Promoting Fitness to Combat Obesity and Depression in Bindura: The “Walk for Life” Initiative
Fungai Lupande Mashonaland Central Bureau
Scores of people in and around Bindura took part in a wellness walk dubbed, “Walk for Life” aimed at promoting health and wellness in the workplace and communities.
The wellness walk started at the Showground area, passed through the central business district and back to the Showground where activities like aerobics, combat sport and tug of war were done.
The guest of honour, Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Captain (Rtd) Christopher Magomo said sedentary lifestyles are a danger to society and contribute to the rise in obesity and depression.
He said the fitness programmes can reposition the healthy delivery system and activate active healthy lifestyles to curtail the risk of non-communicable diseases.
“There has been a huge investment by the Government in addressing disease, infections, drug abuse, unemployment and mental health and other diseases which are affecting the economic development of our country,” he said.
“The growing burden of non-communicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension threaten our development due to loss of life. Addressing the underlying social determinant of health is key in averting these costly measures of threatening illnesses.”
He said wellness programmes seek to provide preventive and cost-effective actions.
He added that a healthy population is highly productive and has a positive effect on the national economy.
“Walking is something we take for granted but it is a natural and accessible form of exercise that can be incorporated into our daily lives. Walking has countless benefits that can enhance your life in remarkable ways,” he said.
“Outdoor walking provides greater psychological benefits which include relaxation, improved focus and enhanced creativity. It provides an opportunity to unplug from the digital world, connect with the surroundings and find inner peace.”
A fitness trainer Mr Richard Musarurwa known as Coach Musa said a healthy lifestyle is the only way to manage health conditions instead of depending on medication.
He said people in Mashonaland Central have a low appreciation of fitness programmes.
“Many benefits come with exercising including mental wellness. Exercising requires mental concentration and management of emotions, mood and response to challenges. Exercise takes one away from social problems and daily pressures, it is a free spirit period,” he said.
“Bindura is a mining and agriculture town. People involved in these two activities are physically fit but we need to target the working class and youths in communities to curb drug and substance abuse.”
Sports programs officer Mr Kirifi Chirara, said the purpose of the wellness walk was to sensitise people especially the working class on the importance of fitness.
He said several cases have been recorded of people who collapse and die at the workplace due to non-communicable diseases.
“Research has proved that 30 percent of non-communicable diseases can be reduced by exercise. We encourage everyone to set aside time for exercises including the simplest form of exercise which is walking,” he said.
“We are happy with the overwhelming response we received today. We encourage civil servants to exercise. We still have limited fitness centres and we are encouraging people to invest in gyms as more people embrace fitness.”