How to maximise the mental and physical benefits of working out

Exercise has proven to be an important aspect in terms of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. People have become aware of this; and this is why most of them have adapted to a certain wellness ritual.

Whether it’s going swimming on a sunny day, morning exercises at the gym or visiting the spa over the weekend, many have incorporated ‘keeping fit’ in their daily lives.

This impression is well reflected when one visits any wellness centre at some of Kigali’s deluxe establishments, such as the one at Kigali Marriott Hotel. Their spacious gym and exquisite spa services have been home to those seeking a healthy body, mind and soul.

Whereas developing the culture of exercising is significant, certain factors have to be considered for maximum benefits.

Clement Mutari, a gym trainer at Kigali Marriott Hotel, explains that while people value the essence of working out, it is important to seek a trainer if one is to gain maximum benefits.

“For instance, at the hotel, we offer training for people who seek gym services. On top of guiding them through the exercises, we also advise people on which diets to take,” he says.

Mutari emphasises the importance of singling out the client’s need before they embark on any exercise plan.

“Some people want to add or lose weight; others may want to maintain their weight but want to be strong, so this has to be clear. It’s good to get a trainer in the gym for the purposes of assistance, motivation and fitness skills. Having someone to guide you can also help in doing the right exercise for your desired results,” he says.

Mutari also says that doing this on your own can lead to lack of motivation at some point, and that lacking guidance is one of the reasons most start and fall out of their gym routine.

“Most people lose motivation to work out but in most cases, it depends on how someone started out. For example, if you come for the first day and they don’t give you instructions, you can either hurt yourself or do exercises that don’t match with your body composition goal. You want to lose weight but the exercises are that of one who wants to maintain their weight, so when you don’t see results, it demotivates you,” he says.

Mutari, hence, recommends that when one goes to the gym, it is important to seek instructions and not just do what others are doing, noting that this is key for desired goals.


The trainer says that the benefits of exercising go beyond weight loss, explaining that it also lowers risks of certain illnesses such as heart disease.

He also points out that when one exercises, their body releases chemicals that can improve one’s mood, and in the process, helps one feel more relaxed. This, on the other hand, helps to deal with stress and depression.

These factors, among others, like strengthening bones and muscles, refining one’s structure and function of their brain, fighting off cancer, and beating insomnia have proven exercising as vital.


Whereas physical (active) exercising has been on the trend, it’s only of recent that people have embraced activities that boost one’s mind and soul.

These activities mostly include body wraps, massage and reflexology, body scrubs among others.

Evanson Muigai, the Kigali Marriott Hotel’s “Saray Spa” manager and a masseur as well, observes that spa services are now very popular because people are becoming more conscious of their health benefits.

Muigai discloses that the hotel offers, sports massage, reflexology, and aromatherapy, among others.

These enhance one’s health by reducing fatigue and stress, and also lower chances of anxiety.

The masseur notes that these services are not only for relaxation, because they also come hand-in-hand with health benefits, such as improved blood circulation, improved muscle tone and also facilitating the body to detox itself through the lymph drainage.

When it comes to offering such services, Muigai says it is important to be very keen on privacy, safety and health.

“This is why when a client approaches us, they first fill the consultation form so that we are able to get to know them and know what they expect from us. We do let the client choose who works with them because then, they are able to feel much more comfortable when getting the service,” he says.

Muigai also says it is important to rule out certain conditions before embarking on some services, like offering massage therapies.

“When a woman is expecting, we don’t offer them a massage, especially if they are in their first trimester,” he reveals.

Communication between the client and the service provider remains key when it comes to getting the most out of each spa session, Muigai adds.

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