The Jakarta Post
The World Health Organization (WHO) is striving to promote yoga to create better health in the society.
WHO South-East Asia regional director Poonam Khetrapal Singh said yoga could be practiced at all ages and the only requirement was a commitment to better health and a willingness to gently stretch, exercise and invigorate one’s body and mind.
“It can help kids get the 60 minutes of daily activity needed to set up a lifetime of good health. It can help adults reach the 150 minutes of weekly activity needed to stave off non communicable diseases. For persons aged 65 and above it can help reduce the risk of depression and maintain cognitive functioning,” she said in a statement on International Yoga Day on Tuesday. .
This year’s International Day of Yoga drew a critical link between healthy lifestyles, physical activity and individual and public health.
According to WHO, non communicable diseases cause an estimated 8.5 million deaths in the South-East Asia region every year. Many of the deaths are premature and nearly all are lifestyle related. Around 70 percent of boys and 80 percent of girls in the region report insufficient physical activity.
Khetrapal Singh said finding time for exercise could be challenging but it was fundamental to life-long health and well being.
“The 5000-year-old practice of yoga is considered an effective way to increase strength and flexibility, enhance cardio-fitness, burn calories and relax the mind. It has also been known to help cultivate routine and integrate physical activity into daily life.” (ebf)