Normally, when we talk about working out, many people are quick to think about aerobics, the gym, lifting weights and doing all those things that take place in a sports centre.
With all these things coming with an extra expenditure, limitation by time and inconvenience, experts say there are several other ways to keep one’s physical fitness and in good health without going so hard about it.
Dr Eric Musengimana, the nutrition and diabetic specialist at Rwanda Diabetic Association, says jogging is one of the simplest ways to work out since it is convenient for anyone and will keep your health in good form.
“Jogging has been among the oldest ways of exercising in most Western countries. It can be done conveniently by any class of people without pay,within your homestead in the mornings or evenings, during week days or in the weekend,” he says.
According to Musengimana, before one sets out to jog, they must ensure they are clad in the right clothes.
“The attire should not be tight as that might restrict your movements. They should be loose enough to allow easy blood flow. It also advisable to wear comfortable shoes,” he says.
The medic also notes that jogging eases stress, gives one more self-esteem and confidence as well as better sleep quality. Exercising helps one release the feel-good hormones called endorphins, he adds.
“Endorphins are chemicals released into the body that causes a person to have an upbeat mood, commonly referred to as the ‘runners’ high’. Exercises like jogging will keep you feeling better and happy all day,” he says.
Musengimana also says one should remember to drink enough water before they start jogging.
Dr Celestine Karangwa, a physiotherapist at TCM Technology Clinic in Kicukiro, says for those not used to jogging, they can begin with other indoor exercises such as skipping a rope within the compound so as to prepare themselves for other forms of exercising.
“This form of exercise is good not only for one’s body but also for the brain since it involves coordination, rhythm, and strategy. Skipping the rope for at least 20 minutes is ideal,” says Karangwa.
He says by doing such, one is able to burn down most calories which help in losing weight or maintaining their weight.
Karangwa also notes that just like skipping the rope, jumping jacks and climbing stairs at home can help a great deal in keeping in a good shape and a healthy body.
He says as one continues to do these vigorous exercises, they actually are detaching themselves from future complications like hypertension and heart disease since the bad cholesterol in the blood is lowered.
Besides the above, medics emphasise that walking has also a great impact on one’s physical fitness and health, that does not require a lot of input other than making it a habit.
According to Dr Daniel Gahungu, a general practitioner at Polyclinic de I’Ectoile in Kigali, walking helps in strengthening one’s bones and muscles, improves one’s mood and can help in improving balance and coordination.
“Most people in the urban centres shun walking. However, a few who have adopted the trend can testify how they have stayed away from unnecessary sicknesses and have kept physically fit,” he says.
Gahungu advises that despite the need to exercise, one should ensure a balanced diet to keep physically fit and healthy.
He encourages people to eat more fruits and vegetables, reduce oily foods, avoid red meat as well as reduce sugar in-take.