Negros Occidental

Negros Occidental city turns plaza into a stationary bike hub for wellness

Erwin Delilan

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Negros Occidental city turns plaza into a stationary bike hub for wellness

FUN AND EXERCISE. A girl enjoys a "bike-all-you-can" session at the public plaza of Silay City in Negros Occidental.

Erwin Delilan/Rappler

As the sun rises and sets over the public plaza of Silay, Negros Occidental, the rhythmic hum of stationary bikes reverberates through a community pedaling towards a healthier future

BACOLOD, Philippines – A small city in Negros Occidental province is pioneering a “bike-all-you-can” program in Western Visayas, aimed at promoting an active lifestyle among its residents, particularly those managing diabetes and leading sedentary lifestyles.

The Silay City government has transformed the city’s public plaza into a hub for physical activities, installing stationary bikes available for free, unlimited use by the public.

As the sun rises and sets over the public plaza of Silay, Negros Occidental, the rhythmic hum of stationary bikes reverberates through a community pedaling towards a healthier future. The program not only fosters a sense of community but also promotes a sustainable and healthy lifestyle, and sets a standard for other cities to follow.

“This is one of our best contributions to uplift the health status of our elderly and ailing constituents,” said Silay Mayor Joedith Gallego.

The program was launched on June 3 to coincide with Gallego’s state of the city address, during which the mayor stressed the local government’s awareness of the health challenges faced by many residents.

Dr. Mary Ann Palermo-Maestral, chief of Teresita Jalandoni Memorial Provincial Hospital (TJMPH), stressed the cardiovascular benefits of using stationary bikes, noting that regular cycling improves blood circulation and is particularly beneficial for sedentary individuals and those with diabetes.

The Department of Health (DOH) in Western Visayas recognized the Silay initiative as a proactive response to the growing health crisis, encouraging the public to engage in regular exercise for diabetes prevention and management. In 2021 alone, an estimated 4.3 million Filipinos were diagnosed with diabetes.

Cycling is an effective exercise for managing diabetes, according to health experts. The activity helps regulate blood glucose levels, enhances insulin sensitivity, and promotes cardiovascular health. 

Regular cycling also increases muscle activity, which uses glucose for energy, thereby lowering blood sugar levels. It also aids in weight management by burning calories, a crucial factor in diabetes control, and improves cardiovascular fitness, reducing the risk of complications such as heart disease. 

Dr. Vicente Iturriaga, a retired TJMPH physician from Silay, lauded the program, stressing the importance of combining regular exercise, diet, and medication to effectively manage diabetes.

Dr. Romulo Rhoel Mogul, a medical specialist at the Negros Occidental Provincial Health Office, also said cycling is an excellent form of physical activity for diabetes management, but also emphasized the need for a balanced diet, especially the intake of food low in carbohydrates and fats, in managing the disease. – Rappler.com

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