As the year grinds to a close, I find myself looking forward to holiday gatherings, especially those lavish holiday meals. This is the time of year when diets and workout routines are tossed out the window. For many, this is the season to unbuckle the belt/ pop the trousers buttons/ditch the girdle and wear loose garments because it’s time to “siddon and chop”. Party rice dey bokun and it is a shame to let it pass by uneaten. But wait… before you take another bite of that fried goat meat in red stew and jollof rice; let’s talk about your health.
I am by no means a “health nut” but I’d like to bring this issue to the table. What does fitness mean to you? I feel Nigerians don’t talk about health and fitness as much as they should. And when it is discussed, the situation is dire. It’s not ranked as highly as relationships and marriage as discussion topic but I know a lot of Naija men doing p90x for weight loss and a few girlfriends who have gotten on and off the Atkins, HCG, Low Fat, Low Carb and other fad diets. All attempts to get buff for that extra medium t-shirt or drop weight to fit into that freakum dress. So definitely we are thinking about it, doing it quietly or avoiding it altogether.
I think we should all look around and notice that many of our young men (35 and under) are already sporting potbellies worthy of a 5 months pregnant woman. Our ladies are throwing away good money on miracle suit or spanx under garments and other slimming aids. There needs to be a fitness revolution, a new mindset to our health and what is perceived as the good life and beauty. And what’s a better time to change your attitude to your health than in the New Year?
To put the blame on our food and lifestyle is fair though. Think about the large portions of meat and starch that culturally we devour without restriction. A meal without some protein is almost blasphemy in some homes and vegetables are non-existent except soaked in oil and molested with Maggi. Top off our rich foods with the levels of inactivity that follow. For most families, gone are the days of long treks to fetch water or farming in the blistering heat. Now, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy good food. Anyone who knows me can testify that I love to eat. What is important and something a lot of people miss is how to select what to eat, when to stop eating and how to incorporate regular exercise into their daily schedule.
Regular exercise has so many health and vanity benefits. Aside from staving off diabetes and heart disease, the ability to pull on skinny jeans or wear a fitted button down with ease is so rewarding. Exercise reduces stress levels and, in fact, while I was unemployed for 8 months it kept me sane. It’s rather difficult to concentrate on your problems while you are sweating and releasing feel good hormones (endorphins). So, if you have not thought of your waist size or you think being plus size is cute or gives you that madam look… Think again. “Orobo toh bad” but if orobo has 2 kids…. orobo must reconsider; besides, constantly having to replace clothes that don’t fit gets expensive. And guys, if you think that wheezing and puffing while walking up stairs is old age and you are only 30, its time to hit the gym because heart disease is real.
With all this in mind, Jaguda management will be introducing a health section to the website backed by this fitness enthusiast. To read more of my thoughts, learn about me and get great personal advice plus tips, visit my blog naijafitgirl.com. Check back regularly to get the latest information on health trends, interviews with health professionals, fitness instructors, enviable bodies, weight loss success stories and other useful information; and all this, from a Nigerian perspective. In short, stick with us and we’ll make 2012, YOUR MAKEOVER YEAR!!!