Call for more recreational parks

National 3 minutes, 3 seconds


HEALTH-conscious Bruneians listed more parks, better equipment and facilities with good maintenance as top priority to reach nationwide health goals.

More Bruneians are becoming more aware of practising a healthy lifestyle, especially among the younger generation.

Public parks such as Jubilee Park, Tasek Lama, Rimba Park and Bukit Shahbandar are among the popular ones for those residing in the Brunei-Muara District.

Some of the parks such as the Jubilee Park have equipment such as bars, sit-up stations and bench press which are popular for those who want to build strength, while the Bukit Shahbandar and Tasek Lama are for those who love urban jungle hiking.

However, some felt that new parks should be created to cater for the needs and increasing number of people who go to public parks to exercise.

Final Year Sociology Degree student at Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) Muhammad Fahmi Mahusin, 23, who is currently writing his thesis on contextualising the increasing interest and participation on attaining ‘healthy’ body image and the pursuit if physical fitness, said society tends to look at healthiness through body image.

However, Muhammad Fahmi said while people are in pursuant of physical health, we tend to forget the importance of mental and spiritual health. He added that it is important to have these balances in life.

“Brunei definitely lacks public recreational parks which are specifically designed for exercise purposes. We need more parks, and if the government wants (to encourage the) community to practise a healthy lifestyle, they should also invest in providing good parks,” he said.

He added fitness environment such as gyms are now becoming gender neutral as more women are partaking in such activities.

“Banning cigarettes in public places is one way to encourage people to lead a healthy lifestyle but providing good recreational parks will be seen as a positive reinforcement to encourage people to exercise more,” he said.

Muhammad Fahmi added that for his New Year’s resolution, he just wants to maintain an adequate amount of exercise weekly and maintain a proper balanced diet.

Sidah Sukemi, 19, who was diagnosed with type three thyroid hormonal disease, said she exercises for health and aesthetics.

“I exercise to build strength as I want to be stronger. By exercising outdoor, I could also (join) the callisthenic street workouts,” she said. Sidah, a Customer Service officer with Extra Excellence (S) Pte Ltd, originally came from Belait, and now living in Bandar Seri Begawan said she exercise regularly at least four times a week after work as her working hours are from 10am to 7pm.

Whenever she goes back to her hometown in Belait, she will exercise at public parks there such as at Taman Baru, Waterfront Kuala Belait or Lumut Housing Estate.

“The equipment at the public park is adequate but of course we can use more equipment so more people can have the chance to use them,” she said.

The downside of exercising outdoor is whenever it rains, she has to look for other alternative, such as going to the gym or just brave the rain and continue exercising.

“However, parks are free and there is no membership fee. As female exercise enthusiasts, I would like to call for other females in Brunei to start exercising. It would be good if we can start only female exercising group where we can encourage other females who are shy to join us at certain time of certain days,” she said.

Amalin Brahim, 19 said she exercise because she used to be obese and had problem breathing. She also had a low self esteem.

“Not all public parks provide adequate tools... Some are damaged due to heavy usage or vandalism,” she said

The Brunei Times