Benefits of working out with the family.     supplied
Benefits of working out with the family. supplied

Easy ways to fit exercise into your everyday life

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Feb 17, 2020

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We’re living in the 21st century where technological breakthroughs are taking over. Undeniably, all these new tech devices have caused a few other physical activities to be pushed aside.

Whether it’s running up a mountain, playing a sport or going for a walk in the park, every activity will encourage physical exercise, which is good when it comes to improving physical and mental well being.

Ndyebo Mapekula, captain of the Adidas Running Club in Cape Town said there were many activities that people could do to take advantage of the weather and health benefits.

He said some of the most popular activities, included hiking, especially in Cape Town.  

“Running is quite popular in Cape Town, there’s been a significant increase in young black female runners in Cape Town as well, which goes to show people are being more and more active,” he said.

While all of these can be done alone, it’s beneficial to do it with the family.

Mapekula said doing fitness activities within a family structure was crucial. It gives kids a platform to be comfortable with that specific activity.

They also would not be short of any encouragement, thereby motivating them to stay active.

“Kids are easily influenced. For example, instead of parents always wanting their kids to be active, they should participate with their kids in their own exercise routine like running or yoga.

“By doing so, the importance of fitness and physical activity sinks and it sticks with the kids. This also reaches beyond the family structure.

“Enjoy it. Fitness is only fun if you want it to be fun. Once you start enjoying it, it will also become easier and it will be something you look forward to doing instead of something you have to do,” Mapekula said.

Ceri Hannan, national product development manager at Virgin Active South Africa said the beauty of the great outdoors was nature’s obstacle course.

Some outdoor activities that families could do in summer could be hiking, beach volleyball or kayaking.

If you have a fitness activity you have committed to, staying committed to any goal could be a challenge as day-to-day tasks often got in the way.

Hannan suggested the SMART method for yourself and your family’s fitness goals.

S - Specific. Set your intention, such as “I want to run a marathon in nine months” or “I want to squat ‘x’ amount of weight in three months”.

M - Measurable. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it so make sure your goal has some type of measurement connected to it.

A - Achievable. Don’t set yourself up for failure with completely unrealistic expectations, especially if you know you can’t put in the time or effort.

R - Realistic. Understand that genetics also play a huge part in fitness.

T - Timing. This is a must when setting goals. Set a time scale or small rewards to achieve smaller goals in the aim to reach your big goal.

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