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Tips to transform your body, even while social distancing

During the course of lockdown, the fitness industry has witnessed a spike in attention never seen before.

People are downloading, streaming, video conferencing and logging in to all kinds of fitness sessions.

Irrespective of whether they were active prior to lockdown, the mental state of being cooped up has everyone hungry for exercise.

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Claire Bowen, from Shower to Shower, said that she feels that exercise has been critical to mental wellbeing during the lockdown period.

“Exercise has long been associated with helping to manage stress and anxiety levels and it can also be very helpful at improving your memory – despite this being a time we’d all prefer to just forget.”

Thabang Glen Dladla is the first Shower to Shower Men MH #BeastMode winner. He says that the key to his success is a combination of hard work and constant improvement in his role as a full time personal trainer, group exercise instructor, bootcamp commander and all-round fitness professional.

He outlined some tips in the hope that he’ll assist everyday South Africans who are looking to make a healthy and sustainable change in their lives:

• Avoid salty high processed food. Eat clean where possible. What you put into your body is as important for your physical physique as exercise is. Don’t think that just because you’ve done a workout that you’re able to eat whatever you like.

• Always have a balanced healthy breakfast. Dladla expanded on this point by saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and gets your body and mind off to a good start. Choose a breakfast that is low in sugar and will keep you satisfied until lunch.

• Say no to sugary drinks and alcohol. Dladla said that soft drinks and alcohol are both extremely high in sugar and an unnecessary part of your diet, adding no nutritional value.

• Get a detailed weight and cardio training programme. Getting a weight and cardio programme that suits your body is important. At a time when we’re not able to leave the house, spend time researching what activities would be suitable for your age, weight and conditions, and make informed choices.

• Try new exercise challenges to keep you going. Find exciting new challenges to keep you interested. One example might be to time yourself doing an activity each week. You might find that a personal challenge to improve your time makes you more motivated to get better.

• Prioritise your sleep. Nobody can function effectively without sleep. Make sure you’re in bed early and you rise early to keep a healthy schedule. A minimum of seven hours sleep is important when you’re exercising and improving your health.

• Sign up for some app assistance. Dladla said that there are many apps on the market that assist with keeping you honest when it comes to exercise. Certain apps track distances, activities and even what you eat and drink. He says that noting it all down often helps to keep motivation levels up.

• Schedule your training workout as you schedule your meetings. Many of us are already living in the age of scheduled WhatsApp calls, ZOOM meetings or Skype sessions. Make sure that your fitness schedule appears in your diary too, otherwise it’ll drop off your radar completely.

• Move your workout routine outside. While we’re all challenged in terms of group gatherings currently, when the time comes that we’re able to move freely once, being in amongst nature is an incredible motivator.

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