KZN on drive to reduce lifestyle diseases

2015-07-15 06:00
Umvoti Mayor Thami Ngubane works on his fitness level.

????Photo: supplied Umvoti Mayor Thami Ngubane works on his fitness level.

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THE KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Arts, Culture, Sport and Recreation, Ntombikayise Sibhidla-Saphetha handed over a R770 000 outdoor gym to Nhlalakahle Township in Greytown on 3 July as part of the roll-out of the integrated healthy lifestyle programme in the province.

Speaking at the hand-over Sibhidla­-Saphetha told the community that as government was delivering basic services such as housing, water and electricity, it was also important to provide facilities that will build active and healthy communities.

and#034;Many people in the country suffer from lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes. This puts a huge strain on government fiscus and the health system.and#034;

She said she was optimistic that with this initiative people will start realising the importance of exercising regularly. She said there were a number of benefits that people can derive from exercising.

and#034;Apart from instilling discipline, people who engage in physical activity live longer and are productive at work and in their communities.and#034;

Outdoor gyms are built in parks for communities to conduct regular exercise, at no cost.

Over the past three years, the department­ has rolled out 33 outdoor gyms in local municipalities.

In 2015/16 the department will roll out a further 11 outdoor gyms (fitness parks) in each of the 11 districts at a cost of R8,2 million.

The department has identified fitness coaches and instructors who will implement the programme at community level.

Each fitness coach forms a fitness­ club at ward level and conducts exercise programmes, including aerobic classes, at no cost.

Umvoti Mayor Thami Ngubane praised the Department of Sport and Recreation for bringing the outdoor gym closer to the community.

Resident Sithembiso Gwala braved the early morning chill to take part in the launch of the aerobics class.

Gwala said that the facility was going to be instrumental in addressing­ a number of social ills affecting the youth.

and#034;This is a huge asset for the community and we will ensure that itand#039;s not vandalised,and#034; said Gwala

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