When Tanzania seriously decides to create ‘healthy nation’
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ATHLETISM sounds better than physical exercise, but collective fitness best describes the recent move to ensure the majority of Tanzanians engage in fitness exercises.

The recent government directive to ensure all workers engage in physical training on weekends is a priceless remedy that ensures a re-birth of a healthy nation.

Tanzanians in their thousands are seen jogging in major cities, which is the best and simplest exercise, while others are likely to play football, netball or volleyball.

Most often conducted on Sundays, jogging in areas around the National Stadium and now Uhuru Stadium has been very common, and jogging clubs have managed to draw both youths and senior residents on the road. Most of those seen engaged in Sunday jogging clubs come from Temeke, Keko, Buguruni, Mtoni and Kurasini areas, all found not far from the country’s biggest arena.

Now it has been turned official after the government directed that all civil servants should actively engage in physical exercises, which is to be done on every second Saturday of each month. It seems the ‘weekend of booze’ is now threatened! This directive is helpful to people who will really take their time and embrace the order.

On the other hand, individuals who do not want to adhere to it cannot see the benefit of the directive, and they will simply continue to do their usual businesses without considering the plight of their well-being.

Frankly speaking, development can hardly take place in an environment where people are unhealthy, and this is exactly what prompted the fifth phase government to put aside a special day for public workers to do physical exercise, putting in mind that the more one exercises, the better he/ she becomes healthy. Tanzania has therefore demonstrated a way that will be followed by other countries worldwide on how a healthy nation can transform the growth of a country.

It is unfortunate though to learn that whenever people think about doing physical exercise, most of them assume that it is all about playing football, something which is incorrect. There are lots of activities that one can do provided it makes them feel comfortable.

Even a simple walk from point A to point B is enough as long as one has stretched his/her muscles. The response from public servants so far regarding the directive has been positive, seeing that most of them have already begun implementing the order.

This is a good example worth emulating by those who are yet to embrace the directive. Kudos should go to workers of the Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO)-Kigamboni District Office in Dar es Salaam, who have fully embraced the programme.

The company’s Acting Manager, Lugano Mwakinyala, said they want to compete with other teams. In view of this, there is a possibility of establishing an all employee league for either district or regional level of which without doubt can attract many spectators.

This could highly help to increase efficiency and networking amongst civil servants as they will be forced to travel from one place to another, thereby sharing new ideas about various topics that emerge. Another important point to observe here is the type of sports activities at disposal for the public employees.

Most of the workers have the age category that denies them a privilege to perform a particular sport activity, hence they also need to be accommodated and make sure that they engage in physical exercises which are friendly to them.

For instance, simple exercises like chicken chasing, rope skipping and cycling are all vital components as they provide total workout of the whole body. Physically challenged persons must also be included in the sports programmes as they too, demand body exercises. There is always another side of the coin.

Doing physical exercises without following proper health procedures is not productive at all. For those who really would like to see major changes in their workouts, they must totally abandon unhealthy life styles which usually cause more harm than good.

Excessive intake of alcohol and smoking are the common dangerous behaviours which one needs to refrain from. Additionally, diet is a crucial topic when it comes to performing well in sports activities. What a person consumes has a great impact on his/her health.

There are special foods that must be taken in order to maintain vibrant fitness. It must be a balanced diet, containing vegetables, fruits, carbohydrates, protein and vitamins.

In a nutshell, good health is more than being wealthy, as such the lifestyles that one embraces determines his/her future. Doing physical exercise should not be seen as a punishment but rather a privilege to reshape one’s life.

Tanzania without non-communicable diseases is possible.

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