Increase physical activity to fight disease

By Destiny Chaiga

Talk of gym, aerobics, jogging, and football with the boys after work or even playing a physical engaging game. Others do so for fun of it, annoying company, keeping fit or any reasons you could have. Physical activity has been and will always be part of the body’s ways to keep healthy.

More than once, notice has been made about a handful of white color men and women enthusiast clad in canvas boots and exercise clothes ditching their cars or taxis for a lengthy evening walk. For work that demands sitting in a chair behind a computer for longer part of the day renders them mostly physically inactive. Talk of sitting in a car in the morning, reach office to sit at your desk busy almost whole day. A quick meal of too much fats, quick snacks with a lot of artificially sweetened drinks marks your choice of lunch meal. The evening sets in and you are still sited in a car, sited in front of the television or with family members. Day in day out, your life could literally pass before you notice.

The need for physical activity cannot be over emphasized in this new era where Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) have taken a high rise. According to the Uganda NCD risk factor survey (2014), urban dwellers exhibited high physical inactivity than rural population of 8% and 3.5% correspondingly. Furthermore, females were rated less active than males with 4.9% and 3.7% respective rating. Important to note was also the fact that 50-59 year olds were less physical active than younger groups. It seemed that the older people get the more inactive they become. For instance these findings showed 4.1% and 3.2% level of physical inactivity for 18-29 and 30-49 years olds respectively. The World Health Organization attributes 20% to 30% increase in risk of death for people who are inactive.

Beyond the planned routinely physical exercise (subpart of physical activity), activeness can be achieved through undertakings during working, household chores, recreational hobbies, playing and traveling among others. As long as your body movements aids your muscles to disburse energy, you are physical active.

Increase physical activity:- reduces risk of coronary diseases, diabetes, depressions and some cancers; helps in energy balance; improves functional health, helps in weight control and improves cardiovascular fitness.

In efforts to adhere to the good principles of physical activity, Uganda Health Communication Alliance adopted a weekly exercise time every Friday evening. Now in its second month, the team members alternate in leading the sessions with games, aerobics, brisk walking, jogging and skipping ropes.

The habit of developing and maintaining a routinely psychical activity is one that will perhaps the mounting rate of Non Communicable Diseases. No wonder while launching the Uganda National Physical Activity day, the Hon.Minister of Health, Dr.Jane Ruth Aceng was quoted saying “If all adults could spare at least one hour for physical activity, Uganda Will be a healthy nation tomorrow”.

Therefore let us all get active, for a better fight towards healthy living and a healthy nation. Get your gears ready, run a bit, play with intentionality and improve your health.

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