Small changes in diet make a big difference
A lot of South African adults are so physically inactive that they are at risk of getting sick as a result of not exercising.
With increasing research showing how unhealthy lifestyle habits and a lack of excercise are the cause of heart disease, diabetes and some type of cancers, health workers are keen to promote an active lifestyle.
Akwande Mbulawa (28) is a healthy member of the Flagstaff community in the Eastern Cape. Unlike most people his age, Mbulawa knows that being active can prevent some illnesses.
I am doing this to maintain a healthy life, keeping fit. If I have a strong and healthy body I hardly get sick. Also I do it to maintain my body weight.
“Mostly I do exercises. I jog three times a week, I do short runs which are not less than 10 km and a long one which is 15km. I am doing this to maintain a healthy life, keeping fit. If I have a strong and healthy body I hardly get sick. Also I do it to maintain my body weight,” he said.
Mbulawa said he follows a varied diet.
“Brown rice, veggies, lot of protein and meat are included in my diet. I started to do exercises, lifting weights and jogging in early January. At that time my weight was over 90kg. Now there’s a change and I’m losing kilograms,” he said.
Busiswa Ngamlana said lemon water is one of the best things that makes a change to her body.
“I eat twice a day, cereal in the morning, fruit during the day. Less starch and fatty meat and lots of veggies are good in healthy lifestyle. Also hot lemon mixed with cucumber and ginger is helpful to my body. I do exercises like sit-ups, jogging, push-ups and there’s a huge change in my body. I have lost about 10kg since I started maintaining a healthy lifestyle in October 2018.”
According to Dr Zola Fikeni, being healthy is not just about eating enough fruit and vegetables.
“Relaxing and spending quality time with your loved ones contributes to an overall healthy lifestyle and wellbeing. The road to self improvement and positive change in your health doesn’t have to come with expensive gym contracts.”
Quality of life
Last year the World Health Organization released a study which found that insufficient physical activity is a leading risk factor for non-communicable diseases, and it has a negative effect on mental health and quality of life.
Despite increasing research showing how unhealthy lifestyle habits and a lack of excercise are the cause of heart disease, diabetes and some type of cancers the WHO study found that adults who are not physically active are unlikely to change their bad habits and start exercising in future.
February is Healthy Lifestyle Awareness Month, meaning that healthy lifestyle information is trickling down to some rural communities. People are becoming eager to tackle the dangers of obesity, unhealthy diet and their wellbeing as individuals.