Participants of the IJN’s My Heart, My Life – Sabah 2017 Cycling Tour at Jalan Lintas Kolombong, Kota Kinabalu. Pix by Mohd Adam Arinin

KOTA KINABALU: Cycling has helped a National Heart Institute (IJN) employee to get back in shape and reduce his risk of developing coronary heart disease.

Three years ago, cardiac angiographer Azman Hussin weighed over 100kg. It did not occur to him that he was unhealthy until he suffered a heart attack.

Relating his experience, the 43-year-old avid cyclist said he was at work when a burning sensation riddled him in the chest in 2014.

“I knew I was having a heart attack but I remained calm. I immediately did medical check-up and found out that my cholesterol level was very high.

“I was shocked. Of course, back then I never active in sports, as I had no time and too busy with work. I also ate whatever I wanted, including junk food and fast food.

“My cholesterol was high but I didn’t seem to care. I felt normal and I thought I was healthy,” Azman said when met at the IJN’s My Heart, My Life – Sabah 2017 Cycling Tour flagging-off event at Kolombong, here.

The episode sparked a change in Azman, and decided to adopt a healthier lifestyle by joining the IJN Cycling Club to get active in sports and exercise.

Today, he and 16 of his colleagues made up of clinical and non-clinical staffs gathered for an ambitious seven-day cycling expedition throughout Sabah.

Their mission - to bring free medical check-up and cardiac health awareness to the local communities.

The team plans to hold health talks and free screening for locals in Sipitang, Keningau, Kundasang, Kota Marudu, and Kota Kinabalu.

“I find cycling is a very good activity for me as it helps to lower heart disease risk. Since joining the cycling club, I have no problem with my health for the past three years.

“I used to be huge. But eating healthy and cycling regularly have helped me to maintain a better lifestyle. I am now 78kg and go for regular check on my cholesterol level,” added Azman.

He advised youths undergo health screening regularly and take up cardio exercises to minimise risks of developing heart disease.

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