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.
By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
April 08 - 14, 2002
are among the few doctors who teach as well as practice "Exercise
Physiology". Please briefly tell what does this mean?
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."
What is the difference between doctor of sports medicine and exercise
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.
How does "Exercise Physiology" differ from family practice?
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.
Does this include health screening besides, exercise prescription?
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.
What is the role of exercise physiology in sports?
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.
Can the injuries caused during game lead to permanent disabilities
and/or such disabilities can be avoided by Exercise Physiology?
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.
Can an ordinary person (other than sportsman) also benefit from
DR. ABDUL AHAD:Exercise
Physiology caters the need of everyone regarding health-related
fitness for common people and sports related fitness for athletes.
Why there is such an acute shortage of Exercise Physiologists?
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.
we can improve our medal score in international sports events with the
help of Exercise Physiology?
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