President Yoweri Museveni has said he is healthy because of his military and cattle keeping background.
The president last month released a two-minute and 25-second video published on Thursday in which the 75-year-old Museveni appeared barefoot in his office doing push-ups.
A number of people have, especially on social media, have since been inspired by Museveni’s health regimen to try it out. Some pulling off the #MuseveniChallenge admirably while others like Judiciary Permanent Secretary Pius Bigirimana’s trial prompted hilarity with what Asan Kasingye called, “head press ups.”
Speaking to NBS Televisions in an exclusive interview, Museveni said he has lived a purposeful life since childhood.
“From the very early on, I had a purpose led life. The purpose was to wake up my family who were traditional people to look at modernisation but also the African and Ugandan issues. For the last 500 years, Africa had been marginalised and persecuted. I had personal and African agendas that could not be achieved when I am not healthy,” Museveni said on Monday.
If you drink alcohol, squander your life you won’t have strength to pursue all these agendas. The discipline is in order to achieve mission of your struggle. If you squander the struggle you are a traitor who has betrayed your family, country who had hope in you.”
The president explained that in the past, he never cared about his weight though he was always fit until doctors advised him against it.
Museveni explained that during last year’s health awareness walk, doctors explained to him that not only fitness matters but weight does too.
“When you take in too many calories and you don’t use them weight comes out. In the past I wasn’t concentrating too much on it(weight). Even when I had weight, I was always fit because of my history of fighting and cattle keeping,” he said.
Last year, a number of people especially on social media made comments in regard Museveni’s abrupt loss of weight.
Many would later express concern over the president’s healthy but he later clarified that he had done it deliberately to lose weight from 106 to 76.
Speaking to NBS, Museveni insisted that when doctors advised him on losing some weight as a health measure, he embarked on a special diet which has done wonders for him.
“When I heard this, I said this is rubbish. Why should anybody have extra weight? On breakfast, I have two (ebishate) pieces of(muhogo) cassava plus a lot of vegetables and some sauce like ground nuts and peas and then some soup,”Museveni said.
“I have no lunch but during the day I take water and may be some coffee with milk without sugar. In the evening early at seven I have two obumondi( irish potatoes) and a lot of vegetables and some sauce. The irish potatoes don’t have too much starch .Because of that I end up putting in little carbohydrates in the body. “
He noted that after eating in the evening, he then exercises to use up all the food in the body.
According to Museveni exercises don’t necessarily need one to go to the roads to job but can equally be done at home.
“I could see these people running up and down on the road for they didn’t know you can keep fit in doors. It is what I was doing underground in a hotel in London and Libya,” Museveni said.
He explained that while in Libya soliciting for support from then leader, Col. Muammar Gaddafi and in Mozambique while training his fighters, he exercised indoors for fear of being seen but also putting their collaborators in danger.
You don’t want to be seen in streets so as not to expose those supporting us. I had to stay in the hotel by exercising. We also trained in karate. You can do it in the room and you find you have covered a lot.”
He added, these are techniques of survival in different circumstances because even the gyms are dangerous in these times.”