To grace the screens every day, Leoncie Kanzayire, a news anchor at TV Rwanda, has to literally glow. This means a ‘heavy burden’ of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. She shares her how she manages to look healthy and fit with Healthy Times’ Collins Mwai.
How do you keep fit?
I hit the gym three times a week; Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Not much weight lifting though, I do stretches and tread mill. I also do yoga thrice a week, I have a personal trainer. I also walk a lot, at least a kilometre once in awhile.
Yoga? What are the health benefits of yoga?
Yoga makes you flexible, makes your muscles stronger and ensures proper body posture. It also keeps you relaxed and with a free mind and feel at ease. It gives me a clear mind, which I need at work.
You said you walk, is it possible for you to walk around town considering the attention you will get?
I actually do. I walk from the office to run errands around town. Whenever I go to buildings with lifts, I take the stairs. When I am going into a building or shopping I park at the furthest spot to increase the distance I walk. We should all take advantage of any distance we can walk since the hectic schedules most people have don’t leave them much time for the gym or jogging.
Considering that you are a busy person, do you have time for gym and yoga?
I have specific days planned for exercises. I also do self-administered excises like sit-ups, press-ups and meditation in the morning when I wake up.
Rwanda diet can make one voluptuous, how have you managed to avoid this?
I eat very little fatty foods. Not to say I don’t eat burgers and fries; I do, but with moderation. I ensure my meals are balanced; vitamins, carbohydrates and proteins. I also like salad; it is good for anyone trying to avoid unhealthy diet. I take breakfast seriously. I consider it the most important meal of the day, cereals or brown bread. For lunch I like portions meals ensuring a balanced diet. I don’t eat much at night time since the body is not very active at night. Heavy meals at night are not very good as the body doesn’t get to burn the calories in your sleep. I also drink plenty of water and fluids like tea, I enjoy it black with honey.
Ever had any weight problems?
I am grateful I have never had any, actually growing up, I was skinny.
You talked of liking vegetables, do you have a kitchen garden?
We do have a kitchen garden, currently we are growing greens in it. I also buy vegetables from the market, too.
In your line of work, a fair skin is almost a qualification, how do you maintain yours?
Drinking plenty of water and enough sleep are all I need. I do not use skin lightening creams or any chemicals. It makes me sad that some ladies use creams to lighten their skin and end up worse. Everyone should be comfortable in their skin. Sleep is vital for proper health and believe it or not it betters your skin tone. One should have at least seven hours of sleep at night.
Doctors advise that we take medical check-up at least once a year, do you?
I do, twice a year. I think it is advisable that we go for screening. It is good to have the check-up done so that you can detect any anomaly early enough before it overwhelms your body. It is always easier to deal with diseases or conditions on the onset rather than when they are fully blown.
At times you work long hours and may require instant energy boosts, do you take energy drinks?
I don’t, energy drinks can be addictive and also have too many artificial ingredients. Whenever I am exhausted, I take water.
Do you drink or smoke?
Once in a while I take a glass of wine, it is said to be good for your digestion. The problem with drinking is that most people go overboard and it becomes a health hazard. I don’t smoke.
Most of the health tips you mentioned are for loaded people, any tips for people without money to spare?
Healthy living is not a luxury for a few lucky ones; it is something we should all pursue. If you can afford to go to the gym, there are DVDs one can buy that have instructions of exercises to do at home. Jogging also doesn’t require much. There are also exercises for people who don’t have much time like press-ups and sit-ups.
In keeping fit and healthy it is the little things that matter. Avoiding elevators and taking the stairs doesn’t cost you a thing. Also, people should observe what they eat, balanced diets are important; quantity doesn’t matter as much as quality does. If you can’t afford cereals or brown bread, porridge is as good. Rwandan diet is good in that it doesn’t have much junk food.