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Group advocates walking to promote fitness, good health | The Guardian Nigeria News

Members of Waka Community International Foundation (WCIF) have advised Nigerians to engage in more walks to boost their health and be able to live longer.

The group made the call yesterday in Lekki, Lagos during a road/health walk organised in honour of late chairman, Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) board, Dr. Adetokunbo Alakija.
In its third edition, WCIF, which also carried out demonstration of Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid, said the action is driven by its conviction that since a healthy Nigeria is a wealthy Nigeria, it is worthwhile to inform, educate and persuade Nigerians as well as the world, to take personal responsibility for their wellness by walking and eating right as well as getting enough quality sleep.   
Speaking with The Guardian, Founder, Waka Community International Foundation, Lorenzo Mba, said: “Walking has many benefits such as helping to maintain a healthy weight and helping to lose unwanted and undesirable fat. Walking helps prevent or manage various conditions including heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, cancer and type 2 diabetes. Walking also helps improve cardiovascular fitness. Walking contributes to clearing the mind and it boosts our moods. Walking is a low impact exercise and so it is gentle on the ankles and knees. We encourage folks to walk indoors or outdoors depending on choice, safety or convenience.
“This was what Dr. Ade Alakija loved doing apart from playing golf and as we walked in his honour, members in Abuja and 39 other countries also did the same.

Waka is not a competition, it’s a way of changing lives and we are united by the common pursuit of living healthy, waka-ing, eating right and sleeping enough.”
Also speaking, Executive Director, Health Emergency Initiative, Paschal Achunine, said: “This edition is unique because of Dr. Alakija was a very great man. He was with us when we had the inaugural edition so, apart from using this to honour him, we are also using the avenue to call attention to the importance of healthy living; walking is a great way to stay healthy and strong.
“One of the key things we are doing today is conducting CPR and first aid training on what to do in case of emergency. We have trained more than 4,500 organisations in Lagos on how to respond to emergencies. Those who participated in this walk also have the opportunity to get the tips on how to carry out CPR. CPR alone can provide 50 per cent chances of survival. So, organisations, religious bodies should organise training for their members so that people can learn what to do instead of taking pictures and posting on social media.”
On what makes this year’s edition important, Dr. Joseph Onoja who is the Director General of Nigeria Conservation Foundation, said: “Dr. Alakija was everything to everybody. His life was an illustration of somebody impactful. So, as an organisation, we thought we should come out to walk with his family, his organisation and his associates.”
Also, daughter of the late Dr. Alakija, Alero Alakija, said: “My dad was very passionate about walking and he would have turned 66 tomorrow (today). We are pleased for the honour. This means a lot to us to see the community show up; we never thought we could see the number of people that came out. This is amazing and we are grateful.”

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