As time goes by everything becomes simpler and more convenient. For example one does not need to go to the gym to exercise, but simply purchase the equipment required and have their own miniature home gym. There are aerobics DVD’s that allow people to enjoy a good work out at the comfort of their own home, there are also community health projects which develop outdoor gyms in parks e.g. in Green Point, Cape Town and various township areas around the country and with relevantly safe running and cycling trails one can even do freestyle exercising, so when it comes to the availability of exercise methods, the world is everyone’s oyster.

Nevertheless majority of people lead sedentary lives. These days most people drive whether by own car or use public transportation to get to their desired destinations, whole families gather around methodically for TV time evening after evening and children spend countless hours playing computer games or social networking on their phones. This results in a rapid and continuous decrease in health which was reflected in the health statistics taken during the 1994-2010 period.

Our past counter parts, on the other hand, put us to shame because their daily activities were pro-exercise. In the past people walked everywhere as cars were a luxury afforded only to the very wealthy, others even cycled from A to B. Children nationally spent a major part of their free time playing active games (skipping, tag, climbing trees, 3-sisters, etc) coming back reluctantly at sunset and still others played traditional sports either as part of the local club, school team or on the streets e.g football. Even our grandmothers and grandfathers would either go for refreshing walks- be it up the mountain, along the beach or to and from the park- viewing the beautiful scenery in the suburb areas or whilst fetching the herd of cattle, visiting family in the village or they would put in some gardening time. Hence everyone got continuous exercise naturally from their daily activities or chores.

It can definitely be concluded that when it comes to exercise, it is not too much to refer to the past as truly the good days!

– by Zandile Myeki


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