Gym coaches urge public to exercise for health and fitness

Healthy Body

Lack of physical activity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality causing at least three million preventable deaths globally.

The National Library of Medicine, a US medical journal, says epidemiological research shows that 15–20 per cent of the overall risk for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, and breast cancer is due to physical inactivity.

Fitness instructors in Nyeri are now calling on the public to incorporate workouts as part of their daily routine to address the rising cases of lifestyle diseases.

Dr Michael Muriuki, who runs Nyeri Health and Gym, says that there is a need to increase awareness among members of the public since the majority of diseases and stress-related challenges affecting the populace are a result of unhealthy lifestyles.

“Some of the issues I have handled as a doctor such as hypertension and obesity are due to lack of physical activity and unhealthy diets. One thing I have noticed here in Nyeri is that most people believe working out and prioritising healthy eating is not essential. And this is how everything is wrong,” Muriuki says.

The medic observes that people tend to go for quantity while preparing their meals without regard to the nutritional value, a problem that can be blamed on the difficult economic situation facing the country.

For others the question of enrolling in a fitness club is an unnecessary burden that is beyond their meagre income.

The doctor advises sceptics to employ simple activities such as in early morning walks in case they cannot afford a private instructor.

“Exercising is not all about going to the gym. Doing simple tasks like walking, stretching, using simple water bottles as weights are also forms of working out that do not require money. Also, for those with busy schedules, try walking to your place of work sometimes instead of taking transport, choose stair climbing over elevators or even set aside ten minutes a day to move around. You can also do rope skipping, or use a chair to do triceps dips,” he advises.

Veronica Ngina, gym instructor at Alpha Cross Body Fitness Centre, says apart from keeping NDCs at bay, physical workouts are ready antidotes against stress and ageing.

“Mental wellbeing is important and one of the ways to reduce stress is by keeping busy or remaining active. In fact, research shows working out helps reduce the problem of substance use, which millions of people hide behind as a temporary relief from their problems,” she states.

Hosea Mwaniki, a gym member, says he regrets that he never joined the fitness club before he hit 40.

“If I had been educated on the importance of exercising at home at a younger age, I would never be struggling with health challenges I am now struggling with. Nevertheless, since I started undertaking simple exercising at home, I feel more relaxed and even better placed to do my daily tasks without getting tired too fast,” he explains.

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