A fun walk was part of a health day, held in Region G to teach people about living a healthy lifestyle and avoiding disease.
THE streets of Lehae were buzzing when hundreds of residents turned out to take part in the 5km fun walk, in the name of a healthy lifestyle.
Health check-ups are conductedHealth check-ups are conductedIt was organised by the City’s health and social development department in Region G. Young and old participants learned about living a healthy lifestyle at the gathering, which was held at Lehae Recreational Park, on 17 February.
According to Nkosinathi Nkabinde, a City spokesperson, the main focus of the day was on chronic lifestyle diseases such high blood pressure and diabetes, as well as on HIV voluntary counselling and testing.
A range of activities aimed at promoting a healthy lifestyle were on offer. These activities consisted of the fun walk, aerobics and medical testing. The event fell under the Healthy Living Lifestyle Awareness Month.
Nelly Shongwe, the regional health manager in Region G, said the day was a City initiative to reach out to communities and educating them about a healthy lifestyle. She encouraged people to exercise and eat proper food as that would help them avoid lifestyle diseases.
“We are burdened by … HIV, tuberculosis, child and maternal mortality rate, non-communicable diseases; people are still dying from hypertension, diabetes. And these are diseases of lifestyle. If people do not exercise, don’t eat properly, they turn up developing diabetes,” she warned.
The aim of the event was to break though these diseases by sending a message to people. Residents lined up to get tested for diseases such as diabetes and HIV. Health 4 Men was also at the event and men were screened for prostate cancer. At the stand, men were also encouraged to take care of their health and have regular checkups.
Eating healthy foodResidents were encouraged to eat healthy foodOn the day, people were encouraged to exercise, eat healthy, nutritious food and stop drinking and smoking as they made the body weak, making them susceptible to disease. Among attendees was Ivy Mnisi, a 65-year-old who said she exercised regularly with her peers. They tried to stay healthy by eating vegetables and fruit as well as drinking a lot of water. “I have a small garden that I plant myself,” she added.
Mnisi said she was happy that people were screened for diseases because even those who thought they were fine were told to go to the clinic.
Prince Gcimsa and Thabang Ngobese, both 13-year-old pupils at Lehae Primary School, were in the front row during the walk. Together with their classmates they were armed with placards bearing messages such as, “An apple a day keeps a doctor away”, “Stop Smoking and drinking – it makes your body weak; it makes it easier for viruses to get strong in your body” and “Use less oil and salt”.
The youngsters said they exercised daily and ate fruit at school. They also promised to share what they had learned with their friends.
The park was colourful with gazebos, each a stand for an NGO, a City department or other institution that was part of the event. Emergency management services had a stand, where community members were taught about safety. Metro police was also there to teach people about City by-laws.
Residents learned some easy exercises and things to do at home other than jogging. They followed as the instructor showed them each move while music played in the background.
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