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Opinions of Thursday, 3 March 2016

Columnist: Yakubu Abdul-Jalil

Aburi Hills, the new destination for exercise

Many workers in offices usually sit for hours every day. Such sedentary work certainly affects the health of workers.

These days, some of the workers and individuals have taken to exercise to stay healthy.

And, the place which is gradually becoming a destination for exercise is the Aburi Hills. The hills have become an “open gym”.

Time for exercise

As early as 6 a.m. many people park their cars at the bottom of the Ayi Mensah Police Barrier to begin a one-and-half-hour walk or jog to Peduase Lodge in the Eastern Region, and sometimes beyond.

During jogging or running, the 26 bones, 33 joints, 112 ligaments and a network of tendons, nerves and blood vessels that make up the foot all work together.

Apart from running or walking, the joggers engage in some aerobic exercises with the aim of energising their systems, burning calories, increasing mental acuity and regulating the body’s endocrine system.

On the Aburi Hills

Around 6 a.m. last Saturday, the Daily Graphic was at the foot of the Aburi Hills to witness the new craze of jogging on the hills.

From the police barrier to the hills, scores of people were either walking or jogging with the mission of climbing the hills.

Joggers included individuals and groups who believed exercise was paramount in addressing their health concerns, hence the weekly commitment to it.

“I do this because of my health. I do it every Saturday from 5:30 a.m. I time myself; at least in an hour, I have to descend, all for my health, not anything. I have been doing this for the past 10 years. I am 46 years now,” A-Z Pharmacy representative from Tema, Mr Eric Noi, explained.

Business opportunities

On the hill, and in groups, joggers were engaged in aerobics, while others were taking snacks to refresh themselves.

Traders were busy selling. As of 8.20 a.m., a coconut seller from Aburi, Mr David Perry, had sold about 150 coconuts worth GH?300.

At Tavern Lodge, a group of professionals, Masterminds of Social Capital, was arranging the place to climax the keep fit.

“We jog to climb the hills on the last Saturday of every month and later, we discuss issues relating to our health,” a member said.

The presence of the joggers on weekends has encouraged business in front of the Peduase Lodge.

In separate interviews, some traders said business had boomed.

According to them, from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. every weekend, they make more than 50 per cent of their sales.

“I make more than 50 per cent of my sales on weekends, particularly in the morning when joggers have climbed the hill, and come for rest to take some snacks,” the proprietor of Tavern Lodge, which is opposite Peduase Lodge, Mr Kweku Hayford, said.

For the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Pure Juice Company at East Legon, Mr Kwesi Kissi, “seventy per cent of my sales are made here. Since my business is now growing, I deemed it necessary to leave East Legon every weekend to sell here. I have done this for the past two years.”

Similar sentiments were shared by other traders who said they had to travel from Madina and its environs every weekend to sell to the joggers.

Risks

Some joggers anticipated danger because of the single pavement used by joggers, compelling others to use the road.

That, they thought, was not the best.

Besides, the railings along the corridors of the street, the Daily Graphic team observed, needed to be rehabilitated, because they had broken down, considering the pressure they receive from motorists and pedestrians alike, else in case of an accident it would be disastrous.

A fashion designer, Ms Abigail Eshun, said: “This is my first time to be here. I really enjoyed it, but my concern is the human traffic, which could be serious if anything should happen, owing to the pressure received on the one path to and fro.”

Vehicle in the ditch

When the team was descending from the hills, it encountered an incident that happened at 12:45 a.m. last Friday.

A green vehicle with registration number ER1479-14 had fallen in a ditch.

According to the driver, Mr Isaac Tei, the incident did not record any casualties.

“On my return from Koforidua around 12:45 a.m., my brake failed, and I veered into the ditch. I was with three women and they have gone to the Koforidua Hospital for treatment,” he stated.

The windscreen of the car had cracked and the vehicle was about to be towed to Accra.