Witness the Fitness

Four sports, fitness and health experts get us inspired for 2018

Witness the Fitness

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.

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.

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. 

Witness the Fitness

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.

Witness the Fitness

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.”

Witness the Fitness

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.”

Witness the Fitness

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.”

Witness the Fitness

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?

Witness the Fitness
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