Tuesday, January 26, 2016 1:45 pm
Prof. Adetayo Ebun Talabi of the Department of Human Kinetics Education, University of Ilorin, stresses the importance of regular physical activity in achieving wellness
By Stephen Olufemi Oni/Ilorin
To a Professor of Human Kinetics Education at the University of Ilorin, Adetayo Ebun Talabi, adequate and regular physical activity level is the main anchor for wellness which all and sundry crave. While admitting that physical exercises alone do not guarantee the total wellbeing of an individual, to Talabi, it represents a major factor in maintaining wellbeing.
The more intense the physical activity, he opined, the more the physical fitness and wellbeing derived by the body. He said: “Physical activities also help to strengthen, to scrub and flush the system thereby keeping it properly serviced and cleaned up. Physical activities help to tone the muscles and the organs for better functioning.
“Physical activities prolong optimal health. Without regular physical activity, the body slows down, loses strength, stamina and ability to function well. Physically active people have healthier weight, and live about seven years longer than others less active and obese. Physical activity improves blood circulation, improves blood cholesterol level, prevents bone loss, boosts energy level, helps to manage stress and releases tension.”
But achieving superlative wellness, according to Talabi who spoke while delivering the University’s 161st Inaugural Lecture, one must ensure that one’s work, play and social lives are positive and appropriately balanced. He said: “Even though an individual might demonstrate adequate or excellent fitness, indulgence in unhealthy lifestyle behaviour such as smoking, drinking alcohol and not sleeping regularly, will increase the risk of chronic diseases and decrease the person’s wellbeing.”
Superlative wellness, he maintained, should be seen as a way of life, adding that, to possess adequate and functional wellness for robust living, adequate and regular nutrition, adequate and regular water intake and adequate and regular breathing, aside from adequate and regular physical activities, are foundational and crucial but not exclusive.
The don, who said adult live represents high levels of struggle making life to become survival of the fittest, opined that robust physical activity helps in no small measure to delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging, while also helping in maintaining quality life.
He said: “In short, a fit person enjoys better health and that in turn guarantees better wellness. The person can then face circumstances better and enjoy his or her life to the utmost without undue stress.
“ Superlative wellness as a high level of wellbeing (health and fitness) doesn’t depend on medicine, doctor, money, environment, occupation, position, gift or circumstances. It is a matter of small-small sensible little things that we should be doing. It is about consciousness of what our body needs and what goes on around us. It is about the decisions we make and the wisdom with which we carry out these decisions.”
To further aid the ability to do more physical activities, Talabi stressed the need to consciously and regularly do deep breathing to absorb the adequate amount of air into the lung, where the oxygen extraction takes place. The practice of deep rhythmic breathing regularly during the day, he said, is particularly essential for superlative health and wellness in the humid tropics due to the presence of high heat and water vapour. Besides, the practice allows enough oxygen to be absorbed and adequate carbon dioxide to be expelled.
Water, according to the lecturer, is the body’s most important and remarkable nutrient that is essential to life, adding that without water, death occurs within a few days. He said: “Regular intake of water , all day long, guarantees that one sweats well, urinates well, faeces do not become hard, skin does not crack and the flesh is moist all the time. This leads to a high feeling of wellbeing and the body is better able to cope with daily stress without fatigue.”
Talabi further said that adequate nutrition is a vital component of wellness which should be dexterously and religiously adhered to by all, adding that what one eats affects energy level, wellbeing and overall health. He said: “Because diet is one area that is easy to handle, a knowledge and understanding of nutrition can be used to create a healthy diet plan as a significant step in a superlative wellness programme. Healthy food is important and without healthy food our body will not be able to perform as well as it should be and will become susceptible to illness easily.”
Drawing from all these, the inaugural lecturer stressed the need for sports education at all levels, starting from the home, through the primary to the tertiary level of education, adding that it is one of the ways to help individuals to live a healthy and fulfilling life. To him, this becomes more imperative because of the poor state of the country’s economy, infrastructure, medical systems and personnel.