Seek advice before hiking, chronic NCD sufferers told

James Kon

The Ministry of Health (MoH) yesterday called for the public with chronic non-communicable diseases (NCDs) like heart disease, diabetes or possess risk of high blood pressure, are overweight or have breathing difficulties, to seek a doctor’s advice before going on a hike.

The MoH made this call as a precaution in view of the growing number of hikers.

According to the MoH, hiking is a cardiovascular workout that actively involves the whole body, especially the legs.

Hiking has many benefits like reducing risks of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. It can also help control body weight and strengthen muscles and bones.

As general steps for the public, the MoH said, “Start with light physical exercise and increase intensity slowly. If hiking, start slow, preferably on flat ground, bring equipment and clothes as well as shoes suitable for hiking to avoid injury.

Early preparation is crucial before heading out a hike. Inform family and close friends of your plan.

Plan the hiking route early as well as bring along a mobile phone and enough water.

“Avoid hiking in the late afternoon or night and during bad weather. As a precaution, it is advisable to bring a whistle, lamp and light raincoat as one of the basic equipment for hiking activities.”

“The public is also advised to bring carbohydrate-rich food like bananas, dates, raisins, and water to avoid dehydration.

“Avoid hiking alone. Make sure the weather and timing of your hike are perfect before heading out. Additionally, stop carrying out activities and rest if you feel tired/dizzy or face difficulty in breathing or if your heart is racing. Wait until the heartbeat has returned to normal before continuing.”

In the event of an emergency, the public is urged to not panic and to stay put, before contacting the Search and Rescue on 998.