Staying fit and healthy is important for everyone, but it’s especially important for young people. In Kenya, where approximately 70% of the population is below 24 years of age1, it’s essential that the youth take care of their health. Here are some tips on how to stay fit and healthy in Kenya today, with a bit of humor thrown in for good measure.

1. Let Go of Bad Habits

The first step to staying healthy is to let go of bad habits. This includes things like smoking, excessive intake of caffeine, not checking and limiting yourself on the sugar intake in your food or drinks, and literally being addicted to junk food. These habits can have a negative impact on your health, so it’s important to try to break them. And if you’re struggling to quit smoking, just remember: cigarettes are like hamsters – completely harmless until you put one in your mouth and light it on fire.

2. Take Sleep Seriously

Sleep is essential for good health. It affects our physical and mental health, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of it. If you’re not getting enough sleep, it can affect your mood, memory, stress levels, metabolism, and concentration. So make sure you’re getting enough shut-eye. And if you’re having trouble sleeping, try counting sheep – or better yet, count the number of hours of sleep you’re missing out on.

3. Eat a Balanced Diet

Eating a balanced diet is important for staying healthy. This means eating a variety of foods from all the food groups. In Kenya, this can include whole or unprocessed starchy foods such as ugali or chapati as part of meals; plenty of green leafy vegetables such as sukuma wiki or spinach; red and yellow vegetables such as carrots or pumpkin; fruits such as mangoes or bananas; beans, peas, lentils, cowpeas (kunde), pigeon peas (mbaazi), soya (soya), nuts (njugu) and edible seeds regularly (at least four times a week); lean meat (nyama), fish (samaki) and seafood (samaki wa baharini), poultry (kuku), insects (wadudu) or eggs (mayai) at least twice a week; fresh milk (maziwa), fermented milk (maziwa lala) or yoghurt every day. And while there’s nothing wrong with the occasional treat such as mandazi or samosas, try not to make junk food a regular part of your diet. Remember: an apple a day keeps the doctor away – but if the doctor is cute, forget the fruit.

Our Mission: To ensure the provision of quality and ethical health care through appropriate regulation of training

Dr David G Kariuki

4. Stay Active

Staying active is important for staying fit and healthy. This means getting regular exercise, whether it’s through sports such as football or rugby, going to the gym in places like Nairobi or Mombasa, or just going for a walk in places like Karura Forest or Uhuru Park. Exercise can help you maintain a healthy weight and improve your overall health. And if you’re not a fan of exercise, just remember: sweat is just fat crying.

5. Take Care of Your Mental Health

Mental health is just as important as physical health. It involves your emotions, physical and social well-being2. So make sure you’re taking care of your mental health by doing things like practicing self-care such as yoga or meditation; talking to someone if you’re feeling down such as a friend or counselor; and seeking help if you need it from organizations such as Befrienders Kenya2. Remember: it’s okay not to be okay.

6. Get Regular Check-Ups

Getting regular check-ups is important for staying healthy. This means going to the doctor for regular check-ups and screenings at places like Kenyatta National Hospital or Aga Khan University Hospital3. It’s also important to be aware of any health concerns that are common among young people in Kenya such as HIV/AIDS3, tuberculosis3, malaria3, maternal and child mortality 3. So make sure you’re taking care of your health by getting regular check-ups.

In conclusion, staying fit and healthy is important for young people in Kenya today. By following these tips – letting go of bad habits, taking sleep seriously, eating a balanced diet, staying active, taking care of your mental health, and getting regular check-ups – you can help ensure that you stay fit and healthy. And remember: afya ni utajiri mkubwa kuliko dhahabu yote duniani (health is greater wealth than all the gold in the world).

As Dr David G Kariuki from KMPDC says “Our Mission: To ensure the provision of quality and ethical health care through appropriate regulation of training”.

Willy Kamau