Bhutanese trained as aerobic trainers to promote physical activity

Twenty four Bhutanese consisting of school teachers, youths, fitness instructors, health professionals, monks, and students successfully completed the Training of Trainers course in Aerobics from 15 July -2 August 2017. The training was organized by the Ministry of Health and facilitated by a professional trainer in aerobics supported by the World Health Organization.

The closing ceremony of the training was held on 2 August at the Clock Tower Square, Thimphu. In his address, His Excellency Lyonpo Tandin Wangchuk, Minister of Health, congratulated all the participants for successfully completing the 18 day Training of Trainers course in Aerobics, which is first of its kind in Bhutan. He highlighted and expressed concerns regarding the growing burden of lifestyle-related noncommunicable diseases (NCD) in the country. He added that the participants of this training representing varied agencies and institutes is highly strategic and that he is very hopeful that they would spearhead physical activity promotion in their respective workplaces/ institutes and beyond upon their return.

Ms. Tshering Dema, a participant and a teacher of Loselling Middle Secondary School, who spoke on behalf the participants during the closing said, “For the first time in Bhutan, 24 of us are fortunate enough to undergo this aerobic training.” Ms. Dema informed the gathering that they may not have learned everything that was taught, however, she said, “If aerobics is swimming, we didn't learn to compete in Olympics, but we learned enough to save someone from drowning.” “This skill keeping to ourselves without sharing with others will not serve the purpose. We are going to build strong foundation that will enable our children and community to effectively promote physical activity,” she added.

During the closing, the trained participants also entertained guests and public with their lively and flawlessly synchronized aerobics demonstrations.

As part of its ongoing NCD prevention and control efforts, the Ministry of Health in collaboration with the World Health Organization has established Open Air Gym throughout the country to promote physical activity among all sections of Bhutanese population. The 24 Bhutanese aerobics trainers are expected to significantly contribute towards strengthening Bhutan’s commendable efforts made in areas of physical activity promotion.

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