Run for your life

IT is such a fulfilling feeling these days – each time I am outdoors either for my personal run or walk or drive – seeing people, running or simply taking walks. Not because they are being chased, oh no, it is because now more than ever everyone is running for their lives. Well, literally. And why not? It is about time we started to realize our animalistic nature.

As humans, we were designed to move. We were not designed to just eat and sit around being lazy. We are nomads. We are hunters. We are meant to sweat. We are designed to burn off energy.

Unfortunately, this changed with the technological development and modern lifestyles. For a while now many people have felt and believed that they have made it. ‘We have arrived! We could afford cars, so why should we walk?’ We could eat wherever and whatever we wanted, we did not have to do the heavy duty work we just pay.
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Even our families living in the villages, did not need to do much. To treat the family we just take out a wallet, we didn’t have to sweat physically. People in the villages have also started eating junk food because it’s accessible too.

People gained lots of weight. And with the gains, came the praises because it was perceived as “he or she is living the life.” That was until it started to bite back. The terrible myth that when someone had a bigger body or big belly, locally known as (okapunda, meaning abdominal obesity), they were happier or healthier or wealthier. It is quite sad that this myth caused so much pain and discomfort to many men, women and children in our society.

There is nothing more agonizing than when a man, woman or child cannot enjoy their fullest animalistic physical capability, because of excessive weight gained.

I am not one to promote starvation or crazy diets for people, let alone children. However, it saddens me when I see an obese child.

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Not because obesity runs in the child’s family but because no one runs in the family.

Can it be reversed? It is comforting to say that most lifestyle issues can be minimised or prevented through guided lifestyle changes. As I usually say, it all starts with you. Your doctor might have suggested that you consider losing some weight or get into a lifestyle change, but if you do not make that first step, no one can save you.

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Below are useful tips to help you get started.

Decide for yourself. If you have any questions or medical conditions, make sure your doctor is okay with you taking on any physical exercises.

Get comfortable running shoes. Many people experience discomfort after running because they wear the wrong shoes. Ask a professional fitness trainer or professional in the sports sections to help you choose the right type of shoes for specific workouts or running.

Start slow. Start by walking and build on the distance and endurance. Do not jump into vigorous exercises when you have not worked out in a long time or if you are severely over-weight. It helps if you consult a professional in the field.

Listen to your body. Inform your trainer or doctor if you feel strange. Do not ignore or make assumptions about cardiovascular health matters. Exercises can make you feel out of breath but it should not take your breath away.

Join a fitness club. You will not only build your network, you will find motivation with the groups. There are many runs and walks clubs happening in Namibia throughout the year. Every Tuesday, Mekenificent hosts 5km walk/runs for any member of the community, here you challenge yourself each week to improve your time. Join in next Tuesday, request the map and starting time via WhatsApp 0814417900. Take a family or friend along.

• Wear comfortable clothes. Preferably those that stretch.

• Have water for hydration.

• If your family is keen, get everyone on board.

• Eat smart. It is beneficial to you and your family.

Mekenificent also runs a health food café with the option to have healthy meals delivered to you at work or home. Consult us to assist with an eating plan.

Meke is a certified fitness instructor and runs Mekenificent Fitness for one-on-one or group workouts with professional trainers. Mekenificent Healthy Café, with 90% healthy menu, Mekenificent teamed up with Yovitha to run our Spa with the option of mobile spa with accredited massage therapists. For more info call 0814417900 or follow @mekenificent on social media