MEC walks for health

2018-05-16 06:02

A tobacco-free lifestyle, supported by ample physical activity and a healthy diet, is regarded as the most effective, easy and cheap way to prevent disease and improve the health of individuals.

It is a cost-effective public health tool, with great potential and results.

This was emphasised by Fufe Makatong, Northern Cape MEC for Health, who joined a global movement to encourage a healthy lifestyle in society in the early hours of Thursday (10/05) morning.

Along with a delegation, she led a 5 km walk with the theme “I choose to be active” from the Horseshoe Inn in Kimberley.

That was one of the activities the department planned to promote a healthy lifestyle in all districts across the province throughout this month.

The World Move for Health Day, celebrated annually on 10 May, is an international event started by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2002 to promote physical activity, nutrition and healthy lifestyle.

In encouraging physical activity, Makatong urged community members to do at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity physical activity every day, whether it be in the form of brisk walking, dancing, aerobics, housework, gardening, washing the car, climbing stairs, or even walking to a colleague or friend instead of using the phone or e-mail.

According to the MEC, a study by the WHO has shown that a person spends about five hours per day on a cell phone, which contributes to a lack of physical activity.

Makatong said physical inactivity was listed among the risks contribu­ting to chronic diseases globally, morbidity and mortality, and an unhealthy diet and the use of tobacco are contributing factors.

She said according to the South African Medical Research Council, cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the province (24%). She also pointed out that the risk of developing cardiovascular disease was showing an increase in people who did not follow minimum physical activity recommendations.

Makatong said it was proven that the benefits of physical activity included enhanced blood flow to the brain, reduced risk of stroke, improved blood cholesterol levels, the management of high blood pressure, the alleviation of stress, improved sleep, improved heart muscle function and a reduction in the complications of diabetes.

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