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Health & Fitness

How Cycling soothes my aching muscles

Simon Mwaniki with his niece cycle through Bamburi Nature Trail
Simon Mwaniki with his niece cycle through Bamburi Nature Trail. PHOTO | LUCY NJESHURI | NMG 

Simon Mwaniki, the general manager of Abson Motors in Mombasa, started cycling as a way of easing body pains due to driving and sitting for long hours.

“Sometimes I drive from one border to another in Kenya running errands. The long tiresome journey makes me tired and my legs become painful and weak,” Mr Mwaniki says.

On this day, he did not come alone. In the company of his niece, they are going to cycle for an hour on the 10 kilometre path.

His childhood pastime of cycling has now become a habit.

“I get to exercise most of the body parts at once. And also, I like cycle in nature trails which gives me an opportunity to enjoy the trees and fresh air,” he says.

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At Bamburi nature trail, where he cycles, the paths are lined with various trees, which provide shade from the scorching sun. When cycling, the chirping sound of birds, chattering of monkeys and the buzzing sounds of several insects are a motivation, says the entrepreneur. On the nature trail, some fitness enthusiasts take the jogging path indicated by blue arrows while others follow the cycling path directed by red leads.

Mr Mwaniki rides a BMX bicycle but at the nature trail, one can rent a bicycle. Mr Mwaniki says it is unnecessary to be choosy when buying a bicycle for exercising as long as it serves its purpose.

Besides cycling, the 52-year-old has a small gym at home where he spends one to two hours after work.

Simon Mwaniki who is 52 years old

Simon Mwaniki who is 52 years old. NMG PHOTO

“I am not exercising to lose weight but to keep fit. Many people think when you are not fat, you can relax and eat whatever you want. No, everyone has to strive to stay fit,” Mr Mwaniki says, adding that he also minds his diet.

He works out three times a week at his home gym and cycles during the weekend, mostly on Saturday's afternoon.

At his home gym in Nyali, he has a treadmill, exercise mat, dumbbells and other gym equipment where he exercises all the body parts.

Treadmills tend to be good home fitness equipment because running for about 20 minutes at 10 kilometre per hour can help someone burn 229 calories. Running on the treadmill combined with a healthy diet helps someone reach their weight loss goals quickly.

So why does he prefer to exercise at home instead of going to a gym?

“Having exercise machines in the house gives me discipline because at times you are caught up in meetings and cannot go to the gym but eventually you will end up home where you can spend few hours in your own workout section, then relax because you already in your house,” he said.

However, he notes that there can be many distractions if one is exercising at home. But with proper planning and discipline one can beat the distractions.

“Discipline is the ability to do something consistently. If you want to stay fit, find time to exercise,” he adds.

He says after he started exercising, he stays alert in the office, has good health and his body free from pain.

“Doing administration work in the company demands that I sit for long, so the more I exercise, my legs get strong and I can walk for long distances. Also, it reduces back aches caused by sitting for long hours at work and also when driving,” he says.

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