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Bond with nature in outdoor fitness

By LYNET IGADWAH November 21st, 2014 2 min read

A sedentary lifestyle has been blamed for a myriad of health problems including obesity, depression, high blood pressure and certain cancers.

While hitting the gym might offer an alternative  to  an inactive life, researchers  the world over agree that exercising in an outdoor setting gives better results.

Raphael Mirera of the Jungle Fitness Limited explains that among the benefits of outdoor fitness is the fact that participants get to bond with nature.

Connecting with nature is good for mental health as the mind becomes aware of the changing terrain. Whether you use a winding path, the hills or trees,  your mind will focus differently than it would on a flat gym floor.

“In an outdoor setting,  participants can socialise in team building sessions, engage in sporting activities and enjoy fresh air while at it,” he says.

This,  he says,  is unlike what one may get from a gym session that is usually confined in a room and is often costly – thus beyond reach of  many.

On  average, the annual subscription to  a gym is Sh50,000 and  due to various reasons, most individuals do not attend all sessions more so after a long day at work.

Last weekend, the Jungle Fitness Fest debut at the Nairobi Arboretum where participants interacted with 15 trainers with different specialties from the Jungle Fitness Limited.


Despite the chilly weather, attendees broke sweat after going through a rigorous warm-up session which kicked off  the fest under the slogan Fitness for Survival  Health for Life.

Fast tempo music played in the background as trainers switched their work-out moves and participants followed suit.

Among activities that featured at the event were aerobics, martial arts (tae kwondo and karate), Zumba, Yoga as well as jogging  sessions in the expansive grounds.

Those who came with  children kept their mind on the sports as the young ones were taken care of at a specified corner with fun activities such as bouncing castles and face painting.

As  the sun came out at around 1 pm, the tempo of activities increased as more people gathered at the venue which also had health and nutrition specialists offering advice.

Attendees  had their weight checked, their blood pressure taken and their Body Mass Index (BMI) analysed prior to being given diet and nutritional  advise.

“From here, participants are free to keep up a healthy lifestyle or  o digress,” said  Mirera who divulged that the plan is to hold the fest monthly starting January next year.


The venue for the event will keep changing from one open ground to another within Nairobi with the intention of expanding  to other counties in the future.

“Our target is people leading sedentary lifestyles  and such individuals are mostly found in urban settings where they operate an 8am to 5 pm work schedule with no time for physical fitness,” he said.

Sports Commissioner Gordon Oluoch attended as chief guest and noted the world is progressing to the middle class where people are relying so much on machines.

“While this is convenient for our work, it is certainly not good for our bodies,” he said lauding the organizers of the Jungle Fitness Fest.