You see them along the riverside or in parks. Groups of people trying desperately to exercise, moving their hands up and down, and keeping their legs in constant motion.
Most people know that exercise can have huge benefits for health.
However, in developing countries such as Cambodia, most people don’t begin to exercise until they are advised to by their doctor after being diagnosed with a disease or sickness.
This is part of the reason why exercise throughout the Kingdom is favoured more by the elderly than the young.
Sieng Vannarith, 21, is among those who used to never exercise.
“I was never doing exercise before until I was told by the doctor that the amount of cholesterol in my body is overwhelming the regular amount and so I should exercise,” he said.
After exercising for two months, he lost 10 kilograms and felt healthier.
Vannarith’s doctor also told him that exercise is better than using medication to control cholesterol, as pharmaceuticals could affect his health in the future.
Exercise can be vital to restoring people’s health. And while some people exercise to cure or control their illness, other practitioners discover additional benefits.
Seng Paradet, 23 years old, is a model and says his appearance is his first priority: “I exercise because it can make me look handsome.” He added that exercise not only helps one remain healthy and fit but also has benefits for one’s mental health.
Dr Sim Thida, a general physician, notes that exercise can reduce illness as well as the time one spends recuperating.
“Exercise makes people healthier, but it does not mean that exercising can cure disease,” he noted.
What exercise does do is improve the functioning of bodily systems, allowing the body to better respond to disease and sickness. However, if someone is already sick, exercising will not be a cure-all.
Chen Richart, 45, is a trainer at the gym AusFit.
“Exercise is an ingredient in life because a person is just like a filter,” he said. “If they did not filter their body regularly, their filter may get stuck and stop working.”
As someone who has worked at a gym for many years, he says he has seen that exercise alone is not enough to stay healthy. People should also consider what they eat on a daily basis.
Richart reminds people that exercising may not be able to cure a serious disease or an illness, though it can be preventative.
Therefore, he strongly believe that people should do exercise before they have an illness.
Last but not least, Dr Thida recommends that all people, especially the young, exercise regularly and safely.
“Exercise really helps a lot to the people who did not have any illness, because doing exercise mean destroying the amount of sugar and oil in ones body.”
Because exercise can prevent illness, he advises people to start exercising from a young age and learn to do their exercises safely and properly.