Will you run in the UAP Ndakaini Half Marathon? Read on to know why you should…

What is running?WhyRun

Running has been defined as going faster than a walk; specifically: going steadily by springing steps so that both feet leave the ground for an instant.” The key is that both feet are in the air at the same time. By comparison, one foot is always in contact with the ground when you walk. Running is less efficient than walking, as mentioned earlier, precisely because you must propel your body weight through the air.

Jogging vs. Running? The movement is similar; running is just faster.

History of Running.

Scholars’ conventional thinking is that early man (hunter-gatherers) ran in short sprints as a matter of survival to catch prey and escape danger. Man has been shown to have 26 traits that contribute to running skill, and in particular, long-distance running.

Among the 26 traits are:

  • A ligament that connects the back of the skull to the vertebrae in the spine that acts like a shock absorber,
  • Our shoulders, which are separated from the head and neck (unlike apes) that allows our body to rotate while our head and eyes remain forward,
  • A taller body than apes, with a narrow trunk and waist, that allows for a more efficient running gait,
  • Independent body movement between the hips, legs, and torso that counteract the twisting forces between the upper and lower body while running,
  • Tendons and ligaments in the feet and legs that act like springs, and,
  • a strong prominent buttocks that propel and stabilize the body during running.

Scholars claim that running has substantially shaped human evolution; made us human in an anatomical sense. Moving forward through the millennia to the ancient Olympic Games (776 B.C.) in Olympia, Greece, are the first documented competitive running event. Koroibos, a cook in the city of Elis, won a 600-foot-long road race in those Olympics. The ancient Greek messenger Pheidippides set the stage for running in the modern era. He ran 26 miles from the town of Marathon to Athens to announce the Greek victory over Persia in the Battle of Marathon. It was this event that inspired the running of the marathon (26.2 miles) in the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, in 1896.

In the 20th century, the scope of organized and recreational running widened. The first NCAA national championships were held for men in 1921, and women’s track and field became a part of the Olympic Games in 1928. Today, the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) governs the sport internationally and includes more than 200 member nations.

Benefits of Jogging and Running.

Jogging and running are aerobic exercises (activities that elevate your heart rate for sustained periods of time), and so that means they have lots of health benefits. Research proves that jogging and running can:

  • decrease your risk of heart disease,
  • decrease your risk of type 2 diabetes,
  • help control blood pressure,
  • strengthen your bones,
  • strengthen your muscles,
  • increase your stamina,
  • improve your mood,
  • decrease symptoms of depression,
  • decrease your risk of certain cancers (breast and colon), and,
  • reduce the risk of dementia.

Running Muscles
Running uses the muscles in the thighs (quadriceps), the backs of the legs (hamstrings), calves, hips, low back, and buttocks, and the upper body cannot be ignored since you use your torso (back and abdominal muscles) as well as your arms and shoulders to help you stabilize, balance, and move forward. To achieve running-based muscle building:

1.    Run up and down hills to focus on tightening and toning your thighs and        buttocks.
2.    Doing speed work or intervals (where you sprint for a few minutes at high speeds and then recover at a slower pace) is comparable to leg exercises in the gym (leg press, leg extension, etc.), so you can skip your leg work on the days that you do these workouts.
3.    Run backward if you want to work your ankles, lower back, and thighs (hamstrings and quadriceps) and improve your balance.
Risks of Running
The risk of running is primarily to the joints because you hit the ground with two to three times your body weight. Be cautious if:
•    You have joint pain, arthritis (particularly in the knees), or other conditions that might be worsened by pounding (disc problems in the lower back, sciatica). Speak with your doctor before you start running if you have any of these conditions.
•    You are overweight. There is no guideline for when to start running if you are overweight, and so you should use common sense and listen to your body. If running feels hard on your joints, particularly on your knees, then you should consider losing some weight before you start.
•    Research suggests that running more than 40 miles per week is a risk factor for injury in both genders, particularly in the knee. The is higher for men.
•    To reduce ground-impact forces, avoid concrete and run instead on soft, flat ground like a cinder track, boardwalk, grass (watch for holes), or a dirt path. Treadmills are softer than the road.
Proper Running Form
•    Relax your upper body and allow your arms to swing naturally.
•    Keep your torso and shoulders relaxed.
•    Keep you torso upright and hips slightly forward.
•    Keep your elbows bent at 90 degrees.
•    Keep your hands relaxed; they should almost flop at the wrist.
•    Keep your jaw and face relaxed.
•    Breathe naturally in and out through your nose and mouth
Running Shoes
Running shoes are designed to match your foot type and your foot strike (how your foot hits the ground). There are three foot types.
•    Pronation. You pronate if you have flat feet or your arch collapses when you run and your ankle turns in. Pronation can lead to ankle sprains, stress fractures, and shin splints. The inner edge of your shoe is worn down.  Pronators should wear shoes with firm mid-soles to support the arch and provide motion control
•    Supination. You supinate if you have stiff, high arches that don’t flatten. Supinators absorb less shock on foot strike, which can lead to plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, ankle sprains, and iliotibial band syndrome. You supinate if the outer edge of your shoe is worn down. Supinators should wear shoes with lots of cushion to help absorb the shock.
•    Neutral position. This means that you have a neutral foot strike and your foot doesn’t roll one way or the other very much. Your shoe will wear down in the middle of the back of the heel;neutral foot strikers can any shoe that feels comfortable.
Full-length insole should replace the paper-thin insoles that come with most running shoes. These add cushion and support without changing your natural running style).

Clothing for Running
It is recommend that one should wear clothing made of synthetic fabrics that wick away moisture and keep you dry. Cotton gets wet and stays wet, which makes it clammy in cold weather and sticky when it’s warm.
Shirt: Any old T-shirt will do when you’re getting started. As you get more serious, start with polypro fabrics and singlets (the sleeveless tops that many runners wear).
Shorts: Running shorts are typically made of synthetic material and come in different lengths. Bike shorts are comfortable for some, and they eliminate chafing in the thighs for runners whose thighs rub together.
Leggings: When its cold leggings come in handy; these should fit comfortably.
For the rain or particularly cold weather, wear an outer she made of nylon that will keep you warm and dry.
Socks: Running or hiking socks are recommended. They have reinforced and padded heels, and they are synthetic, which means they dry quickly and slide easily over your skin when wet (which reduces the risk of friction blisters). Cotton socks don’t dry quickly and get abrasive when they get wet, which increases the risk of blisters.
Hat: Any type of polypro hat is recommended it should not be too thick and should wick the sweat away from you.

See you at Ndakaini!


What you should know about Ebola.

The World Health Organization recently declared an international public health emergency in response to what its director general, Dr. Margaret Chan, called “the largest, most severe, most complex outbreak” of the deadly Ebola virus “in the nearly four-decade history of the disease.”

It is reported that Ebola has infected about 1,800 people in four West African countries and almost 1,000 have died from the infection. The Centre for Disease Control has elevated its response to the highest possible level to adequately support prevention and treatment.

Sierra Leone, has the highest number of cases followed by Liberia, which has declared a 90 day state of emergency. Nigeria has also declared a state of emergency. These countries have employed public health measures that should ultimately bring the outbreaks under control.

Kenya has not had any case identified. However The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified Kenya as a “high-risk” country for the spread of the deadly Ebola virus. Kenya is vulnerable because it is a major transport hub, with many flights from West Africa. We should all take the necessary precautions to ensure that we do not fall victim to this fatal disease.

What is Ebola Virus Disease?

Ebola virus disease (EVD) was formerly known as Ebola hemorrhagic fever. It is a severe and often fatal illness in humans. 90% of those infected die. Outbreaks occur primarily in Central and West Africa, near tropical rainforests. Transmission to people is from wild animals and spreads among the human population through human-to-human transmission.

The natural hosts of the virus are fruit bats. Once infected,humans become severely ill and require intensive supportive care. The incubation period or the time interval from infection with the virus to onset of symptoms is 2 to 21 days.

Currently there is no licensed specific treatment or vaccine available for use in people or animals.

Signs and symptoms of Ebola

EVD is initially characterized by the sudden onset of fever, intense weakness, muscle pain, headache and sore throat. This is followed by vomiting, diarrhea, rash, impaired kidney and liver function. In some cases patients develop both internal and external bleeding. People are infectious as long as their blood and secretions contain the virus.


A high index of suspicion is required; however other diseases should be ruled out before a diagnosis of EVD can be made include: malaria, typhoid fever, shigellosis, cholera, leptospirosis, plague, rickettsiosis, relapsing fever, meningitis, hepatitis and other viral hemorrhagic fevers.

  • Ebola virus infections can be diagnosed through:
  • Antibody-capture enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)
  • Antigen detection tests
  • Serum neutralization test
  • Reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay
  • Electron microscopy
  • Virus isolation by cell culture

Vaccine and Treatment

Several vaccines are being tested, but none are available for clinical use. Ill patients require intensive supportive care. Patients are frequently dehydrated and require oral rehydration with solutions containing electrolytes or intravenous fluids. No specific treatment is available.

Prevention and Control

In the absence of effective treatment and a human vaccine, raising awareness of the risk factors for Ebola infection and the protective measures we all can take is the only way to reduce human infection and death.

We all need to know that we should:

  • Avoid contact with infected fruit bats or monkeys/apes and the consumption of their raw meat.
  • Handle animals with gloves and other appropriate protective clothing.
  • Thoroughly cook animal products (blood and meat) before consumption
  • Avoid direct or close contact with infected patients, particularly with their bodily fluids
  • Wear gloves and appropriate personal protective equipment when taking care of any ill patients at home
  • Regularly wash hands and especially after visiting patients in hospital, as well as after taking care of patients at home
  • Visit the nearest health facility when ill
  • Report or inform authorities of anyone who is ill or suspected to be infected

**It is not always possible to identify patients with Ebola Virus Disease early because initial symptoms may be non-specific. It is important that we all apply standard precautions consistently with all people who are unwell or otherwise at all times. Basic hand hygiene, respiratory hygiene, the use of personal protective equipment and safe burial practices**

What You Need to Know About Breastfeeding.



  • Get the information and training you need about breastfeeding during pregnancy. Talk with your doctor or mid-wife so that they can teach you about breastfeeding.bmilk
  • Ask about any breastfeeding and parenting concerns; Read materials and watch programs on breastfeeding.
  • Take a class on breastfeeding and choose a baby-friendly hospital make sure the staff will not give your baby any formula or water.
  • During Pregnancy or after delivery breasts release colostrum, which is rich in nutrients and antibodies.
  • It is important to breastfeed within 1 hour after giving birth to accelerate milk production and postpartum hormones, as well as to help the breasts manufacture mature milk.
  • Do not give your newborn pacifiers or bottles.
  • If possible, have your newborn stay with you in your room. Ask for assistance when getting out of bed or when lifting your baby if you need it. This is especially important if you have had a cesarean section.
  • Learn your newborn’s hunger signals.
  • The size of your breasts, large or small, makes no difference in breastfeeding success.
  • Trust your baby to eat the right amount
  • Trust yourself; you are producing just the right amount of milk
  • Position yourself and your baby properly and comfortably for pain-free and efficient nursing.
  • Nurse whenever baby wants to eat (on demand) and very frequently the first few months (as often as 8 to 12 times every 24 hours). 
  • Your baby will have growth spurts and have varying appetites, so feed accordingly.
  • Offer both breasts at each feeding, alternating the breast you start with, so that both breasts get emptied of the hindmilk (the high-fat milk expressed last). 
  • Alternate breasts to prevent tenderness
  • Mark the last breast by placing a safety pin on your bra, so you can remember to start with the other breast next time.
  • Allow nipples to air dry when possible.
  • Burp baby when you switch breasts and at the end of each feeding. 
  • Do not be embarrassed about breastfeeding in front of others. Use a baby blanket or other cover to cover your breasts if it makes you more comfortable when breastfeeding in front of others
  • Do not worry about leaks that occur naturally when you hear a baby cry or even when you think about your own baby.
  • Wear nursing pads and a good support bra day and night.
  • Find, ask for, and accept help and support from family, friends, and experts. Join a breastfeeding support group or get lactation counseling.
  • Prepare early for the going-back-to-work nursing routine and pumping.
  • Nursing before work, soon after work, and in the evening keeps up adequate milk supply.
  • When you go back to work, your baby will need help learning how to drink breast milk from a bottle.


Breastfeeding and Stress

Longstanding Stress may lead to diminished milk letdown, cause frustration, and further stress which can lead to cessation of milk production. Having a new baby and learning how to breastfeed can be very stressful events. It is important for new mothers to have support during this period.

Understanding that stress can affect the milk supply is the first step. Moms who are stressed over maintaining an adequate milk supply can actually be reduce their milk supply by worrying. It is very easy to say, “Relax” however, it is harder to do.


A few Tips for Dealing with Stress

  • Get help from a professional if you need it. A therapist can help you work through stress and find better ways to deal with problems. There also are medications that can help ease symptoms of depression and anxiety and help promote sleep.
  • Relax. It is important to unwind in a way that works for you. Try a bubble bath, deep breathing, yoga, meditation, and massage therapy. If you cannot do these things, take a few minutes to sit, listen to soothing music, or read a book.
  • Sleep. Your stress could get worse if you do not get enough sleep. It is hard to fight off illness when you sleep poorly. With enough sleep, it is easier to cope with challenges and stay healthy. Try to get seven to nine hours of sleep every night. If you cannot, try to sleep when the baby sleeps.
  • Eat right. Try to fuel up with fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains.
  • Get moving. Physical activity not only helps relieve your tense muscles but helps your mood too! Your body makes certain chemicals, called endorphins, before and after you exercise. These relieve stress and improve your mood. If you are a new mother, ask your doctor when it is okay to start exercising.
  • Talk to friends. Friends can be good listeners. Finding someone who will let you talk freely about your problems and feelings without judging you does a world of good. It also helps to hear a different point of view. Friends will remind you that you are not alone.
  • Compromise. Sometimes, it is not always worth the stress to argue. Give in once in a while.
  • Keep a journal. Write down your thoughts grab a pen and paper and write down what is going on in your life! Keeping a journal can be a great way to get things off your chest and work through issues.
  • Help others. Helping someone else can help you. Help your neighbor, or volunteer in your community.
  • Get a hobby. Find something you enjoy. Make sure to give yourself time to explore your interests.
  • Set limits. Figure out what you can really do. There are only so many hours in the day. Set limits with yourself and others. Do not be afraid to say no to requests for your time and energy.
  • Plan your time. Think ahead about how you are going to spend your time. Write a to-do list. Figure out which tasks are the most important to do.
  • Do not deal with stress in unhealthy ways. This includes drinking alcohol, using drugs, or smoking, all of which can harm the baby. It is also unhealthy to over-eat in response to stress.