Being healthy has become about so much more than just getting fit, losing weight and looking great in a pair of jeans. If the past year has taught us anything, it’s that true health lies in finding balance and prioritizing the way we care for and fuel our most precious assets – our bodies.
“Although a ‘reset’ is a great way to initiate a good relationship with your body and food, it’s not the end,” says Gabrielle Akal, who is one half of the gorgeous Reset Collective duo.Gabrielle (or Gabs) and her partner Melissa van Straaten’s lockdown venture (Reset Collective) helps people to reboot their health by following a short wellness programme.
Most important to remember though, Gabs says, is that it doesn’t end there.
“One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that once the reset is done, all their problems will be solved. Moving your body, getting stronger and nourishing yourself correctly is a continuous daily choice and a lifestyle that you need to commit to every day.”
Born and bred Durban girls, both Gabs and Melissa are passionate about health and fitness and have backgrounds in this space. Gabs runs her own digital marketing and copywriting business and qualified as a group training instructor while living in Cape Town. Mel has a degree in psychology and has completed a number of courses and certifications in the health and wellness realm, including being a yoga instructor, qualified specialised nutritionist and group fitness instructor. The two became friends while working at MovementX in Umhlanga and, over a cup of coffee during lockdown, decided to start their own business.
So, what is a reset?
“Reset Collective is basically a 4 to 6-week health and wellness programme that includes four types of classes – Vinyasa Yoga and Power Yoga, High Intensity Interval Training and Functional Fitness. The classes run on a schedule (there are online options as well), and you get a meal plan and running guide.”
Health trends for the year ahead
While it is inevitable that there are new health trends and fads that come with the start of each new year, Gabs says there are some ‘trends’ that simply never go out of style. “We believe in viewing health as ‘multi-layered’. Going to gym and lifting weights or going for a run every day doesn’t make you healthy. Health comprises many aspects in our lives and we don’t only need to work our physical body, but our mental and emotional sides too.”
She says it’s important for people to view movement and exercise as a lifestyle, rather than an obligation or punishment. And likewise, with food. “We view food as fuel. It should never be restricted or associated with feelings linked to guilt and shame. If you are moving your body on a consistent basis, then why wouldn’t you want to fuel it with wholesome, nutritious foods? The brain and gut work together and, therefore, what you put into your body will directly influence things like your mood and energy and concentration levels.”
Gabs and Mel believe that in the year ahead more and more people will start looking for smaller gyms and studios that they truly resonate with and that will ultimately become their ‘home away from home’. “If you find yourself in the right space, with the right people, moving your body is never seen to be a ‘chore’.”
New year, new goals
When it comes to new starts and new year’s resolutions, Gabs says the biggest mistake most people make is setting unrealistic goals. “People often come in way too hot and give themselves complicated training and eating schedules. Start slow. If you want something to be a long term change it needs to be achievable daily.” The other mistake, she says, is giving up too soon. “People are often impatient and, when they don’t see immediate results, fall back into their unhealthy habits. Be gentle on yourself. Results are usual slow and steady and as long as you stay consistent, they will come.”
Details: IG @reset_collective
Text: Leah Shone