This doctor duo leads by example
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