People enjoying a good workout at Bukit Kiara Park, Kuala Lumpur.

AS a resident of Taman Tun Dr Ismail, I frequently walk up the Bukit Kiara jogging trail. Some find the 5km circuit challenging as there are steep inclines. But at the end of it, all agree that they, indeed, get a good workout.

Last week, I met a friend, a cardiologist who works at the National Heart Institute (IJN). He was my walking partner that day.

He asked me to look at the racial mix of the walkers, joggers and cyclists there. One thing was clear: about 80 to 90 per cent of the crowd were Chinese.

At the TTDI Lake Park, there were large groups doing qi gong, line-dancing and fan-dancing. Again, the Chinese are the main participants. Why is this? Is this a cultural thing or are they simply more health-conscious?

Why are the other communities not exercising as much and as regularly? Are their priorities different?

Are they too busy with their daily lives that during their working years, they do not have time for physical activities?

By the time they realise this, it may be too late. And not forgetting the associated escalating health bills in later years.

My friend told me that those seeking treatment at IJN were inversely proportional to the racial mix at the trail. This was an eye-opener.

During working years, the “health is wealth” message is not meaningful as the go-getter focuses on making as much money as possible. Although mindful that exercise is good, many overlook their health when caught up with work commitments.

Regular physical activity improves one’s health and fitness.

Mindful that physical inactivity among certain communities in this country will be a major public health issue in the years to come, the government needs to create more green spaces where Malaysians can work out.

The parks should be equipped with appropriate and well-maintained facilities.

Encourage children to exercise so that they grow up with workouts as part of their lifestyle.

Shouldn’t all Malaysians emulate the Chinese in terms of staying healthy?

POLA SINGH,

Kuala Lumpur

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