Battling diabetes the physical way

Chow (in green) warming up with a group of participants before the Zumba and Konga session at Occupy Beach Street in George Town. — Photos: LIM BENG TATT/The Star

THERE is no better way to fight off lifestyle diseases for retiree Sam Miew Heng, 65, than sweating it out.

She was spotted joining the high intensity routines of Konga, Zumba and other fitness routines at the ‘Get Your Fit On 2.0’ event at Penang’s Occupy Beach Street.

“It is always good to join events like these where we can sweat it out. It keeps me healthy.

“I never pass up opportunities to join activities where we get to participate in exercises and fitness routines.

“It gets us moving with everyone else. Most of us would probably only think of working out but never really jump into doing it.

“So joining events like this helps us get moving with everyone else, ” she said.

Sam was among the 300 participants at the event.

Organised by 20 local clubs of Lions Club International (LCI) District 308 B2, it aimed to improve diabetes awareness and foster a healthier lifestyle within the community.

A Konga instructor (in grey suit) leading the participants during the Konga session.A Konga instructor (in grey suit) leading the participants during the Konga session.

Event organising chairman Belle Chan said the event was also to raise funds for Persatuan Diabetes Malaysia (PDM) Penang branch.

She said the event raised over RM13,000 through the ticket sales and this sum would be donated to PDM.

“While we fundraise, we also hoped the public had fun while working out.

“It was reported that over 3.6 million Malaysians suffer from diabetes.

“We actually rank the highest in Asia, and one of the highest in the world.

“By 2025, seven million Malaysian adults will likely have diabetes, which is a bit scary when we think about it.

“So this is why we organise events like this one. We want people to have fun and work out, and more importantly, we want to fight the disease, ” she said.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who was present, agreed that the diabetes statistics were frightening.

“It would mean that for every 10 citizens, one would be diabetic.

“We would like to support all initiatives that promote a healthy and active lifestyle.

“Recently, the state accepted a proposal from the Malaysian Paediatric Association to join in and conduct a three-year awareness campaign on obesity among schoolchildren in Penang.

“The state will sponsor over RM2mil to support this campaign for the next three years so that our children can continue on their journey as healthy citizens.

“This is because if one in every 10 citizens gets diabetes, we will lose out even more, ” he said in his speech.

The main organising Lions Clubs included Tanjung Putri, Lions Clubs of Penang Host, George Town, Georgetown Central, Georgetown Mutiara, Tanjung, Georgetown City, Georgetown Island, Tanjung Indah, Georgetown Penang Light, Georgetown Perdana, Penang Metropolitan, Tanjung Putra New Century, Penang Island New century, Bayan Baru, Penang Komtar, Penang Southbay, Tanjung Star, Penang Queen and Penang Harmony.

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