Fitness not taken seriously enough in SVG
August 13, 2013

Fitness not taken seriously enough in SVG

The benefits of being fit extend beyond having a well toned, attractive body.{{more}}

As a result, Allan Hanson, trainer at Ronnie’s Fitness and Recreational Centre, would like to see more done as it relates to the wellness of citizens of St Vincent and the Grenadines.

“I, personally would like to see wellness in St Vincent like in other countries,” he said.

“I would like persons to see that they can make a career with fitness in St Vincent and I would love to see businessmen and politicians promote it by helping those who have the willingness to do it, but not finances.”

With over 22 years of experience in the field, Hanson said while there are many positives to being fit, many persons do not take wellness seriously.

“All the different systems in your body will be working better. Your nervous system will work better, your immune system will work better. Your skin will be healthier…your metabolism will improve,” Hanson said, while explaining the benefits of regular exercise.

The trainer, who has competed in natural body building competitions, also pointed out the many health benefits of regular exercise, saying that it is one of the best alternatives to medicines.

“I believe your health is your wealth. I believe that a person who is fit can think more clearly, whether in academics or any other aspect of life. I think it would help them to fight against diseases such as diabetes, cancer and any other related diseases that come from poor nutrition. It can help them prevent and help them reverse.”

Although it is becoming a common trend to try losing weight rapidly, the passionate trainer emphasized that this habit is rather unhealthy and supplements that facilitate this may be misleading.

“Carnival is coming up and you’re looking for a miracle which isn’t going to happen in the gym,” he said, giving a popular example.

“It takes 3,500 calories per week to gain a genuine pound. The healthiest way to lose weight is to lose a pound a week. If you hear somebody on TV saying that they lost 10 pounds in a week, it’s not 10 genuine pounds. More than half of that could be water weight. It’s really unhealthy to try to lose weight too fast”.

While exercise is an important part of being fit, the trainer also noted other key components of fitness.

“When a person exercises, they’re actually breaking down your body,” Hanson said. “You don’t build your body in the gym. You build your body outside. Fitness comprises exercise, rest and diet. If you exercise and have poor nutrition, it’s counterproductive. You’re doing more harm to yourself.”

Interestingly, Hanson said that while there may be equal numbers of men and women who exercise regularly, more women use the gym than men.

“Men play football, play cricket and all of that,” he said.

“We have aerobics class here sometimes. Aerobics class will be full of women and we’re talking 30, 30 something women. Women are more conscious about their bodies”.

The trainer, however, said that anyone can get involved when it comes to fitness.

Hanson, who has even trained autistic persons, said that improved self-esteem and confidence result from being fit.

However, where there are positives, negatives are never far behind.

“Overtraining can be a negative. When a person overtrains, the negative effect is that it can break down your whole system. Just like how you can build up your system, overtraining and not having proper nutrition…while it can build you, it can break you down also,” Hanson said.

“But in all, there is more positive than negative when coming to fitness”.

Manager of Ronnie’s Fitness and Recreational Centre Ekron Lewis also shares the view that not enough persons like to exercise to be fit.

However, Lewis told SEARCHLIGHT that although maintaining a gym is expensive, he receives some reward in the long run.

“I do this gym because people keep me going. The remarks people give to me, I ‘save people lives’, that’s what keeps me going”, he said.

Ronnie’s Fitness and Recreational Centre, which is located at Mckies Hill, has been open for the past seven years and is open six days a week.