Fit Family|Parenting

It isn’t about winning, but more about crossing the finish line

Those of you who follow me, know that my family is indeed a #FITFAM. I couldn’t look at improving my health and fitness level, without including my kids. Being fit as a family is important to me, as it’s created lasting moments of quality time spent together. I know my kids will look back and cherish our moments of fitness fun.

Fit Family of the Month
It’s so important to me that I’ve decided to do a series about Fit Families who inspire me. Today I’d like to introduce you to Emanuel and his family. Mani (as he is better known as), is a Dad blogger who shares Darren’s and his personal journey as gay parents in South Africa. They are the gorgeous family behind the blog Two Dads & a Kid

Mani has generously agreed to share their story as a Fit Family with us and I’m over the moon and grateful to have them on the blog today.

Their Story
Hubby(Darren) and I both grew up during a period that sport was part of the school curriculum. You weren’t expected to participate in every single sport the school offered, but we were expected to participate in at least one sporting discipline in addition to PE (now known as Physical Training). Darren was into athletics and his rugby. He loved rugby so much that it became part of his career. I on the other hand was exposed to and participated in a variety of sports disciplines ranging from individual activities like squash, athletics and swimming through to group disciplines like soccer and cricket.

Into our adult life, sport or rather physical activities have always been a part of our daily routines. We either at the gym for 30 to 60 minutes doing weights or cardio, or we are on the road, running or cycling. Entering races has become part of your weekend routine, not to win but to finish and improve on your previous race time. When our son was placed with us, he was our support crew with whichever spouse was not participating. Early morning starts became part of our weekend game.

Even before our son came home, it was a given that he would be encouraged to participate in sports. So, it was no surprise that we introduced him to swimming at age 6 months. At this point we attended lessons for about 4 months before he had had enough. So, we stopped. I’m so glad that we attended these lessons though, because a Sunday afternoon a year later he accidentally fell into the pool. Thank God for the lesson, because instinctively he turned himself onto his back and started kicking his legs and moving his arms about. What felt like minutes, was a lot less. When I eventually reached him, he was calm. This scenario could have been deadly, thankfully it wasn’t. Drowning is real! Besides saving your life there are many other benefits to learning how to swim. Swimming is great for the heart, lungs, improving your strength, balance, posture and flexibility. In recent years child obesity has become a huge concern, as it may lead to diabetes, swimming is a great preventative measure.

Although our son disliked the pool for a while, today he is loving his swimming lessons. We’ve introduced him to the world of Karate, Basketball, Soccer and Mountain Biking to bring a little more balance. Of all these disciplines, Mountain biking is where his heart is. He is a true MTB Rider. Seeking all the challenging routes while out on the trails. Although the hills are still his nemesis, if neither Darren or I are around, he will give it his best, refusing to give up, and giving him a sense of achievement. As he matures, being out on his bike will be another way for him to meet and make new friends. Although relatively new to schools, MTB is growing at school level with many events now introducing a prize for the school with the most entrants, for example. The best part of MTB or Cycling is that you can go out onto the trails as a family and it’s a skill your child will have forever.

Benefits of Exercise for Families

  • it improves our moods by releasing endorphins in the brain, that natural ‘high’ you feel after a good workout
  • kids that exercise regularly are more likely to pay attention and switch between tasks with better speed and accuracy
  • perform better on tests regular exercise also builds a child’s self-esteem
  • provides an environment for kids to meet and make new friends

Different Strokes for Different Folks
As a family we don’t necessarily all excel in the same sports. So, for example, Darren enjoys MTB more than I do. For that reason, he tends to be the one hitting the trails with our son. Swimming is my fortes, so besides swimming school, whenever I get the chance I hit the local pool at the gym and basically get our son to show me what he has learnt during swimming class. All three of us enter races. There’s nothing like a medal to boost your spirits and push you to do better.

Final word
Their motto is that as a family they do not give up. They may not be the first to cross the finish line, but they will finish! If you would like to follow these amazingly inspirational dads as they keep fit with their handsome son, then go and vist their blog TWO DADS & A KID and follow them on social media.

Fitness event|Lifestyle

Fitness is a Fit Affair

If you have been following my journey, you are probably asking yourself why I attended Fitness Magazine’s Fit Affair 2.0 that was held in Pretoria this weekend.

Well, it’s pretty simple.  Firsly, I love fitness events.  Secondly, fitness is a lifestyle and even though I may be battling an injury it is important that my mental game is strong. That’s why attending Fit Affair 2.0  was a no brainer.  Thirdly, you can’t beat the energy and vibe at a fitness event.  Events like these allow me the opportunity to keep the momentum going.  Besides, it means I get to hang and workout with my #fitfam and that’s the best part of it.

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It’s the beginning of winter and the temperature at 8am was a chilly 8 degrees celsius.  The cold start didn’t last very long and the sun soon began to bake down on us, it wasn’t long before we started to feel the heat.

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A tad frosty

The lineup started off with a stretch and activation session, which was followed by a Brazilian Booty workout which had us moving to the beat.  This was pretty much the only workout I could get involved in so I did my own thing and made the most of it.  It’s about listening to my body (and my doctor) but keeping my energy and spirits high.  It’s super easy to become demotivated and frustrated when faced with an injury, which in turn can see you fall off the bus.  I’ve come too far to let a set-back mess me up, so I’d rather be the girl who finds the silver lining.

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Enter a caption

The last session was a HIIT workout, which I couldn’t do at all.  I must admit I had a serious case of FOMO watching from the sidelines.  I was however able to play photographer and it was amazing to watch my friends embrace this fitness event.  They were in it to win it and gave it their all.  I was so glad they decided to join me for this event because they left feeling amped and motivated.  Now this is what fitness events do for me and I was glad that I got to share it with my friends.


All in all another fabulous morning of getting up and getting moving.  Really hoping to see you at the next fitness event.  Check my Instagram account for more deets.

Fitness event

Addicted to Fitness Events

Hi! My name is Natasha and I am addicted to fitness events.

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Fitness Addict

If you are following me on Instagram then you will know that I absolutely and totally love attending Fitness Events. I really can’t seem to get enough of them. Is it the actual fitness, hanging out with like-minded individuals or the unbelievable amount of fun and feel good vibes experienced? Well, for me it is actually all of the above.

I recently attended Botle’s Fitness Fest. Adidas brand ambassador, Botle Kayamba hosted her first of many fitness events in Johannesburg. For weeks leading up to the event she had promised us loads fun and a whole lot of sweat …. and boy did she deliver.

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Botle asked me to be the MC for the event and I really couldn’t say no to a woman I admire and respect tremendously, but this was a first for me and very much out of my comfort zone. I however have to admit that it was loads of fun and I love that my journey is forcing me to operate well outside of my comfort zone.

After registration and striking a pose for the camera guy, the proceedings were underway. Ntsekie Majoro and Sello Seboka, put us through our paces. The high intensity boot camp had everyone sweating up a storm. I honestly don’t think I ever moved that fast in my entire life. Both personal trainers were completely amped and pushed the crowd to give their very best. It was super special to see Ntsekie again as he was the person pushing me when I started this journey in January 2017. I couldn’t afford him as a personal trainer, but that didn’t stop him from motivating me to push myself.

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After a well-deserved and much-needed water break, it was time to shake what our mammas gave us. Loads of fun was had as we did the Vosho, Gwaragwara, lotsa twerking, Pantsula, Kwasakwasa, Qopetsa, Twalatsa and NaeNae. Some of you are wondering what the hell am I talking about. Well these are dance styles synonymous with South Africa. They are dance styles that get those hips moving while you listen to the beat of the music. YouTube it, if you must and then try it. Even Rihanna knows how to Gwaragwara.

I almost forgot to mention that Botle’s Fitness Fest produced one of the coolest fitness goodies bags ever. We were definitely spoilt at this event and I can’t wait for the next one.


Best of all, is that I got to hang out and workout with friends, work colleagues and insta friends who are now real friends. I absolutely love my #FitSquad. Friends who workout together most certainly stay together.
I can’t wait to see you at the next fitness event Beautifuls.

Fitness

My Love-Hate Relationship with Running

If you don’t already know, I have a love-hate relationship with running. The hate part began 2 decades ago when I did basic military training in the South African Air Force. Running has never been my thing but I have always secretly wished that I could run. Like just run non-stop for a mere and insignificant 5km. The love part is where running (or run-walking in my case) helps me clear my head and process things. At the end of a run I always feel rather strong, but it’s also the exercise the improves my fitness level the quickest.

When I started my weight loss journey, my biokineticist wanted me to run 30 minutes on the treadmill daily. Oh my word … I think I almost died that first day. Needless to say that there was no running involved but my chest was on fire and my breathing was heavy. It was complete and utter torture. Thinking back my speed on the treadmill was a 4. I started doing parkruns with my husband and kids. Time for my first 5km was more than 60 minutes. I have however had slow but steady progress over the last year and now run on the treadmill with my speed setting at 8 and I can complete a 5km in 38 minutes. It’s all about progress and not perfection, but I’m ready to take my running to the next level.  So I a 12 week program and my blogger friend suggested a running app that gets you to 5km in 8 weeks, so at least we have choices.

12 weeks to a 5km
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Phone app suggested by Cherralle who runs the blog My Daily Cake

A Few Pointers to Keep in Mind

  • Safety First

Remember to always get medical clearance before starting on any exercise programme. It’s also important to listen to your body. Road running and trail running has become increasing dangerous in South Africa. Try and join a running club or find a running partner. Avoid running on your own in isolated and/or dark areas.

  • Shoe Selection

The single most important piece of equipment is running shoes. If at all possible have your feet analysed to determine the if you are a pronator or not. I, in particular have flat feet so stability running shoes are best suited for me. I’m torn between my Asics Noosa Tri 11’s and my New Balance 860v8’s. I’ve heard that feet, particularly those of beginners, tend to swell the further you run. Something to consider when running longer distances.

  • Running Attire

When it comes to running, runners prefer comfort far ahead of fashion when it comes to fitness gear. Begin with basics: a pair of shorts or tights (helps prevent chafing) and definitely invest in a good quality high impact sports bra. Layering is essential in colder conditions. Reflective gear is import for night races and road running. I definitely can’t run without my buff and peak cap. I’ve yet to find a good quality pair of running sunglasses but it’s definitely on my list.

  • Tech Stuff

GPS watches and fitness trackers allow runners to measure time, distance, pace, and much more. Personally, I love my Fitbit and seeing I’m not a professional runner, the Fitbit Charge 2 does everything I need it to do

These also happen to be some of my fav exercises

General instructions:

  • Don’t forget to start with a 5-10 minute brisk walk or jog to warm up before every session and end with a 5-10 minute brisk walk to cool down.
  • After cooling down, take the time to do some stretching.

Guidelines

  • Easy run – comfortable pace, where conversation with walking partner is easy.
  • Moderate run – you might be left slightly breathless.
  • Moderate run with hills – a moderate-paced run that includes about 3 to 4 hills of 300m each.
  • Fast run – make a concerted effort to maintain a fast pace.
  • Repeats, tempo, hills, strides – speed-work sessions.
  • Strength training – not essential for you to finish the 5km distance, but it has tremendous benefits, both for your running fitness and your health.
  • Cross training – not essential, but makes your training programme more balanced.
  • Rest – a vital part of any training programme when your muscles increase in strength

So while running is an internal and mental battle for me, 2018 will be the year I overcome this and the year I run a 5km non-stop. 1July 2018 Im coming for you.

Uncategorized

Working out with Botle Kayamba

In my recent guest post on Mel’s Postbox, I spoke about how it takes a village to lose weight and make a significant and sustainable lifestyle changes. Well, Botle Kayamba is very much part of my village.

What started out as a chance meeting has since turned into a real friendship and mentorship. That chance meeting happened when we both attended an event at The Cookery hosted by Women’s Health Magazine but didn’t know each other at that point. We greeted each other and a cordial smile was exchanged every now and then.

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Hanging with other fitsters and influencers at The Cookery by The Secret Jozi Chef

Botle is a highly skilled personal trainer as well as group trainer. She was diagnosed with an Ameloblastoma type 3 tumor, which later led to swelling in her face and the loss of her left jaw. The tumor eventually ended her booming modelling career. Three operations later and this amazing woman who is beautiful both inside and out, could easily have returned to modelling but instead found her calling in the fitness world.

Coming from a disadvantaged background was all the motivation she needed to make a success of her 11 year fitness career. Botle has gone from teaching kids in her neighbourhood to being a resident trainer at the Virgin Active health club chain. She lives to inspire and is all about inspiring women from all walks of life, both in her community, as well as the fitness industry. I can truly vouch for that, as she inspires me daily by the manner in which she lives her life. Botle once told me that I inspire her, which honestly left me flabbergasted and in disbelief, but she is a woman who’s all about helping other women. She is such a special individual and it’s evident in the way she treats people, especially her clients. Botle revels in her clients progress and she definitely keeps an eagle eye on whether or not you are staying on track. Don’t let her calm and sweet demeanor fool you, as she is a powerhouse of a trainer who pushes you to the limit and takes no prisoners in her super energetic, fun and sweaty classes. Her body is a temple of pure strength and power.

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Botle also happens to be the Women’s Health Next Fit Star, Top 5 finalist for 2017. Her journey has been so exceptionally inspiring that it’s no wonder that she has featured in Fatloss Magazine, Fitness Magazine and Women’s Health Magazine. Botle is sponsored by the likes of Adidas, Cleansui, Fresh Dew, Lovi Juice and Venga.

It doesn’t stop there. Mega brand Adidas has taken it a step further in her brand ambassadorship and is sponsoring Botle with her very own event, Botle’s Fitness Fest. When this happens, you know you are doing something right and Adidas is all about fitness #inspo and amazing journeys. Cleansui, Fitness Magazine, Fresh dew, Lovi Juice and Venga are the other brands sponsoring this event.

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Tickets still available at Quicket

Tickets still available at Quicket

Guest Instructor, Ntsekie Majoro and Botle (both Virgin Active Personal Trainers) will be putting you through your paces on the 24th of March and I promise you that this is a fitness event you don’t want to miss. Its going to be amazing fun and a wonderful opportunity to hang and workout with like-minded individuals. Bootcamp will get you into the swing of things and Botle’s sexy Dance Fitness will most certainly help you get in touch with your sexy selves. Oh and let’s not forget to mention that the your ticket to the event includes an amazing goodie bag (just for added incentive). So I really hope that you will be joining me at what’s set to be a fantastic day of fitness fun.

If for some reason you can’t make the event and you are not a Virgin Active member, but want to workout with Botle, then you still can. Botle holds weekly classes at 6pm on a Thursday at Sagewood School in Midrand. So ladies (and gents) there are no excuses, just get up and get moving.