Keeping fit in the company of nature
Posted Thursday, August 16 2012 at 15:00
- The boot camp was launched by Wellness Solutions as part of popularising a healthy lifestyle. Some of Kenya’s professional athletes train here.
- Wellness Solutions opted to host its boot camp in Karura Forest to help with the conservation of one of the city’s hidden treasures.
- The boot camp is held every last Saturday of the month for Sh1,000. For individuals, it costs Sh100 to enjoy the forest.
- Serene with different attractions it offers an ideal environment for a work out. Here you will find people using the different trails in the forest for their physical activities walking their dogs, running or walking.
- The fitness boot camp uses different exercises with a variety of styles of fitness, including interval training and strength training, which is designed to push participants harder than they would push themselves.
- Boot camps are gaining popularity in other parts of the world as a physical training programme mainly conducted by fitness experts and in some cases former military personnel.
It’s early Saturday morning and we have assembled at Karura Forest to participate in a boot camp.
After registration, we form a circle outside well-spaced cones and the workout begins with a light jog. Before long, people are shedding their outer wear as the pace picks up.
“One whistle, you star jump, three you star jump, squat and run in the opposite direction” shouts Japheth Amimo, 42, the boot camp organiser and proprietor of Wellness Solutions.
With 20 years experience as a health and fitness expert, Japheth is firm with his instructions as he takes the group through different exercises.
After the warm-up the group, of about 25, is divided into two teams. This is only the beginning of a two-hour work out session. It all starts at the former Shell Club in Karura Forest before going into the forest.
Surrounded by trees with a cool breeze to cool off the sweating participants, Japheth leads the group through intervals of sprints, jogging and walking, up and down one of the trails in the forest.
Despite the cool weather, participants are reminded to keep drinking water to stay hydrated.
With the sound of a flowing stream at the background the group comes to a stop in the middle of the forest and in groups prepares for team work.
It is time to sprint, however, an army of safari ants on the stretch means the distance is shorter, and there is a sign of relief from most of the panting participants.
Each team has to sprint about 50 meters and back for the next team member to go. There is nothing like a competition to get people back on their feet cheering team mates despite how tired they are.
Team mates also pass different objects including a five litre bottle of water and exercise ball from side to side, over people’s heads and under to work out different muscle groups, before running back to the camp.
Japheth is not a drill sergeant, he understands not everyone can keep the same paces so he allows those unable to keep up or run the whole distance to jog slowly or walk quickly – with one of his assistants keeping watch to ensure they make it back safely.
The fitness boot camp uses different exercises with a variety of styles of fitness, including interval training and strength training, which designed to push participants harder than they would push themselves.
The session offers different challenges that it’s sometimes beyond one’s physical fitness, but willpower. Boot camps are gaining popularity in other parts of the world as a physical training programme mainly conducted by fitness experts and in some cases former military personnel.