Professor Henry FraserArchitecural Historian / Heritage Consultant
Chairman, Sentinel Committee, Barbados National Trust
Writer, TV Presenter, National Orator & Motivational Speaker
Professor Emertius, Medicine and Clinical Pharmacology.
Immediate Past Dean, Faculty of Medical Sciences.
University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados.


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Walk, run or dance – just move it!

Professor Henry Fraser

“I have two doctors - my left leg and my right”. Anonymous

One of these columns which created a great deal of interest and questions was one on exercise, back in 2003 – called “Exercise – boring or blissful?” As diabetes and the obesity epidemic are once more in the public eye, and the new year is the time when all good people vow to exercise, today’s column is an update of that early column, with a few more useful hints.

The benefits and especially the pleasures of exercise have been known and enjoyed for millenia. The Olympic games of ancient Greece, run in the nude, were the inspiration for the modern Olympics. And both philosophers and physicians preached the benefits of exercise. Cicero advised exercise and temperance “to preserve our early strength into old age”; and Hippocrates, the father figure of medicine since around 400 B.C. , waxed eloquent about it.

John Dryden, seventeenth century poet, even wrote poems about it:

“...The wise, for cure, on exercise depend;

God never made his work for man to mend”

This age old wisdom or common sense has stood the test of time, and the common sense of the ages is now supported by a vast body of solid medical evidence. So what are these benefits?

First the long term benefits:

Regular exercise:

-promotes longevity, i.e. active people live longer,
-it reduces heart disease
-it reduces high blood pressure
-it reduces development of diabetes and helps to control diabetes
-it promotes weight loss, i.e. it prevents obesity and reduces obesity
-it reduces osteoporosis, i.e. “thinning” or softening of bones, leading to fractures
-it reduces pain and improves function in chronic arthritis
-it improves strength and balance in the elderly
-it may reduce Alzheimer’s disease
-it improves strength and kidney function in end stage renal failure, as shown by the research of Barbadian Professor Samuel Headley,a leading exercise physiologist in the USA and guest speaker in Barbados a couple of years ago
-it increases physical and cardiovascular fitness, and benefits work performance, sexual and mental performance. (Take note - workers, lovers and students especially!)

Henry Fraser Historic Houses Of Barbados Book CoverHistoric Houses of Barbados
Written by Henry Fraser & Ronnie Huges.
Available at all book leading book stores in Barbados.

Henry Fraser Treasures Of Barbados Book CoverTreasures of Barbados
Written by Sir George Alleyne and edited by Henry Fraser.
Available at the UWI Bookshop the publishers.

Henry Fraser Chattle House Book CoverBarbados Chattel Houses
Written by Henry Fraser and Bob Kiss.
Available at all leading book stores.

Henry Fraser A-Z Barbados Book CoverA-Z of Barbados Heritage
Written by Sean Carrington, Henry Fraser, John Gilmore and Addington Forde.
Available at Days Bookstore Barbados and

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