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Ugandans Embrace Physical Fitness at National Day of Exercise

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Ayize claire

Jun 18, 2024

Hundreds of Ugandans Participate in National Day of Physical Activity,

Hundreds of Ugandans Participate in National Day of Physical Activity

Hundreds of fitness enthusiasts gathered early on Sunday at Makerere University Business School sports ground to celebrate the fourth edition of the National Day of Physical Activity. This year’s event, themed ‘Exercise is Medicine: Regular Physical Activity Prevents Non-Communicable Diseases,’ saw participants engage in a variety of activities including fitness dance sessions, aerobics, and 5km and 10km walk/runs.

Minister of Health Ruth Aceng led the event as the chief walker and emphasized the importance of regular exercise in preventing non-communicable diseases (NCDs). "We don’t want to fill our hospitals with ourselves. Regular exercise helps avoid being part of the statistics," she advised, urging Ugandans to enjoy their physical activities and eat wisely.

Permanent Secretary Diana Atwine reiterated the commitment to making exercise a cultural norm in organizations and homes to reduce the disease burden. “Everyone should be a steward of their health to prevent issues before they become critical,” she added.

Dr. Yonas Tegegn Woldemariam, WHO country representative, highlighted the benefits of exercise, stating, “Exercise is medicine without side effects and it saves lives.” He noted that 8 out of 10 adolescents are reluctant to exercise, contributing to higher death rates from preventable diseases.

The event also saw the launch of the Physical Activity and Wellness Professionals Association of Uganda by fitness experts Robert Ssebugwawo and Newton Mbaziira. The association aims to promote fitness across various sectors, calling on all fitness instructors to join and work professionally with government entities.

Notable attendees included the Director of the Uganda Heart Institute, John Omagino, the Director of Public Health, Daniel Kyabayinze, and Makerere University Business School Principal Moses Muhwezi. The celebration underscored the national commitment to physical wellness and its critical role in preventing NCDs.

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