WINDHOEK – More than ever, Namibians are now waking up to the reality that ‘health is wealth’, says a fitness instructor Meke Namindo of Mekenificent Fitness. Namindo told New Era that at first people were excited that they could afford a comfortable lifestyle because more opportunities were availed.
But people no longer do a lot of physical activities because of their new embraced lifestyles and they felt that eating junk food was a treat rather than a health risk, explained Namindo.
“We could afford cars and eat out and drink whatever we wanted. We could afford to say, I don’t want to work in the field so I will employ people to do that for me. This unfortunately also became a practice in villages,” she said.
As a result, more people became severely overweight, and chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer and high blood pressure, which are preventable, increased in Namibia, she said.
“We were becoming wealthy but we were unhealthy,” she added. But that has forced people to lead healthier lifestyles.
“We must remember that we are hunters by nature. We are not meant to eat and be stagnant. We are supposed to move, to walk distances, reach for things on trees and bend and dig for food but because these things don’t happen anymore, we have fitness clubs and gyms with equipment and programmes designed to stimulate our natural movements,” Namindo elaborated. Stressing why fitness should be a lifestyle, Namindo said some damage can be reversed or reduced for better management.
For example, a person with diabetes can manage the condition by maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“People should get off their couches and get their lifestyle back,” the fitness instructor stressed.
She also cautioned that while exercise has great benefits to the human body, it can also pose a risk or threat.
The fact that many people are starting to embrace a healthy lifestyle, opportunists are also using this to their advantage, Namindo explained.
Some people are trying to sell products or services for healthy living. Researchers are claiming to have discovered the magic pills to easy weight loss and gyms are trying to fill up their membership, while boot camp groups are a hype.
There are also individuals with self-proclaimed know-hows on what they think they know about exercising, Namindo pointed out.
“It’s a jungle out there. Some of the information people hear is not factual and out of curiosity or desperation people try what they hear. So sometimes they end up hurting themselves in the process and some of the damage may be life-threatening or irreversible,” cautioned Namindo.
Also, too much exercise can be harmful because the body needs to recover, she added.
“Professional trainers will tell you that you only need to work out every other day. I advise at least three times a week,” shared Namindo.