­selves to­gether,” Dr Raja Ah­mad, 44, says.

Call­ing it a “good ini­tia­tive”, Dr Azura, 43, be­lieves the event could in­cul­cate a muhib­bah spirit among Malaysians, and hopes it will get peo­ple to “move and ex­er­cise for health”.

“It’s a very sim­ple ac­tiv­ity. It’s not too over­whelm­ing, not mo­not­o­nous and it’s fi­nan­cially fea­si­ble,” she adds.

The hus­band and wife use their ac­tive life­style to in­spire their pa­tients to start ex­er­cis­ing.

“Some­times when he stops post­ing pho­tos and com­ments about cy­cling on Face­book, his pa­tients con­tact him and ask if he is all right,” Dr Azura quips about hubby.

Dr Raja Ah­mad picked up cy­cling when he and his wife were com­plet­ing their post­grad­u­ate stud­ies in Bri­tain.

What started off as leisurely ex­er­cise grew into marathon par­tic­i­pa­tion, and upon re­turn­ing to Malaysia in 2010, Dr Raja Ah­mad even en­tered duathlons and cen­tury rides which can go up to 160km.

As for Dr Azura, what made her stick with cy­cling, be­sides be­ing “ca­joled” by her hus­band, was the alarm­ing heart at­tack rates among young peo­ple when they re­turned to Malaysia.

As a pre­ven­tive mea­sure, she adopted this health­ier life­style with her hus­band.

Now, Dr Azura cy­cles for 30 min­utes every week; Dr Raja Ah­mad cy­cles nearly 80km on week­ends along the Klang Val­ley’s Guthrie Cor­ri­dor Ex­press­way.

Doc­tors Raja Ah­mad (left) and Azura al­ways tell their pa­tients: Cy­cling is the best form of ex­er­cise. — IBRAHIM MOHTAR/The Star

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