Keeping fit is one of the newest trends in our society. Having a gym membership speaks volumes about you in this day and age. Some do it for health reasons, some to stay fit and to fit in their jeans and some well just to be part of the trend. Well, no matter the reason it helps reduce the number of obese people, especially in a society that used to regard a “real” woman only as big, curvy and chubby.
In my daily manoeuvres in and around the city of Tshwane, I see a lot of gym membership agents all over. One can only wonder why so many advertisements for gym membership, but the truth is there is a market for that. Many young and old people alike are conscious about their health and they would like to stay fit, especially in a society full of chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure and heart related complications.
What inspires me most is seeing the middle aged men and women who used to be big, change into their gym clothes after work and take a walk/jog around the neighbourhood. Living in a township like Mamelodi, many know that for most of the families it’s pap from one Monday to the next, with less/no vegetables on the plate. So with that, keeping fit is quite helpful. Although they say if you want to lose weight it’s 20% exercise and 80% healthy food, so changing your diet is as important.
20Active is not a gym facility but a fitness group, they hold their session at a public park in Mamelodi and have around 30 members. Although this initiative is in a public place it is run by people who are capable and are passionate about fitness. Unlike your regular gym membership that could be unaffordable for some the fitness group is free. You can invite most of your peers to join in and no one will complain about being unable to afford.
A fitness group like 20Active is not the only one of its kind in a township of 80 000 people like Mamelodi, there are many of them usually utilizing the provided public spaces like sport’s grounds, local parks and just open fields. Anyone can start one of their own fitness groups by inviting four or five of their friends or simply invite your whole community to join in. Many of the exercises can be downloaded on the internet.
As much as this may seem like its discrediting gym facilities, actually that’s not the case. While fitness groups are free and convenient, gym facilities are better they have equipment that can help you, unlike doing all that work yourself. At a professional gym you get someone who could advice on individual exercises. But you cannot simply stay unfit because you cannot afford a gym membership.
Generally we live in a society that is conscious about their health and fitness, if you haven’t started attending fitness sessions just yet, you can simply start today. Remember your weight and size do not determine your health, so being skinny or fat should not motivate why you cannot go to the gym.
How you look is your choice, but a healthy body is a priority. No excuses for being out of shape it’s about time we take responsibility like many who have begun. #ladi_jaja?
By: ITUMELENG NKOSI