By Amechi Agbo
The minister of youth and sports development, Sunday Dare has called on Nigerians to engage in walking as part of their daily routine exercise in order to promote and sustain healthy living
The minister made the call on Sunday during the celebration of the FAFISA World Walking Day in Abuja.
The minister who was represented by the Deputy Director Monetary and Planning in the ministry, Mr Shegun Akilotun noted that the importance of walking as part of daily exercise cannot be neglected.
The minister therefor enjoined Nigerians to key into the global awareness on walking to improve their lives and live healthier and longer.
“The Ministry of Youth and Sports Development encourages citizens to constantly develop the habit of living an active life-style through participation in sport. I am therefore highly honoured and delighted to address you all on this auspicious occasion of flag off the TAFISA World Walking Day 2020, which is a strategic approach to act one of the mandates, vision and mission of the Ministry.
“As we take part in the World Walking Day 2020, let it serve as a spring board to inculcate the habit of keeping physically active through regular walking and engaging in any sport physical activity of our choice.
“The benefits of walking cannot be overemphasized. There are many different ways that walking can help. Constant practise of this form of exercise is critical in maintaining the weight. They said that weight loss is not a walk in the park.
“However, an hour of walking a day will surely help you manage numerous conditions which include type 2 diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Walking may look simple but you cannot underestimate its effects.
“When you are stressed out or sad, a short walk can help you a lot in improving your mood. The reality is you do not need a complex rout to shed some weight. Physical activities can be simple yet very effective. Something that as easy as brisk walk, can already make your life healthier. The farther, faster and frequent you do brisk walking, the better,” the minister said.
Also speaking, the President, Nigeria Olympic Committee, Engr. Habu Gumel, commended the Africa Union Sports Council Region 2 and the Ministry of youth and sports development for keying into this year’s event.
He noted that the event is geared towards creating more awareness to the fight against the novel coronavirus adding that with regular walking exercise, Nigerians and the global community will live a good and longer life span.
In his welcome address, the General Manager, Africa Union Sports Council Region 2, (AUSC Region 2) Mr Caleb Gidado said the global day for walking is meant to encourage people to take to walking as a form of exercise.
“We are happy to welcome you to this great occasion of the World Walking day which is organised by TAFISA in conjunction with the Africa Union Commission. We at the Africa Union sports Council Region 2, we are the technical arm of the Commission responsible for the implementation of sporting activities.
The World Walking Day is a programme specifically designed to make sure that it gives people a starting block to see that take to physical activities and getting active for health fitness and then productivity in our work places,” he said.
The World Walking Day which started in 1999 is held on the first weekend of October every year organised by The Association For International Sport for All, TAFISA in partnership with member countries to promote walking as an effective form of exercise.
TAFISA is one sport for all organisations with more than 270 members from over 150 countries on all continents, TAFISA aims to achieve an active World by globally promoting and facilitating access for every person to sport for All and physical activity.
TAFISA World Walking Day is open to citizens of all ages, backgrounds, abilities and genders. It aims to integrate physical activity into the everyday lives by promoting the benefits of walking.
The 2020 TAFISA World Walking Day in Nigeria was held at the Package B of the Moshood Abiola National Stadium on Sunday, October 4th