Looking at heavy traffic problem as healthy solution instead of getting stressed

MANILA — Majority — if not almost everyone — of commuters in Metro Manila find themselves complaining of the heavy traffic they are enduring daily.

Many find themselves coming late in the office, school or events or gatherings they need to attend, getting irritated and stressed as they are caught in traffic snarls caused by numerous buses, passenger jeepneys, taxicabs and private vehicles.

Even doing the Christmas shopping also gets tougher because going to the numerous malls in the metropolis, particularly in Quezon City, Manila and Makati City, is also difficult because of traffic.

But wait… Before your blood pressure rises as you hate the situation, why not contemplate on what the Department of Health (DOH) has suggested as things to do to see the traffic situation in a perspective wherein it can serve as a way to promote good health, particularly this holiday season.

According to DOH Secretary Janette L. Garin, people should also look at the brighter side of the traffic problem and use that as an opportunity to stay fit in a number of ways.

“Dahil nga po sa Christmas rush, iyong mga nasa probinsya ay nasa Maynila ngayon. Maraming nagbabakasyon, maraming tao, siyempre ‘pag mas maraming tao, mas traffic iyan. Habang naghihintay na mag-ease iyong kaunting traffic, mag-ikot-ikot muna (sa mall),” said Secretary Garin.

She added that walking will help in losing the excess calories taken by the body, especially during times where there are several Christmas events attended by people wherein they tend to eat more ore beyond what they should or in just moderation.

She said that as the people walk in going to the malls, they will notice that they are also burning calories stored in the body.

Calories provide the energy needed by the body and having no calories at all will make the body weak.

Stored calories that are not used by the body can turn into fats because a surplus of unused calories are stored.

While the body needs some fatty nutrients, excess of these is not recommended, especially to those who are hypertensive, diabetic or have family history of both chronic diseases.

The Health Chief said it is important to have more frequent movements or exercise in times that the body has taken much of the food requirements.

“Magwalking-walking sa mall… para kahit papaano nagkakaroon tayo ng mas maraming ehersisyo sa panahong mas marami tayong kinakain,” she added.

If stuck in traffic and a person does not like to go to the mall, the Health secretary said there are so many options to do in order not to feel stressful over the situation.

“In my case… iyong mga text message na hindi ko nasagot, nasasagot ko. Iyong mga email na hindi ko nabuksan, nabubuksan ko. Iyong mga papel na hindi ko nabasa, nababasa ko,” she shared.

She warned that stressing oneself just because of the traffic situation is bad for the health.

“Sit back and relax…. Minsan kasi nasa isip din natin. Kapag masyado mong tino-toxic iyong pag-iisip mo, naapektuhan siyempre iyong katawan mo,” she stressed.

Instead of getting stressed over the traffic situation, she advised that people can take the opportunity also to think peacefully or be in serene mood and look back at good things in life.

The DOH secretary further explained that it is normal to be stressed and nothing is wrong with this feeling for as long as a person can manage it.

Noting that there is no life not affected by stress, Secretary Garin said people can really minimize holiday stress.

According to her, preparing ahead of time and avoiding the holiday rush will help. Leilani S. Junio/PNA