Four sports, fitness and health experts get us inspired for 2018
Words: Afrika Lethabo Bogatsu | Photography: Justin Polkey | Stylist: Mandy Nash
So it’s a new year, you’ve got the same old resolutions as last year (and the year before that... and the three years before that), but this year's going to be different. You’re going to stick to your health and fitness resolutions. No seriously, you are. And to help you on this journey we’ve enlisted the expertise of four health and fitness authorities to help.
"Change your perspective and you can change your world" I am absolutely loving all the incredible workout and motivational posts that you have all been sharing with me as part of the #caralishious21daychallenge. I feel so inspired to see so many strong women out there who are so motivated to shift their perspective and change their lives for the better. This challenge is all about mastering your body through movement, connecting mind to body, prioritising you - respecting and honouring your body and giving yourself permission to work on you and love YOU, so that you can be the best version of yourself, for yourself, and in turn, to give of your best self to all other aspects of your life. There are no limits to what you can do...it all starts with a shift in perspective, the will to persevere and the desire to be your best you❤ #caralishious #caralishious21daychallenge #lovetomove @adidaswomen @adidasza @juiced_co @virginactivecollection www.caralishious.com Photo By @victoriapaigey
Cara-Lisa Sham is a health blogger, yoga enthusiast and founder of the Caralishious brand. With 17 years of dancing behind her and experience in sports nutrition, body conditioning, and holistic living, Cara is passionate about all things wholesome and nourishing. Her mission is to inspire those around her to enjoy a healthy, balanced lifestyle through her blog caralishious.com, which provides healthy recipes, online meal plans as well as her own range of Caralishious Coconut Milk Ice-Cream.
SA Women’s hockey champion Sulette Damons first made her national team debut in 2010, two years later she represented the country at the 2012 Olympics in London. When she’s not sporting the green and gold or preparing for the Womens’ Hockey World Cup in London, she spends her days teaching and coaching.
25-year-old Dominique Scott-Efurd is not just an adidas athlete, five-time NCAA Champion in women’s track and field, University of Arkansas’ alumni Razorback but a 2012 Olympian too. Inspired by the lack of opportunity for middle school girls in the running community, she created the Dom squad, a running club that provides young girls with coaching.
Lets take it back to the beach ~Shekhinah • • Suns out... Buns out... Mags out... __________ #fitnessmagazine #usn #usnsa #mycaribbeantan #lipaultparis #mermaid #mermaidlife #habitat #blackmagic #melaninpoppin #blackgirlmagic #blackgirls #shiney #glow #glowup #glowing #glowingskin #beach #takemetothebeach #fitness #fitgirls #fitgirl #blackgirlfitness #girlswithmuscle #windinmyhair #sandinmyhair #sandinmytoes #sunsoutbunsout #humpday
Fitness influencer, model and bodybuilding enthusiast, Lihle Ndelu is passionate about challenging the misconception that lifting weights is unfeminine, and inspiring and motivating women to be strong, lift heavy and embrace their feminine physique.
Now that you've met your coaches, here are their tips to becoming the best version of yourself.
Start slow to finish strong
First things first, in order to reach your fitness goals you’re going to have to let go of any unrealistic aspirations that you might have. It’s important to realise that people are different. What works for some might not work for you. Cara advises you to listen to your body, and take the time to figure out what you need personally and what is sustainable for you.
“It’s best to stop following hypes and trends and focus instead on what works for your body. Don’t get caught up in fads or quick fixes – work on implementing small healthy and effective lifestyle changes, one step at a time so that they stick. Start looking at your health as a long term lifestyle change that will improve all aspects of your life – don’t let it just be about losing weight – this must be a by product and not the only reason for adopting healthy lifestyle changes.”
It’s not just about getting the perfect body, but rather becoming a healthier version of yourself and focussing on sustainable health choices and habits, Cara says.
Eat clean, but don't be mean
What you use to fuel your body is as equally important as exercise and knowing what your body needs and nourishing it accordingly is just one of the steps towards sticking to your health resolutions. In the same sense that you should avoid pushing yourself too hard to the point of fatigue or possible injury, whether or not you’re an Olympian like Sulette, a balance in the things you eat is important. Sulette is honest about her eating habits, and says.
“I’m not really into diets. Athletes are human too, so I'm sure we all have our cheat days, I know I definitely do. I normally eat everything just smaller portions and I try to include the essentials needed for my body.”
Fit your workouts into your day
Avoid making excuses by planning your workouts in advance. Lihle’s gym routine is split into two sessions.
“I do my weight training in the morning; each day focusing on a different muscle group, from legs and arms, to shoulders and calves, and then my back and chest. In the evening I do my cardio.”
While things might not go according to plan, because life happens, you can still fit a workout into your everyday routine. As a web developer, Lihle spends most of her work day in front of a computer still manages to work out with the help of tech gadgets.
“On my busy days I have to rely on my Fitbit to remind me to get up and move. I don’t do an exercises at my desk, but with the amount of water I drink per day I make quite a few trips to the ladies where I make it a habit to do 20 squats.”
Look good, feel good
There’s a widely held sports philosophy that says when you look, good, you feel good. With that in mind the experts place a great deal of importance on bright, comfortable fitness gear. When it comes to buying gym gear Dominique suggests you ask yourself the following:
“Does this gear make you feel empowered, happy and make you want to workout? If you answer yes to all three of those questions then go ahead and spoil yourself. You won’t regret your purchase.”
She also highlights basic essentials that we often don’t think of like socks and spare underwear.
“That goes for both workout gear and casual wear. There’s nothing worse than forgetting one of those essentials and having to go bare, or skip your workout completely. By keeping spare underwear, sports bra and socks you will avoid any potential mishap.”
And remember to have fun
You can always rely on music to motivate you and get you going even when you don’t feel like it. Why not stream music from our Monday Mixtape series to help you to power through your sessions?