DP Gachagua is leading the way on exercise, rest

Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua. [DPCS, Standard]

Kenyans do not seem amused every time Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua posts his images walking or jogging down streets; something he does often.

Yet that simple act is laden with a lot of significance for this generation. Understandably, these are not the best times to philosophise.

The economy is unstable and in the spirit of ‘all hands on deck’, the expectation then is that no minute should be wasted in activities considered immaterial to economic revival.

A little walk down the streets of Kisumu or Munich in Germany or wherever is then considered a waste of time and opportunity but wrongly so.

What I get, every time I land on those images, is the importance of taking time off our busy schedules to mind our bodies. We live at a time where we are all caught up in a race with no known end; in the process straining our bodies to death.

Science has proven the importance of a little exercise here and there. People who exercise and rest live more productive lives.

I hope the Gachagua symbolism will transform into a conversation of how we generally live our lives.

Ideally, every village or community must have a park, where residents go to play and stretch in the evening before milking their cows. There are few places where that actually happens but those spaces are shrinking.

A lot more effort is needed in the cities, particularly Nairobi where every small space has been turned into a concrete jungle or sprawling slums. The wisdom of city planners has been thrown to the wind.  Children have to duck in between speeding motorbikes and vehicles for a feel of the sun and fresh air.

The Seventh Day Adventist church has a programme called NEWSTART that outlines the eight components of a healthy life. N stands for Nutrition, E for Exercise, aW for Water and S for Sunshine. T stands for Temperance/Balance, A for Air, R for Rest and T for Trust in the Lord. Even God in his infinite wisdom started us off with a day of rest and time off on the Seventh Day of the week.

The Holy Book narrates that the Lord took time to admire all the work he had done. One thing we must agree on, is that we cannot finish all the work that is there to be done.

We can only do our bit before that final rest comes. When Gachagua walks to visit his relatives in the village or have a taste of air in Kisumu, it is because it is the right way to live.

We may argue he has the luxury to enjoy his life having achieved nearly everything in his hierarchy of needs, yet we should not forget that achievement is relative.

Our small wins are important too lest we be like the rich fool that plan to fill up his barn stores in readiness for a lifetime of luxury only to die that night. It is good for our health to live a balanced life.

-The writer is anchor at Radio Maisha


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