Outdoor exercises have become the new thing in Windhoek these days as many have stepped out of the four-walled gyms to settings where they keep challenging their bodies for practical results. The trend has hit the city last year and it seems to be growing by the day as many flock to the mountains and any plain surfaces to run, jog, climb or to simply stretch.
What is more fascinating is the organization and discipline within groups who have become committed to the course. Hot spots in Windhoek are the Independence Stadium, the mountains in the uptown Auasblick just close to State House, the Ondundu Mountain across the University of Namibia and the B1 Highway past the Northern Industrial Area. The hot spots have become exercising home grounds to even those in high offices as you would find them in their natural personalities rubbing shoulders with the general public as they all stretch, jog and hike to the top of the mountains.
Those in favour of the trend say not only is the natural scenery welcoming, but one has a free environment where they are not confined to machines and scientific ways of getting fit. In addition, it is the sunshine, mental stimulation, new exercises, psychological benefits and a more varied workout that comes in handy.
“I have decided to go with my friend to the stadium since last year and I’m beginning to reap the benefits. I have lost weight proportionally and my fitness level has increased. Plus, one cannot take away the fact that it is free compared to a N$400 monthly fee that you pay at the gym,” said 39-year old Ndapewa Kashihakumwa. Ndapewa has been in the gym for a year but claims she has not favourably reaped the benefits until she decided to hit the natural field track.
Instructor Joe Mulunga adds that the benefits of exercising outside are more natural than in a room of treadmills. Resistance from the wind when running means that you often burn more fat than if you were indoors. Also, slopes and uneven ground make your body work harder as it has to respond to the unknown,” he said.
What comes out as an overall benefit is the fact that the beauty of exercising outdoors is the space you are in. running through different scenery means you have a lot to look at – so one is less likely to get bored and end up exercising for longer. Joe adds that it is not a secret that those who wish to lose weight can do so better outside, not taking away the advantage of properly toning one’s body.
In groups of two and sometimes more, people of different ages would assemble at the Auasblick mountains before climbing to the top of the mountain. The place is filled with crowds mostly weekdays after work hours and in the mornings during the weekends. “It is just fun and rewarding at the same time. As you climb up the mountain, you are faced with a lot of challenges and you are motivated to reach the top when you look up. When you reach the top, you are able to tap your shoulders because of the hard work that you put in. The more times you get to the top, the more you want to do it all over again. Also, what one cannot take away is the freedom of pace at which one takes on the challenge. You can walk faster and sometimes slower, it is all up to you. The results will eventually come and that will motivate you to go even faster the next time,” said Joe.
True enjoyment comes from activity of the mind and exercise of the body. It is said that the two are ever united. Become part of a fit community where you are the master of your workout and those around you will motivate you just as much. Everyone on the road has one objective and there is no judge.
While many choose not to follow trends, whether they have long existed, this one is surely becoming popular and it is undeniable that the benefits are just as promising, or even better.
So if you need a little motivation on when and how to start, visit the above-mentioned areas just for inspiration. You will leave with enough hope that your desired body, fitness level and will to start lies in the decision you take today.