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A helping healing hand

She sure is the type of person who comes to mind when you think about a bundle of energy and somebody with a zest for life. But despite being on the run most of the time, she also cares deeply and strives to make life better for others after injury or illness.

We caught up with Edenvale resident and biokineticist Benita Keeve at her practice at Virgin Active in Bedfordview to chat not only about her job but also about her passions and personal life.

At the age of 36, Benita runs her own practice and for her, it is not only her means of earning an income but also a way in which she lives out her passion – to help people get better, stronger and back to health after injury or illness.

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When asked how it came about that she chose this specific career, she explained she suffered a serious ankle injury while she was a provincial netball player. Her injury nearly cost her a year of not being able to be active in sport.

‘During that period, I was exposed to all the multifunctional healthcare workers, including physiotherapists and biokineticists, and I absolutely loved the idea of helping people get better and back to health.

‘So I did more research on what a biokineticist really does and how wide the spectrum is, and I fell in love.’

She explained a biokineticist can be described as a human movement specialist who prescribes exercise routines either as a preventative health measure or to correct a health problem, such as a sports injury or recovery from disease, operation or illness.

Biokineticists treat people of all ages and provide natural, drugless, nonsurgical health treatments and rehabilitation.

A day at the office

Although a normal day on the job starts early for Benita, nothing gives her more pleasure than seeing her clients improve, getting them pain-free, managing their day-to-day activities and reaching their goals.

‘As a biokineticist, peak times are early mornings, so my days start early. We have scheduled appointments with specific clients that vary from fitness assessments, chronic patients with metabolic conditions to post-operative orthopaedic rehabilitation.’

The various clients with numerous conditions bring their own challenges, and Benita explained it is absolutely necessary to be able to adapt to each client’s conditions, physically and mentally.

‘Keeping a client motivated, especially if they have a severe condition, is also one of the main challenges I face daily.’

Benita believes the only way to overcome these challenges is to expand your knowledge.

‘You have to do research and stay up to date with all new research and techniques to help your clients to the best of your ability and overcome any obstacle. I live by going the extra mile for my clients to put them at ease.’

To the question about the worst part of her job, she laughingly answered, ‘Admin and early mornings.’

As far as future plans go, she wants to grow her practice on multiple planes and would love to get more involved with sport at schools.

On a personal note

She is quick to refer to herself as the ‘plaasmeisie’ with a great love for the outdoors and all things that bring on a challenge and is a bit sporty.

Benita grew up in Kroonstad, Free State, with her parents and three sisters and matriculated from Afrikaans Hoërskool Kroonstad in 2003.

She recalls some of her fondest childhood memories of her and her youngest sister playing at the back of a truck in maize her father just harvested.

‘We would swim and dive into the maize. I also remember spending hours horseback riding in the fields, exploring and spending time in nature.

‘I love outdoor activities and sport. The triathlon bug has bitten me and I have done IronMan 70.3 twice and entered IronMan Mosselbay in November 2022.’

Benita has been married for 12 years to a man she describes as a ‘wonderful husband’ and they have two children, a five-year-old boy and a two-year-old girl.

‘Baking and gardening with my son are always extremely special,’ she said.

Her ideal weekend includes hiking, running and spending time with her family, doing outdoor activities.

‘If anybody is looking for the best spots to visit in the area, Modderfontein Nature Reserve is amazing with beautiful hiking, running and mountain biking trails and not to forget the amazing restaurant. We also love spending time with friends.’

And when asked if she could share her motto with others as inspiration, she gave a wide smile and said, ‘I would tell them to dream big.’

Quick facts

  • Do you prefer food, travel or art?

Definitely travel

  • The one thing nobody or few people know about you

I have a tattoo on my right shoulder blade.

  • Rain vs sunshine

Sunshine

  • City life vs outdoors

Outdoors

  • Your ultimate spoil

A day at the spa.

  • Your guilty pleasure

A glass of red wine with chocolate and a book.

  • Your pet peeves

Dishonesty

  • Your best movie ever

Gladiator

  • Currently on your playlist

Fancy Like by Walker Hayes

  • Wardrobe must-haves

A pair of amazing heels, a little black dress and definitely a comfortable pair of jeans.

  • If you could do one thing before you die, what would that be?

Travel the world.

Text: CARINA VAN DER WALT. Photo: ELZAAN PIENAAR

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