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A walk to a healthy living Print E-mail
18 February 2013

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Men and women of all sizes, boys and girls, and young and old, turned up in large numbers at Kremetart Park in Eldorado Park in Region G to take part in a health awareness campaign organised by the City of Johannesburg’s Health and Community Development Department on Friday.
 
The participants in the campaign – which included a 5km walk, aerobics, boxing sparring, voluntary HIV testing, and blood sugar and prostate cancer screening – came from areas such as Lenasia, Protea South, Eikenhof, Ennerdale and Orange Farm.
 
Regional Health Manager Nelly Shongwe said she was delighted at the overwhelming manner in which the residents had responded to the call to mark the City’s Healthy Lifestyle Awareness Month, initiated by Executive Mayor Clr Parks Tau last year.
 
“We want to send the message clear to our people today that chronic illnesses such as hypertension can be controlled by exercising and eating healthy. By healthy eating we mean people should eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and drink at least two litres of water a day,” Shongwe said.
 
The health awareness campaign was staged in line with the City’s Growth and Development Strategy 2040 (GDS 2040), which recognises the fact that “high quality public health is fundamental to a strong, growing city”.
 
The strategy also recognises that Johannesburg is at risk of chronic lifestyle diseases and conditions such as diabetes, obesity, heart ailments; diseases associated with underdevelopment; health problems linked to violence and trauma; and HIV-Aids.
 
To this end, the City commits itself to ensuring that “by 2040 Johannesburg residents will live in a healthy city that can withstand the threat of disease and where HIV prevalence will be dramatically reduced”.
 
In his speech, Ward 18 councillor Peter Rafferty said he hoped and trusted that the day’s activities were not going to be “a once-off event”.
 
“What we’re doing here today should not end here but be continued in your own areas because exercising as part of a healthy lifestyle is important,” he said.
 
“A healthy lifestyle is the way to go. You must continue with physical activity even in winter.” 
Hundreds of residents took part in the 5km walk. At the 3km-mark many of the participants’ T-shirts were already sodden with sweat.
 
Rafferty also told the participants that Kremetart Park, the outcome of a joint venture between City Pak and Green Outdoor Gym, was succeeding in improving its objective of promoting fitness levels among members of the community.
 
“No one ever thought the park would one day be ideal home for a new, highly equipped outdoor gym, which is complete with modern equipment,” said Rafferty. 
 
He said statistics of people using the gym show an increase since it was officially opened in September last year.
 
“The young and old of Eldorado Park have shown appreciation for the new gym because it’s well-looked after,” said Rafferty.
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