OPINION: Keeping Fit: Lessons From Lungu’s Morning Runs

Starting to exercise isn’t a problem for many. What usually is a tough job is sticking to the exercise plan; staying the course!

I used to be an exercise junkie but slackened a couple of months ago such that I pant terribly after only a kilometer of a jog. I simply failed to stick to the plan I had drawn up for myself! What happened to me? Discipline eluded me. Making a choice to stay fit through consistent exercising requires a high level of discipline. Starting an exercise plan and staying the course are two totally different things! For others, exercises are only for fat people (a term some women find offensive). Not at all! We all need to exercise – the fat, the slim, tall, short, name them.

I always watch with envy the President, Edgar Chagwa Lungu, religiously taking on his morning jogs with teams of different people, including ministers, parastatal heads, other government officials and heads of private institutions. For a moment, I never thought that the ‘presidential run’ was going to be sustained. And I can bet you some of his ministers get to grouch about that! You can literally see some gasping for breath and dragging their feet while trying to keep pace with the President.

“Why should I exercise?” one may ask, while others feel they don’t need to exercise because they are “fit”. Others purely get to exercise because they want to improve their appearance and this is usually common among the young women. On health grounds, taking up routine exercise is one of the best ways we can avoid non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes and heart attack, which now kill millions of people worldwide. At the moment, I will say the Head of State is one of the biggest motivators one can look up to and pick lessons from his morning jogs. Despite his busy schedules, he still dedicates time to fitness and invites those he wants to exercise with. But hey, it takes a lot of sacrifice and discipline to adopt such a lifestyle and if more can join in this, we will have a fit and healthy nation ready to change the tide.

At the beginning of this year, some made exercising part of their New Year resolutions. But these “new year” resolutions on exercising come with their own pros. People hit off the ground with a lot of enthusiasm. They adopt new diets, begin to exercise and others do quit drinking and smoking. They, however, quickly get back to their old ways after losing motivation, observes personal trainer Matt Roberts. But who is ready to stick in and maintain that lifestyle? If you haven’t thought about it yet, think about President Lungu. He’s leading the way in pursuit of a fit and healthy nation by showing how it is done.


I bet it is time to start all over, stick to the plan and you just never know, you may be the next in line to exercise with the President! The key lesson to learn from the President’s routine exercises is consistency in whatever one plans to do. Consistency is very important in leadership at all levels. Consistency is also very important for our country’s governance process.


  1. br lupiya

    not an easy thing sparing your busy time and go for physical fitness. thats good leading

    • Joy

      That is luxury when you walk 15kms to and from work on empty stomach.

  2. Osei


  3. Alick

    Wonderful how I wish to be part of it

  4. Kkayoo LOTTIE

    Nice move my presido… An example.. but remember to tell madam Luo to give us BCs here at CBU.. we are dieing kuno…

  5. Shimwana

    Total lack of focus.How many leaders exercise surely,even Levy with his health and weight problems used to exercise at the OP gym.How can exercising be such a big thing that everyone should know?
    Can you exercise on the economy bwana Lungu,those physical execises should be none of our buisiness.
    Then the other thing i find paradoxical,i always thought the president was so security conscience and that was the reason he wants to drive alone on the road.But check out what we are seeing coming from state lodge,all manner of hudlums,chocholi,and alot of other people,so this man can mingle with people,i wish he could mingle with them at a press conference.
    Please let us set our priorities right,impress us with working on the economy,you shall have a lot of time to exercise when you are out of office,your priority should be working on the economy,call think tanks sit with them we dont care where even at state lodge and work on the economy…

  6. Herv Rena

    I we Lungu is doing everything he can to put up the economic foundation and infrastructure.Economies at worse everywhere ask Venezuelans.

    • Hunter Shilesa

      He has huilt a mountain of debt! Destroyed capacity for economic growth!

  7. Hammer

    When I saw ECL running for 15 km every saturday I knew that some doomsayers people will never use his health status as a political mileage labeling him as sick and dying soon.
    I wish I can run the same distance every Saturday

  8. Jay

    The head of state is running 15Ks because he is affording a 3 balanced meals a day and snacks, that us the reason why he has the energy to do what he is doing….instead of exercing on the worsening economy the big man is busy running…this is mockery on the poor

    • Goldkas

      Stop mocking Zambians. Pipo are suffering and you are busy playing. You are a real joke of a president.

    • Wakishale

      Be realistic and see sense in what the head of state is doing. Is he the only one who affords 3 meals a day. This myth of 3 meals a day has just become a political tool. I’ve been around from colonial days and when did all Zambians afford three meals a day? In our tradional set up, it was mainly a meal a day before or after a day’s hard work in the fields. You can continue and die complaining if you can’t face reality.

  9. Goldkas

    Iwe linguistic! Do you know that 1,500 miners at KCM have lost jobs bcoz of your poor handling of KCM???? Do you know the sufferings pipo of chingola and Chililabombwe are going through right now???

    • Wakishale

      The people who mishandled the COM case are the same ones blaming the current government for the mess they created when they through their consutancy, gave the then government wrong advise. It is very easy to ceate a problem but very difficulty or impossible to solve the same problem. The agreements and contract signed with KCM then, makes very difficulty for the current government that can bring about meaningful benefits to the nation. A good example is Hon. Chilombo had highlighted recently, where the government is obliged to take over all KCM’s liabilities to all it creditors and workers. In the event of government taking over the mine, who will be the main loser? Of course not KCM. So whom do we blame for the mess at COM? The people who negotiated and advised the government on conditions of sale of the mine to KCM or the current government who have just inherited the problem and seeking a solution to this mess? Let’s not use everything for political milleage because one day things may backfire.

      • Concerned citizen

        That’s a lie mudala where lying is concerned,there is no backfire.

  10. mutule

    Just look at his protruding teeth

  11. Wameneiwe

    Always negative shit gashes out of your stinky mouth.is it yo teeth,is exercising mocking?i gues he is mocking u alone

  12. PM

    Exercise your brain and not your body and may be just may be the economy may improve. How does Lungu morning runs improve the economy? Was he exercising before he became president or will those running with him continue to do so when he is out of office ?

  13. Abene aka nyoko pizo

    Tefintu kanshi zoona elolwanya

  14. Wakishale

    Is it not true that a healthy brain only thrives in a heathy body? Why do we encourage pysical exercise in schools, military, hospitals nd every day life? Some of brightest and intelligent pupils in schools are those who exercise and take part in physical sport. You may hate HE Lungu as a person but don’t every thing that he does. Bravo your excellence, continue leading the nation to better health by the example you’re exhibiting. Forget about your haters. Long live ECL.

  15. Masebe MwaleII

    Chipilulu bamupa ubufumu.

  16. Jms

    Thanks he has learnt one good thing as done in South Africa now start doing much more we are behind

  17. The Taliban

    Mr President, as youths we are only seeking for employment so that we can be exercising on are our away to work, than burning our energies and coming back to eat other people’s foods.

  18. Jimmy shaba

    Respect the president. If you have nothing to say,keep quiet

  19. Wina wanfwa.

    Keep it up MR President. Keep fit makes you become strong .

  20. Mark H

    We commend his EXCELLENCY on his dedication and discipline,and the example he is exhibiting through his fitness regime. A healthy body is a healthy mind.

  21. C sampa

    Why are zambians too partisan on everything surely what has jogging got to do with being power even the poor can exercise if they want let us learn to appreciate good things work hard dont hate people out of envy

  22. bwafya

    Just watching@

  23. Mangelepa Sandals

    Kabili muleikuta nga maka fwe bapina kuti twayafunya kwisa! Tulya cisense no mulembwe!

  24. Zam boy

    So we may find that this tendency of having a presidential run has got alot of allowances thats why bakandile nomba thy are busy doing it but i knw thy will stop.he should be in office planning on how to run Emerald’s mining we are the Second producer of 100% good quality of emeralds after Colombia who talks abt Emerald in Zambia?its people ignorant abt it bcoz of that ignorance people of Zambia jst follow the crowd where its heading to mean while they dont really know where its leading.useless ideas.

    • John

      Pit on u ..running for an our can’t make things stop moving that’s why the president works with ministries… Its not everywhere he can be found there so many issues in the country which some ministries are able to handle of which the president is awereof… Its not easy as u think… The president is on point..

  25. Mario gl

    God bless zambia.



    • Concerned citizen

      Go through your again before you even get to judge other people…

  27. Wise me

    Exercising is good but don’t limit it to jogging. Many people do exercise without knowing while doing their economic errands. For instance people who go round selling brooms covering distance, those who are in the fields weeding early in the morning, etc. These burn out energy profitablity and deserve recognition.

  28. Jms

    Let other things to other people if a President does that the minister of health is stagnant on things we don’t know its unfortunately PLEASE build Zambia leave that to health management we need proper development wereby Zambia will be recognized I saw a man who built houses but his have never acquired any thing from class when he left scramble for property occurred very unfortunate its good but leave by acknowledging who should to what then people will know you are working as one I’m surprised no one can accept defeat change for better

  29. Baby cry

    I cant see his bodyguard

  30. Ackim Mutale

    The problem we Zambians have is to politicise everything. Let’s just take a leaf from what our president is doing, it’s good for our well being. Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible, but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good but the good of others.

  31. Leonard

    Good show to our president. Zambians need to be strong, let the president to it gezeted at least a day in every month as an fittnes day for all Zambians. And also its going to be awesome if the Gorvenment of Zambia to put teenges on Cadet force under military either employed or not. To keep the country fit.

  32. John

    This have got nothing to do with economy…. Everyone has the time to relax .. And what the president is doing its just the normal thing everyone can do at his on free time…he is also human and deserves time to do his on thing at an appropriate time… And those who are complaining of eating chisese u are much better some of ur friends they don’t even know when they can have that its war after war in some countries and u are busy complaing… Learn to appreciate no one will finish hunger just work hard… And support the president who is marking efforts for the betterment of this country…

  33. Kai

    Mr President is our role model; thank you for showing us the right way to go, wishing you many more years to come and blessings,hopefully one day I will be amongst those?

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