Corona Secondary School, Agbara, Ogun State, recently organised its Health and Fitness Week, which attracted a large number of parents, staff and students of the school. A new gymnasium for teachers and staff of the school was unveiled at the event.
It was a weeklong event that started on Sunday, October 6. Internal and external fitness trainers led participants through aerobic exercises on the open field of the school, before sunrise, while some other exercises took place at the new gym.
The principal, Mrs. Chinedum Oluwadamilola, said the exercise was to boost the health of participants.
“Exercises have been known to pump oxygen into the brain so that brain cells can function very well. And it is also good to start having healthy feeding habits, regular exercises, very early in life. And, there is no better way to start it than in school.
“When we were young, we played outside. In today’s world, and with children from certain economic demographics, they stay indoors, get out from an air-conditioned home into an air-conditioned car. They hardly do any physical exercise. None of them treks to school or treks to the market. We want this to be a culture, and this culture should be also from home. That is why we are involving the parents.
“Exercise helps with sleep, for instance. A habit of exercise on a daily basis would improve sleep. That would transform to the child’s brain, and he will be able to assimilate properly and being at alert. This exercise would henceforth be held every term and will be incorporated in all the three terms,” she said.
Dr. Afonume Okwe, who was guest speaker, said the essence of the week was to make the children, parents and staff imbibe the culture and the lifestyle of staying fit and healthy
Her words: “We are trying to raise health awareness, and of cause make the children imbibe the culture and the lifestyle of staying fit and healthy. That is being transmitted to the parents as well because, when you catch the parents, they would propel their children to also be health conscious.
“Exercise is about any physical activity that involves moving your body about, and helps you burn calories. The benefits are immense. Some of them include helping you to control your weight; so you have a healthy weight at the end of the day. It helps you to curtail a lot of deceases like the breast cancer, and all other forms of cancers. And if you are a diabetic patient, it also help you better manage your blood sugar.
“Aside exercise, 80 per cent of your weight and being healthy is actually tied to your diet. And you cannot exercise a bad diet. Hence, if you are not eating right, no matter how much you exercise, you are still going to be unhealthy.”
The PTA Chairman, Olusola Falodun, said the gym centre was built to encourage teachers and staff of the school.
“It is to encourage them to embrace the fact that living healthy should be a way of life. We all want to live long and be able to witness some events in our lives as we grow old. We feel that healthy living, of which exercising is part of, is important in the life of every individual. So this is a project that the PTA supported immensely in terms of financial contribution, and we are glad that it has now been commissioned.
“Basically, a healthy individual would be productive. And for the teachers and staff, if their productivity is improved as a result of living healthy, we would see the effects on the performances of our children, both in academics and in extracurricular activities.
“I have some advice for our teachers and parents. They should ensure that they check their blood pressure regularly, Secondly, they should endeavour to go for regular medical check-ups in the clinics, at least, once in a year. They should reduce their consumption of red meat. if they can do those three things, it would go a long way in improving their lifestyle.”
A fitness trainer, Mr. Seun Fadina, an ex-student, spoke on the benefits of drinking water and the need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
“Water helps you in a lot of ways. When you take water first thing in the morning, it keeps ou hydrated through the day. And you should drink more as the day goes by. It helps your heart and general immune system to work properly. So even if you still would be exercising, which also has several benefits, taking moderate quantity of water before exercise is very good for the body.
He also spoke on the benefits of exercising: “It is good for your heart and lungs. It improves your muscular fitness, and makes you confident. But for me, wellness and fitness is really not all about physicality; there is an internal effect. The same way you take supplements and they start to work first from the inside, that is how benefits of exercise and living healthy also starts from the inside. However, everything you do in life should be about moderation.”
One of the students, Willabelle Iribhogbe said of the exercise: “It feels really good to have participated in this exercise. I will suggest that this exercise should be made more constant for us. Aside our sport days, a day should be dedicated for health and fitness every week for this. I will advise my co-students to maximize the facilities that the school has provided for us to the fullest. It is really going to help them in their studies and general wellbeing.”
Another student, Fayobomi Olusola-Falodun, said: “Exercises are very good for everyone. And this event should be sustained. I would advise all students to take advantage of this week to drink a lot of water, fruits, eat healthy, sleep well, and exercise every day. Also it really helps in assimilation in class because when you exercise, your mind is open and you feel refreshed. It is one of the secrets to being brilliant.”