Experts say that having a lot of body fat can lead to dangerous chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and many others. They, however, recommend that exercise is a natural way to sort all these issues, as opposed to trying out extreme dieting, or even surgery.
Gakire Mazembe Mwanga, a fitness trainer at ‘Be Fit 24 Hours’ located at Amahoro National Stadium, says that people should engage in exercises since it’s one of the ways to a healthy life.
He says many people don’t do exercises because they claim not to enjoy it. He says that jogging, pushups, abdomen building exercises, among other things, make the body stronger and fit.
He says that for people who want to reduce fat, body building and extensive warmups are the best solution and this should go hand-in-hand with food intake.
“The answer to reducing body fat lies in constant exercise, so that the muscles become tougher and, you burn fats through sweat,” he says.
Private Kamanzi, a nutritionist at Amazon Complimentary Therapy in Remera, Kigali, also believes that having healthy body weight does not only require exercise, but, it goes hand-in-hand with the food that someone eats on a daily basis.
She says avoiding foods rich in carbohydrates, like meat, deep fried food, sugary drinks, cakes and juices with high concentration of sugar will help maintain a healthy body.
She adds that vegetables like green beans, zucchini, cucumber, lettuce, carrots, cabbage, and avocado should be considered if one wants to burn fat.
“Olive oil, coconut oil, chia seeds, oats, whole wheat bread, brown rice, quinoa, butternut squash, and sweet potatoes, are the best foods to consider if you want a slimmer body,” the nutritionist adds.
Also, chicken, tilapia fish, tuna and lean beef, should be consumed, rather than red meat that is full of cholesterol.
Yves Muhire, a physiotherapist at Orkide Hospital in Kigali, believes that for a person to be physically active, they need to do some exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
He adds that exercise comes in three ways; cardio pulmonary, bone strengthening, and balance and co-ordination and this must be done gradually for one’s body to be physically fit.
Muhire also suggests yoga, as it is also a great way to keep fit.
Steven Mugisha, a pediatrician at Great Lakes Medical Consortium and Research Centre, Glamerc Polyclinic, says that exercise should not be limited to adults. Children, especially those with obesity in the family, are at risk too.
Mugisha says that even though child obesity in Rwanda is not a big issue as of now, there are activities that can trigger the risks of obesity among children, like spending a lot time on television and eating junk food.
He advises that instead of exposing children to these health risks, parents should encourage their children to take on sports.
Pearl Umuhooza, founder of ‘Yummy & Fresh’, a company that offers healthy options and advice on fitness and nutrition, says that people should work on maintaining healthy body weight.
“For a male who wants to build his body, the gym is advisable since the lifts strengthen the bones and muscles. However, they need to have a fitness trainer present as they can’t do it on their own,” she says.
Umuhooza adds that lifting weights, for the ladies, makes them stronger too and contributes to weight loss since fats are burned in the process.