A health convention was organised by the Sanyukta Mandal at BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, London, on 14 April 2018.

The event, attended by over 200 people, was in response to growing concerns about health and fitness amongst 40- to 55-year-olds, and provided valuable information and guidance for managing personal health, diet and fitness.

The day began with a welcome message from Yogvivek Swami who offered guidance and encouragement to the gathering. Thereafter, Dr Kalpesh Besherdas, Consultant Physician and Gastroenterologist at The Royal Free London NHS Foundation Trust, outlined key health indicators that attendees should understand and monitor regularly.

Girish Patel, a lead volunteer and AAA National Coach, was also on hand to provide guidance on preparing for long-term physical exercises, including stretching and body coordination.

Laura Holland, from the Tottenham Hotspur Foundation, discussed prevention and treatment of sports injuries. The Tottenham Hotspur Foundation has recently begun a partnership with London Mandir and BAPS Charities to improve wellbeing and fitness in the local community. This inspiring initiative began in April 2018, when it was launched in the presence of star Spurs footballer Ben Davies. (See news report here.)

An emphasis on diet was an important component of the seminar. Reshma Patel, a registered dietician, discussed cooking techniques and offered practical tips in relation to the preparation of healthier Gujarati meals.

Swamis alluded to the health benefits of yoga and explained how spiritual techniques can further enhance the holistic wellbeing of an individual.

The holistic health event was very well received by delegates. One of the attendees, Varsha Patel, shared her impressions of the day: “Learning about the variety of techniques available to improve my physical health was a real eye-opener. It was particularly useful to understand how exercise, diet and meditation can work hand-in-hand to positively improve my health. Thank you for explaining these concepts so clearly.

The second phase of the convention is scheduled for July 2018 with an emphasis on physical fitness techniques and exercises. Future health conventions will also be organised for younger and older generations.

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