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Politics & Policy   NEW POLICE REFORMS



Dr. Abdul Ahad, graduated from Sindh Medical College in 1992. After completing his house job at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre joined Physiology Department of Baqai University and served there for four and half year. Since 1997 he is working as a Senior Instructor in the Department of Basic Health Sciences at Ziauddin Medical University, Karachi. His research topic for M Phil. is "Prevalence of Exercise Induced Bronchospasm in Athletes via a Free Running Test". He is also associated as Exercise Physiologist with Shapes health studio, an exercise laboratory being established in Karachi. Lately he has presented papers at two international conferences, one held in Bangladesh and other organized by Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation at Lahore.

April 08 - 14, 2002

PAGE: You are among the few doctors who teach as well as practice "Exercise Physiology". Please briefly tell what does this mean?

DR. ABDUL AHAD: Teaching is my passion, in fact I teach the importance of exercise physiology and its role in health and fitness to both my students and my patients. To highlight its importance I will quote from the US Surgeon General's report. It says, "Significant health benefits can be obtained by including a moderate amount of physical activity on most, if not all, days of the week. Through a modest increase in daily activity, most Americans can improve their health and quality of life." It also says, "Additional health benefits can be gained through greater amounts of physical activity. People who can maintain a regular regimen of activity that is of longer duration or of more vigorous intensity are likely to drive greater benefit."

PAGE: What is the difference between doctor of sports medicine and exercise physiologist?

DR. ABDUL AHAD: Doctor of sports medicine (Team Physician) train athletes how to prevent injuries and if injury occurs, treats and rehabilitates them. Whereas Exercise Physiologist is a person who is involved throughout the exercise programmes. The term physical fitness is broadly defined as, "A set of attribute that people have or achieve that relate to the ability to perform physical activity. The term 'health-related physical fitness' has been used to denote fitness as it pertains to disease prevention and health promotion.

PAGE: How does "Exercise Physiology" differ from family practice?

DR. ABDUL AHAD: Exercise Physiology and family practice are not two different things because both are related to preventive and curative aspects of treatment. The health and fitness benefits of regular physical activity and/or exercise, reviews the risk associated with exercise testing and training, and provides recommendations in fitness and exercise-based rehabilitation programmes.

PAGE: Does this include health screening besides, exercise prescription?

DR. ABDUL AHAD: Health screening is very important part of exercise physiology. We can minimize the risks associated with an athletes and prescribe an appropriate exercise programme to achieve the desired objectives.

PAGE: What is the role of exercise physiology in sports?

DR. ABDUL AHAD: Exercise physiology plays a critical role in sports. It includes fitness screening, exercise prescription, exercise evaluation and exercise outcome evaluation. Performance graphs are made to assess improvement all this is done on a case to case basis.

PAGE: Can the injuries caused during game lead to permanent disabilities and/or such disabilities can be avoided by Exercise Physiology?

DR. ABDUL AHAD: Exercise physiology as I have just mentioned is related to exercise prescription. It prepares athletes to the tune that injuries during game are minimized hence disabilities can be avoided.

PAGE: Can an ordinary person (other than sportsman) also benefit from Exercise Physiology?

DR. ABDUL AHAD:Exercise Physiology caters the need of everyone regarding health-related fitness for common people and sports related fitness for athletes.

PAGE: Why there is such an acute shortage of Exercise Physiologists?

DR. ABDUL AHAD: Exercise Physiology is a new field and there are very few people in this field and its importance is not known in this part of the world. We need to start Exercise Physiology programme in our universities to cater to the need.

PAGE: How we can improve our medal score in international sports events with the help of Exercise Physiology?

DR. ABDUL AHAD: Exercise Physiology if incorporated in the training of our athletes, we can definitely get higher number of medals in international games and by establishing human performance laboratory our promising athletes can be benefited. It must be noted that many Pakistani participants have won medals despite poor facilities. If they are provided with better facilities their performance can be further improved. We must start today if we wish to win medals in forthcoming international events.