Keep-fit activities at Ayi-Mensah turn jamboree


…as expert warns of health implications

The need for healthy living, coupled with the fad to keep in shape, has given rise to the formation of myriads of keep-fit clubs thronging the Aburi Mountains to work out during weekends.

However, post-workout activities of these keep-fit clubs and some individuals, to a large extent, are a deviation from the norm of healthy living standards and practices as some participants climax their workout sessions feasting on grilled pork and washing it down with Ghanaian local gin, popularly known as ‘akpeteshie’.

Oheneba Ntim Barima, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) in charge of the Soul Health and Wellness Centre and a fitness advocate, told the B&FT that excessive consumption of meat or alcohol can have a destructive effect on the liver, kidneys and other vital organs of the human body; but a combination of the two is akin to signing one’s death warrant.

“The habit of consuming either of the two or both during or after a work-out session, defeats the purpose for which they go there. They might as well stay home and sleep.

“This is not how it was when we started it a few years ago; there was a sense of urgency attached to work-out regimen then. The springing up of drinking bars, pubs as well as grilled pork joints along the stretch of road from Ayi-Mensah – where the keep-fit activities begin in earnest, to the Aburi Mountains, where it climaxes is a new phenomenon,” bemoans Oheneba.

Identifiable groups, such as banking institutions, insurance companies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), individuals – just to mention a few, are among the entities that partake in work-out activities at the Aburi Mountains during weekends.

He highlighted the alarming number of meat and alcohol-related health cases he receives at his health centre on a daily basis as even more worrying: “Frankly speaking, there has been a surge in the number of youths – ranging from ages 18 to 35 – coming to me with medical reports indicating one form of meat and alcohol-related disease or the other. The situation is worrying and calls for urgent measures”.

Quoting George D. Pamplona-Roger, a Digestive Surgeon and Specialist in Health Education at UNED University in Spain from his book, titled: ‘Encyclopedia of Foods and their Healing Power’, Oheneba stated that meat consumption aggravates the disease of gout, which is characterised by an increase of uric acid in the blood. He added that colon cancer is more common among those who eat a great deal of meat.

He said that the more meat and alcohol one consumes, the greater the risk of heart disease. “Eating meat high in fat, such as that of pork, is associated with greater risk of heart disease, particularly myocardial infraction – also known as heart attack.”

Concerning alcohol intake, he stated that the biggest concern when it comes to drinking alcohol after exercise is dehydration, explaining that alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it encourages your body to release more fluids.

“When we exercise, we lose a large amount of fluid from sweating, and can also have a reduction in blood volume as the body tries to cool. It’s important to restore these fluid levels post-work-out, but drinking alcohol can delay that process,” he further noted.

He advised the youth to take their health seriously by adopting quality lifestyles and habits that guarantee longevity, saying: “Eschew all forms of youthful anti-healthy lifestyles. Eat only healthy foods, drink a lot of clean water, exercise regularly, have adequate sleep, and you will live long”.

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