The health ministry organised the training with support from WHO regional office for South-East Asia and country office for Bhutan.
An instructor from India, Robin Gogoi, will train the participants on understanding of aerobics music, scientific principles of exercise, aerobic exercise programme design, among others.

WHO regional office for South-East Asia and country office for Bhutan in collaborative support between the health ministry and the Royal Government of Bhutan organised the trainers training.

A teacher from Loseling Middle Secondary School in Thimphu, Tshering Dema, 40, said she started Zumba classes in her school this year to keep herself and the participants fit.

“I was interested in Zumba because I have a heavy body and was a pre-diabetic patient,” she said. “I did not get any training but I learn simple steps from videos on YouTube and teach the same steps to the participants.”

Tshering Dema said that some of the students in her school are already obese and she doesn’t want them to become like her. “I am fortunate to have got the opportunity to attend the training. I want to continue learning and at the same time teach others.”

She said after formal aerobics training, she wants to start aerobic classes instead of the Zumba in her school for at least an hour every day. “I love music and many in my school do so. Aerobic class will give us a break from the academic sessions and refresh our minds.”

In the past five days, the participants were taught the basic aerobic steps.

“We were also taught on how to give instruction to our trainees especially when the music is on,” Tshering Dema said. “When the music is on, we cannot shout so we have to use different non-verbal language to gain attention of the participants.”

A 16-year-old monk from a monastery in Punakha, Phub Wangdi, said the training would help him and his friends at the monastery to stay fit.

Robin Gogoi said that many people have improper activities. By going for routine aerobics, they can stay fit. “Of the many benefits of aerobics, it improves cardiovascular fitness, strengthens immunity, improve mind and body coordination.”

Anyone who does not have any injuries or are on heavy medication can do aerobics exercise.

Robin Gogoi said the participants would be given three months to practice and teach where ever they can. He will be back in the country after three months to review the participants’ progress and continue the training to the next level.

“The participants are shy, so I want to make a change in their personality and make them more dynamic. It’s just not about teaching aerobics but it’s also about improving and making the personality more strong,” Robin Gogoi said. “They are nice people but as trainers they need to be a role model for their trainees and set a strong example.”

WHO has spent approximately USD 333,005 for the open-air gym and aerobics training in the country.

Dechen Tshomo