World Health Day: #WORLDHEALTHDAY Mumbai doctors tell us how to stay healthy

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Over seven decades ago the World Health Organization was founded and held its First Health Assembly on April 7. And since then, that day is celebrated as World Health Day every year. This year, the theme is ‘Building a fairer, healthier world’.

While we are all used to rushing to our doctors for all health-related matters, we rarely think of what the doctors do to stay healthy. So, we spoke to three city doctors about it. Here is what they had to say…

‘Both physical and mental health is important’

Dr Minnie Bodhanwala, CEO of Wadia Hospital

Dr Bodhanwala looks at health in a very holistic manner and says, “For me, both physical and mental health is very important.” She makes it a point to have at-least 30 mins of walk-time every day, supported by a well-balanced diet. “I also like doing yoga, cooking and traveling for work, leisure, for a change of environment and to keep myself happy. Spending quality time with family also gives me the boost and motivation to stay healthy. My advice to others is to take time out for yourself and plan activities and changes in lifestyle to live a healthy life. It is important to lead a healthy lifestyle as we are seeing in the current pandemic situation also wherein people with chronic conditions related to lifestyle are at a much higher risk as compared to the others.”

‘Eat healthy, exercise well and get optimum sleep’

Dr Roy Patankar, Gastroenterologist, Zen Multispeciality Hospital

Dr Patankar is all about creating the perfect balance to stay healthy. He tells us that he pays attention to what he eats, sleeps well and also exercises daily. These three are the basic points that need to be followed by all to make the most of one’s day and stay healthy for life.

Dr Patankar tells Bombay Times, “I make it a point to include a lot of fibre in the diet, cut down on junk and fatty food and alcohol. Smoking is a strict no-no for me. I avoid eating after sunset and ensure that I take the biggest meal in the morning and the smallest before sunset. I exercise for 45 minutes on a daily basis and my fitness routine is a mix of walking, treadmill for cardio, yoga, and strength training and I exercise under the guidance of a fitness trainer. Everyday I meditate for 15 minutes in order to stay stress-free. I try to incorporate various exercises to break the monotony and aim to get a good night’s sleep for at least seven hours.”

‘Try to bring variety in exercises to prevent burnout’

Dr Samir Sheikh, Consultant Neonatology, Wockhardt Hospital


Dr Samir has been conscious of his weight and on World Health Day tells us how he has managed to deal with it all. “I am a huge guy with weight in three digits and age in my forties. I didn’t know what to do to stay fit. Like everyone else, being fit meant bulging biceps and a flat tummy. So, I started doing dumbbell exercises and crunches.” Then he got introduced to physiotherapist Dr Prachi. “She is fabulous and she taught me a couple of important things including the fact that we need to do something which we can sustain and something that would improve cardiovascular health in the longer run.”

The body is not divided into compartments, it is a single unit. Dr Samir explains, “For example, if I want to be a runner, just doing leg exercises is not sufficient. Then I started with just 30 minutes of functional exercise that is jogging. Gradually, I started shedding weight. It’s very important when you push your boundaries that you should not overdo and sustain muscular or joint injuries. Thankfully, due to Dr Prachi, I stayed injury-free and could push my boundaries. Try to bring variety in exercises to prevent burnout. Currently, my schedule is a mix of jogging, weight training, and weekly cycle ride with my doctor colleagues.”

For Dr Samir, nutrition in fitness is a double-edged sword. Despite being a doctor he faced issues when it came to weight. He shares with Bombay Times, “On one hand, you don’t want to hog on to foods that ruin your efforts. And on the other hand, you don’t want to go in a negative balance where your body breaks down just to sustain energy expenditure during the exercise regime. Finding a balance is as essential as finding a dietitian who understands your diet preferences and goals. Nutritionist Shazia was just the right mix of both and guided me resulting in a loss of almost six inches from my waist. Still, I am far away from my goal of achieving the “ideal” BMI (body mass index). But, how will you enjoy your destination, if the journey is not beautiful? I am glad to have the support of my colleagues who kept me injury-free and motivated!”



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