By Ramatoulie Jawo
‘Walk 4 Health– The Gambia’ on Saturday, commemorated 4 years of existence at the Independence Stadium in Bakau, under the theme “Responsible Community Partnership Against Inactivity.”
The objectives of Walk 4 Health the Gambia are, to Encourage group exercises, to embolden individual inspiration, to Motivate all the people that feel lazy or find it difficult across the country to exercise;
Walk 4 Health also sensitize communities on the benefits of preventable lifestyle diseases, and enables them the platforms and opportunities for reducing susceptibility to Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) such as Cardiovascular Diseases; Diabetes; Obesity; Arthritis; Cancers, and Chronic Respiratory Diseases, among others;
Speaking at the event, Sheriff M.L Gomez, the Initiator of Walk 4 Health-The Gambia, gave the rationale behind the initiative.
“Anybody who knows me knows that I am into fitness and exercise. Over time, we see a lot of people who need it and cry that they wish they could join us. These are some totally motivated and inspired us. That is why I say Instead of going all alone, let’s call a community exercise and invest in the community to get the community fit and to be healthy,” he said.
The NCD Program Manager at the Ministry of Health, Omar Badjie, highlighted the importance of exercise.
“Looking at the Gambia, we are seeing a lot of Non-Communicable Diseases. These diseases are chronic in nature and in conventional medicine. There is no cure and it has a lot of risk factors. One of the potential risk factors is physical inactivity. If you look at the Gambia, physical inactivity stands at 22℅. This means that there are a lot of people who are not physically active. This is causing a lot of Health effects especially, in Diabetes, hypertension, and cancers which have no cure. But with exercise, it will reduce the prevalence of NCD in the country,” he said.
Mr. Badjie disclosed that they are inspired by the ‘Walk 4 Health– Gambia’ initiative, and encouraged everybody towards doing walkouts daily to maintain their health.
He said even the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended that everybody should try at least to do some walk out for 45 minutes every day.
The Head of Corporate Affairs at Standard Chartered Bank, Mustapha John, said they have been supporting walk 4 Health from the inception and believe that a Healthy Nation would provide Economic Empowerment for everybody, positing that without a healthy workforce, people cannot be productive.
The ‘Walk 4 Health– Gambia’ was initiated on 2nd February 2019 by a group of individuals to encourage people to exercise as part of their activities for their well-being.
The initiative draws its membership from senior government officials, private citizens, as well as elderly citizens
Research has revealed that being physically active can improve your brain health, help manage weight, reduce the risk of disease, strengthen bones and muscles, and improve your ability to do everyday activities.
Research further revealed that adults who sit less and do any amount of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity gain some health benefits.