More than 80 grannies from Makuya village, near Niani in Limpopo participated in a recent fun walk which was organised by the local community leaders to educate the elderly about how to fight diabetes and high blood pressure.

During the walk, the senior citizens were not only encouraged to exercise but to eat healthily in order for them to stay fit and live long.

“We are very grateful for this day. It means a lot to us as the senior citizens. Exercise is the only thing which can keep us going for years still healthy, because as we grow older we tend to forget about exercising and all we do is to eat and sleep,” said Grace Makuya, a 73-year-old who participated in the fun walk. “Even though I felt very tired after the walk, I wish we can do this every day as it can help us to stay fit.”

Annual event

The fun walk is expected to be an annual event from now on. The senior citizens who participate in the fun walk were mainly women from various parts of the rural Makuya and surrounding villages.

“If they organise another walk like this one I am going to participate as I enjoyed myself today. I am happy because it shows us that our leaders care about our health and well being,” said Joice Luvhengo. “We were also encouraged to eat healthy food and to stay away from junk food so that we can be healthy and live long”, she added.

Thivhonali Makuya, one of the brains behind the fun walk, was very happy with the turnout: “We are trying to figure out how we can make this walk a weekly event as it can help a lot of grannies to keep fit and help them to fight various diseases as exercise is of much important to each and every individual regardless of age” said Makuya.

“If we make this an weekly event it can help to keep those grannies who drink traditional beer to stay away from drinking as they will now have something better to do than just sitting at home drinking.”

South Africa has the highest overweight and obesity rate in Africa, with up to 70% of women and a third of men being classified as overweight or obese. A staggering 40% of women in our country are obese, which means they have a body mass index greater than 30 kg/m2.

Obesity is associated with a number of diseases including diabetes, heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, joint pain and certain cancers. – Health-e News.