Learn to live a healthy lifestyle from top athletes

Monday November 30 2020
health01pix

Halima Nakaayi won a gold medal for Uganda in the 800 metre race during the World Athletics Championships in 2019

By Regina Nalujja

Patricia Apolot
Patricia Apolot holds the World Kickboxing Federation International title obtained in June 2015. She is the most prominent female kick boxer in Uganda.

Apolot not only minds her diet but also avoids eating at night since this way, food cannot easily be digested causing weight gain. She keeps mentally and physically fit by allowing herself enough training and resting time.

“I avoid extreme training. I jog twice a week and I always give myself at least a month or two to rest before going back to training. This helps my body to rest,” she says.

She also avoids monotonous activities as they are always boring. Instead she goes for social activities with family and friends so as to relax. She also spends time in the garden, which she says helps to improve her mental health.

“You cannot do anything when you are not mentally well. Talk to friends, find interesting things to do such as going to church to improve your spiritual wellbeing and avoid boredom at all costs,” she advises.

She calls upon people not to engage in exercises that require more energy and strength than what they have.
 “Be it push-ups or any other kind of of exercise, be it in the gym or outdoors, start slowly and build up pace until you reach your target. This will help you avoid burnout,” she says.

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Denis Onyango 
Denis Onyango is Uganda Cranes’ goalkeeper and captain who also plays professionally for Mamelodi Sundowns, a South African Premier Soccer League club. 

Setting targets, eating healthy, having enough rest, dedication and most of all knowing his body type and ambitions are among his fitness and health tips.

“Doing extra work after the team is done training to try and improve my weak points helps me become better. I also have enough rest that allows me to recover for the next session,” Onyango says.
Onyango also carefully selects what he eats.

“Eating the right food helps me to recover and get the energy I need to work hard again the following day,” he adds.

For physical fitness, Onyango advises his fans to forego bad health habits such as smoking, drinking and opt for nutritious foods rich in proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins.

David Emong
The sprint and medium distance para-athlete won Uganda’s first silver medal in the 1500m T46 race at Paralympic Games in 2016 before clinching a gold medal at the World Para Athletics Championships in London, United Kingdom in 2017.

Being focused, doing the right thing at the right time, feeding well as well as training every day envelop Emong’s fitness and health tips.

 “I have a feeding timetable and each day of the week, I make sure to eat different foods rich in carbohydrates, proteins and vitamins. This helps me to grow strong,” he says.

Smoking and drinking are a taboo to Emong since he needs to keep his lungs and liver healthy. He opts for nutritious foods including milk, porridge, and fruit juice. His diet comprises carbohydrate-rich food such as millet, posho, potatoes and proteins such as fish, beef, beans, and groundnuts among other food stuffs.

Emong says one should avoid gaining so much weight which he says is usually caused by eating a lot of fatty foods.

“Physical exercise is also important. When you exercise, you not only burn excess fat but also release feel good hormones that help you stay stress-free. Sweating also helps you have a glowing skin,” he advises.

Peace Proscovia 
Peace Proscovia became the first Ugandan professional netballer in 2015 after signing for England’s Loughborough Lightning team.

Currently playing for Australia’s Sunshine Coast Lightning, the She Cranes goal shooter captained Uganda to two Netball World Cups in 2015 and 2019.

She also led the team to back to back Africa Netball Championships victories in 2017 and 2018.

Eating healthy, hydrating her body as well as getting enough rest are among her tips that have enabled her to stand the test of time in her competitive sport.

“I eat healthy foods rich in proteins, carbohydrates and vitamins that help me nourish my body,” she says.

“I also have enough sleep that helps me to keep stress at bay,” she adds.

Proscovia calls upon her fans to involve in active leisure activities including playing games, digging and walking to work, which she says will help you keep fit.

Halima Nakaayi
Halima Nakaayi won a gold medal for Uganda in the 800 metre race during the World Athletics Championships in 2019.

She credits her health and fitness to exercising daily through gym routines including jogging, running and lifting, among others.

She also constantly monitors her diet. She avoids eating a lot of fatty foods and instead eats carbohydrates, proteins, fruits and roughage, which give her a healthy weight, strength and general body glow.

Having enough sleep also helps her muscles to rest after vigorous exercise.  “For one to be fit, they should only engage in fitness activities that will not cause harm to their bodies,” she advises.

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