President Yoweri Museveni has called upon Ugandans to regularly exercise and eat healthy saying that ‘neglect is abuse of the body.’
He made the remarks during the commemoration of the National Day of Physical Activity held under the theme “My Health, My responsibility” at Kololo Independence Grounds.
“These diseases come because you have abused your body’’ he added.
The head of State cautioned the public against drug and alcohol abuse, saying it has consequences. “I am 74 years old with no blood pressure or diabetes. From 100kg, I have been able to knock off 20kg because of my fitness activities.”
The Minister for Health, Hon. Dr Jane Ruth Aceng re-echoed that “the commemoration of this day is symbolic for the importance of physical activity- however, regular exercise should be part and parcel of your daily routine.”
“3.2% of Ugandans have diabetes. Those with heart diseases are at 6%, 350 people out of every 100,000 have cancer while 8,000 new cases of cancer are recorded annually” Aceng said.
Dr Aceng urged the population to engage in the physical activity in its various forms like dancing, cycling, jogging, brisk walking and digging.
Dr Bruce Kirenga, from the Lung Institute, said “Physical activity reduces chronic disease by 42%. When you exercise, the lungs open up and take in more air.”
“Life is like a pump. You must burn excess things in the body. 1 in every 4 Ugandans is overweight” said Dr John Omagino Executive Director, Uganda Heart Institute.
The president of Uganda Diabetes Association, Dr William Lumu, revealed that the risk of diabetes reduces by 58% when one exercises. “When you exercise, it burns the excess sugar. Exercise also unclogs fats around the blood vessels” he explained.
President Museveni later led the crowds in a 5 km trek beginning from the commemoration venue, down to Lugogo Bypass, Jinja Road, to Airtel Roundabout and turned off at Wampewo Avenue before heading back to the venue.
The President also launched a book titled, “Presidential Initiative on Healthy Eating and Healthy Lifestyle” to inform the public of the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle.
//Ministry of Health