Partners 18 gyms, wellness centres to promote physical fitnessa
By Chioma Obinna
The Executive Director of the Nigerian Heart Foundation, NHF, Dr Kingsley Akinroye has linked rapid changes in lifestyles of Nigerians on globalisation and urbanisation adding that it has decreased physical activity, increased sedentary living, unhealthy diets and increased tobacco use, with rise in Non-Communicable Diseases, NCDs.
To this end, the Foundation is partnering 18 gyms and wellness centres in six states and Abuja to mark the 2021 World Physical Activity Day (WOPAD) on April 6th, 2021.
Akinroye told Good Health Weekly that NCDs, especially cardiovascular diseases were the leading causes of morbidity and mortality as reflected in the past 18 months even with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Considering the global surge in NCDs such as diabetes, hypertension, obesity, and heart disease among others, and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it becomes expedient to reiterate the benefits of being physically active for all.
“Physical activity when adopted by everyone has the benefit of preventing, maintaining, and controlling the complexities surrounding NCDs onset, progression and complications.
“The WOPAD is a day set aside every April 6 to propagate in stronger terms, the benefits inherent in the adoption of physical activity,” he added.
Akinroye said this year’s WOPAD will feature programmes to enhance the uptake of physical activity by the general public.
There would be health screening, heart enlightenment talks, and a mini-heart health product exhibition at the gyms and wellness centres.
The Chairman, Physical Activity Committee, NHF, and Director, Exercise In Medical (EIM), Nigeria, Prof. Fatai Adeniyi said there are series of events in Osogbo on April 6 and 10 as well as sensitisation talks, health screening, and counselling in Lagos, Ibadan, Kano, Port-Harcourt, Abakaliki, and Osogbo.
He said adequate physical activity could serve as a potent force in the fight against COVID-19.
According to him, the role of physical activity in regulating immunity and providing optimum health for people with NCDs is crucial in the fight against the pandemic.
“The agency however believes that there is a wide gap between what people know about physical activity and what they practice.
He called on Nigerians, groups, corporate entities, traditional institutions, government, and non-governmental agencies including all policy influencers and makers to pay more attention to the issues around physical activity.
“This should be done at every level of our daily routines to narrow the gap between knowledge and actual uptake of physical activity.