Doha, The State of Qatar celebrates on Tuesday the National Sports Day, on which tens of thousands of citizens and residents across all sectors of society exercise sports in a tradition going on for the sixth consecutive year under the theme of activity and liveliness.
HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani had issued Emiri Decision No. 80 of 2011 on Dec. 6, 2011 regarding the National Sports Day, stipulating that the second Tuesday of February every year be a national sports day.
The decision stipulated that ministries and government entities as well as the public institutions and bodies under their jurisdiction, and all operating entities in the country, including the private sector, shall organize sports activities on the National Sports Day, in which their staff participate in a way that takes into consideration their conditions and ages so as to achieve awareness of the importance of sport and its role in the lives of individuals and societies.
Several state entities have established special committees to supervise the programs and activities that they will organize for the National Sports Day in implementation of the Emiri decision. They are set to hold sports events for their staff and their families as well as encourage citizens and residents alike to take part in the activities and exercise.
Qatar is a regional and world pioneer in terms of dedicating a day to sports, with some countries following Qatar's lead and organizing a sports day in recognition of its importance for the individual and society.
The main objective of the decision to hold a national sports day is to instill sport as a main element in the lives of citizens and residents of Qatar. The concept is a means to encourage everyone to practice sport, which is indispensable for anyone seeking a healthy lifestyle, which in turn achieves the goal of Qatar National Vision 2030 of sustainable human development.
The decision also aimed to build an active and physically and mentally healthy society that enhances social interaction. It also aimed to adopt the best practices to promote sports and physical activity among individuals.
Plenty of places are available in Qatar for exercise not only inside clubs but also in Corniche area, public parks, neighborhood playgrounds and residential complexes.
The Ministry of Culture and Sports has decided to make all clubs, playgrounds and sports halls accessible on the National Sports Day for everyone to exercise and disseminate awareness of the importance of sports. The ministry sent a circulation to all sporting clubs directing them to cooperate with state institutions to make the occasion a success.
Three main events are scheduled to take place on the National Sports Day; a men's march at Corniche will start at 9 a.m. and another one for women will take place at Aspire Park, while a third march will be held outside Doha in other cities and villages under the supervision of clubs and municipalities so that as much citizens and residents as possible participate.
Supervisors of neighborhood playgrounds were also directed to open them for everyone in order to promote the entertainment and sports activities that will take place and allow all entities and ministries to use sports facilities during the day.
Qatar Olympic Committee has also directed all sports associations to postpone their events and competitions that were scheduled to take place on Tuesday in order to allow for the participation of all entities, citizens and residents.
Sport is extremely important for maintaining general health and preventing diseases and, thus, is always on top of advice given by physicians. Studies show that the physical and mental status of the body improves by exercising.
Sports, particularly those that involve large muscles such as arms, legs, abs and back, benefit the heart because of the blood amounts that they require, which improves the functionality of the circulatory and respiratory systems, and increases the efficiency of the heart muscle.
Sport also has a positive impact on the brain as studies show that the positive mental condition that follow exercising is caused by the body's release of endorphins, which triggers positive feelings in the body similar to that of morphine. Sport also renews mental activity by improving blood circulation and delivering enough blood to the brain.
The call for exercising is especially beneficial for younger generations as it gives them strength and grows their bodies and minds, while improving their learning, memory, focus, fitness and physical shape.
Health experts say that physiologic improvements would be possible for older people by exercising 10 to 15 years back as it increases the strength of muscles. According to the studies, exercising three times a week for three months increases the strength of muscles by 10 to 20 percent.
Sport specialists formulated a training program that fits the elderly and takes 60 minutes. It begins with preparing the different body parts for physical activity by warming up for five minutes through walking regularly, light running or performing general exercises of the arms, legs and torso. Rotations, weights or ripples are performed for five minutes to strengthen the muscles of the arms and for the flexibility of the joints, lengthening ligaments and strengthening shoulders.
To strengthen the muscles of the feet and make them flexible, walking or light running for about 10 minutes is beneficial, while bending and rotating the torso in all directions for five minutes is good for strengthening the muscles of the torso and the flexibility of the spine.
In addition, strengthening abdominal muscles, improving the flexibility of the lumbar spine and repairing the position of the groin area can be enhanced by lifting the arms aside, raising legs laterally to touch the hands, and raising arms by raising the torso to the front and bending knees while applying stress on them, in addition to raising the legs and lowering them together interchangeably for 10 minutes.
General endurance and mental stimulation can be boosted by exercising basketball for 20 minutes while not necessarily sticking to rules of the game. After that, general relaxing exercises restore blood circulation and breathing to normal.
Source: Qatar News Agency