In some instances, like in case of severe drought, warfare, or abject poverty, it is generally difficult to stay healthy. In the absence of these and other out-of-control circumstances however, staying healthy is a personal choice. In a typical environment, your good health is entirely in your hands. Kenya is fortunate to enjoy relative peace and Nairobi, the capital city, is mostly secure and stable making it easier to manage your health.
There is the notion that to be wholly healthy, you have to be wealthy; otherwise, you will not afford the luxuries that guarantee good health. That’s inaccurate; you do not need to strain yourself much to maintain wellness on a budget. In fact, in comparison, you need more effort to be unhealthy in Nairobi.
As the following proven tips will show you, it is possible to have your wellness even on a slim budget.
- Eat Local Produce
To be healthy, you should resist from thinking in terms of canned meat, pasteurised milk or refined food. All of these are more expensive and less healthy. Instead, eat food when it is as close to its natural form as possible. Food processing interferes with the food composition. It is mainly during the processing that useful food contents are lost as harmful ones are introduced.
Nairobi is blessed with a number of local markets where you can get fresh produce straight from the farm. Around the city centre are the Gikomba, Marikiti, Uhuru Markets among others. You could consider a weekly shopping in these markets for fresh produce like carrots, bananas, cabbages, and apples. It is not just cheaper when you buy in bulk; you also get to eat foods when they are still fresh and therefore high on nutrition. The more a product is stored, the more it loses its nutritional value. Vegetables are generally more effective when still dark green than when yellowing or paling.
If you are far from these major city local markets, do not despair, for throughout the estates are mama mboga’s (local produce vendor) where you can buy groceries.
If you own a home in Nairobi or an empty plot of land, you could turn part of it into a garden around your house, do not postpone the task. Grow your garden and have your vegetables, herbs and even fruit trees — moreover, rear local chickens for their uncontaminated meat and eggs. You will be healthier at the end of the day. Growing your food is the best option; it enables you to forego the harmful pesticides that commercial farmers apply for quick, big yields. Something else: working on your kitchen garden will help to keep you physically fit and even relieve some stress.
- Eat Meat Moderately
Let’s face it: meat is tastier than sukuma wiki (kales) or any other vegetables you can think of (for many of us anyway) But meat-eating, if not checked, come with harmful consequences that can shorten your life or make it medicine-dependent. Meat is also more expensive in Nairobi, compared to vegetables and fruits. If you have limited income, constant meat-eating can drain your nourishment budget before end-month. You can overcome all these by merely having lots of vegetables and fruits on your table, with meat once in a while. If possible, you could consider becoming a vegetarian. It may be an uphill task, but if you make it to the hilltop, your health would improve, and your pockets would never be empty. Make sure you eat lots of nuts, legumes and seeds on top of the fruits and greens to replace the meat protein however.
- Regular Exercise
There are gymnasiums spread all-over Nairobi where you can register your membership. Better still, you can regularly seek out the services of a physiotherapist. A physiotherapist is better-trained and will come up with a series of exercises that suits you personally. A visit to a physiotherapy clinic for a routine check-up and exercise is more than what you can expect from a traditional gym; a physiotherapist can actually detect and avert disease in its developing stage. Some ailments when matured are a matter of life and death, and so early detection is a life-saving, preventive measure. The good news is that it is cheaper to maintain a regular physiotherapy visit than to deal with life-threatening ailments like cancer or diabetes. You may, after a complicated fight, physically heal from any of these diseases but not financially in the long run.
There are now a good number of physiotherapy clinics in Nairobi. Polycare Wellness Centre is one such clinic where you can keep a regular visit. Located in an accessible mall in Lavington, Polycare Wellness Center offers not just exercise sessions for you but also therapy and advice for patients with injuries or disabilities. For patients with musculoskeletal disorders, Polycare offers a chiropractic technique to manipulate and adjust the misalignment of the spine and joints. This works to relieve the complications associated with the dysfunction of the nervous system. If you are aging, the more reason you should be part of the Polycare community so that you can walk to your sunset gracefully.
The trick to achieving endless wellness on a budget is to create time for your wellness when all is still well. You should prepare your food plan ahead so that you can buy food in advance in its proper state. Last minute rush could mean taking short-cuts to the less healthy fast foods.
Along with these, you should also consider reducing or quit smoking and alcohol. They are not just harmful to your health; the ever-increasing ‘sin tax’ the government slaps on these products yearly has ensured they steadily get more and more expensive. Why should you pay a heavy price to maintain a healthy lifestyle?