Some fitness and health experts have expressed concern that many Nigerians continue to endanger their lives due to sedentary lifestyles.
They noted that the high incidence of terminal illnesses, and life-threatening diseases among Nigerians is not unconnected with people accumulating calories without burning them.
The experts stated this at the country edition of the Ere-Ije aerobics tourney held simultaneously at Obafemi Awolowo Stadium, Liberty and Mapo Hall, Ibadan, at the weekend, with over 1,000 participants.
Speaking at the tourney, Chief Executive Officer, Kayrom Lee Gym and Fitness Center, Ibadan, Romoke Alade chided many Nigerians who live lives of sitting at a point for hours and consuming all sorts of food without having time for exercise.
She wondered about situations where people see obesity as a show of wealth rather than being concerned about burning calories and being fit and healthy.
Alade said: “According to the World Health Organization (WHO), a man should take 2,500 calories and a woman, 2,000 calories per day. As you take it, you have to burn the calories again. Do we burn these calories?
“People are so sedentary in everything they do. Once they have a small amount of money, they care less about their health, thinking being obese is evidence of good living. But, fitness is the key to good health.
“People sit at one point; eat everything that comes their way, without expending those calories.
“The more reason you see our women looking obese because many of them are into a sedentary life.
“People sit in a place and eat carelessly. You need to work to burn those calories.
“So, people have to take it as a matter of importance that once you eat, you have to burn it. One way to burn calories is by exercise. Once you do this, you will be free of diseases, terminal illnesses. ”
Speaking in the same wine, another fitness instructor, Oyewusi Oyetunde bemoaned the incidences of people slumping and dying at their workplaces.
Describing fitness as the key to health, Oyewusi urged Nigerians to take serious fitness exercises, and workouts whether indoor or outdoor.
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He noted that several people live on the assumption that they are fit and healthy but will be shocked at the results when they hit the gym or go for echocardiology tests.
Oyewusi said: “When you look at some people, they think they are fit. It is not by body look. Fitness is the key to health. It is interesting that we have more old people coming out for workouts as opposed to young people who assume that they are still fit.
“Nigerians don’t fancy fitness exercises but we have to take exercise in Nigeria as very important. Some offices record people slumping; it could be their failure to work on their fitness and health. ”
Speaking, Project Director, Ere-Ije, Ibadan, Adebayo George said the tourney was organized owing to the discovery that several Nigerians were not paying adequate importance to keeping fit and healthy living.
They, in particular, got the worry stemmed from the fact that several Nigerians were reporting to hospitals due to high blood pressure, huge body fat which may be connected with their failure to give attention to their fitness.
Adebayo said: “We need to tell all kinds of people the importance of healthy living. We want to tell people that it is good for people to live healthily.
“A lot of people have a mental illness. A lot of people who think they are fit discover they have diabetes, and high blood pressure. It is not until you go to the hospital. Once in a while, people should do health checks, reduce their body fat and relieve themselves of stress. ”
Participants at the tourney to include Kate Deji and Lanre Adewale expressed that they felt refreshed and fitter after participating in the various fitness exercises coordinated at the event.
While imploring more Nigerians to pay attention to engaging in fitness exercises, they implored the government, organizations and individuals to organize aerobics tourneys and encourage more Nigerians to partake in them.