LAGOS, NIGERIA – Maurice Gabriel, a physical trainer who works with ifitness Lagos Nigeria has shared his expertise on the health benefits of regular exercise with Pottage of health. In a one on one session with Pottage of health, Gabriel, who has been working in the fitness industry for almost a decade emphasized on the importance of physical activity for overall health and well-being, especially in a country where the prevalence of chronic diseases is high.
The trainer explained that regular exercise can help to improve cardiovascular health by increasing heart function, improving blood flow, and reducing the risk of hypertension. This is especially important in Nigeria, where rates of hypertension and other chronic diseases are on the rise.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and chronic respiratory diseases account for 74% of deaths worldwide. In Nigeria, NCDs are responsible for at least 29% of deaths, and this number is expected to rise in the coming years.
In addition to physical health benefits, he also highlighted the positive effects of exercise on mental health. “Regular exercise can help to reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety, and promote feelings of well-being and happiness,” he said.
Mental health is a growing concern in Nigeria, where a combination of factors such as poverty, social stigma, and limited access to mental health services have contributed to a high prevalence of mental health problems. According to the WHO, over 20% of Nigerians are estimated to be living with a mental disorder.
The trainer also emphasized the importance of engaging in weight-bearing activities such as lifting weights or jogging, which can help to strengthen bones and muscles, reducing the risk of fractures and improving overall physical function. He noted that exercise can also help to boost energy levels and improve the quality of sleep, allowing individuals to feel more rested and alert during the day.
Despite these benefits, many Nigerians still struggle to incorporate regular physical activity into their daily routines. Gabriel suggested starting with small, achievable goals and gradually increasing the intensity and duration of exercise over time.
“Exercise doesn’t have to be a chore,” he said. “Find an activity that you enjoy, whether it’s dancing, swimming, or playing sports. The key is to make it a regular part of your routine.”
Gabriel also emphasized the importance of proper nutrition in conjunction with exercise for optimal health. “Exercise and nutrition go hand in hand,” he said. “In order to get the most out of your workouts, it’s important to eat a balanced diet that includes plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.”
According to a research which was conducted by WellNewMe, a health technology company, in collaboration with Dennis Ashley Medical Clinic, a medical facility based in Lagos, Nigeria, from January 2019 to March 2020, only 30 percent of the population are eating fruits and only 19 per cent are eating vegetables daily. A diet high in fruits and vegetables is associated with a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
He also highlighted the importance of rest and recovery in a fitness routine. “Rest is just as important as exercise,” he said. “Make sure to give your body time to recover after workouts, and don’t overdo it.”
In conclusion, Gabriel emphasized on the importance of regular exercise for maintaining good health and preventing chronic diseases in Nigeria. By incorporating physical activity into their daily routines, Nigerians can improve their cardiovascular health, strengthen bones and muscles, boost energy levels, improve sleep quality, and promote overall well-being. He also highlighted the importance of proper nutrition and rest in conjunction with exercise for optimal health. With small, achievable goals.