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Fitness instructor Anisa Essop shares tips on how to remain on your healthy living path during lockdown

Anisa Essop. Picture: Supplied

Anisa Essop. Picture: Supplied

Published Feb 25, 2021


Lockdown has been tough on all of us for different reasons.

At the beginning of 2020, many of us went into the year with set goals. Then Covid-19 came along and those goals went flying out the front door while we remained stuck indoors.

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One of the most popular, post festive season goals has always been to get fit and into shape. While many give up by February, there are those who are more disciplined and continue through determination and perseverance.

Unfortunately, lockdown happened, making it even harder for those to stay on track. No gym. No outdoor activities. Staying indoors made it so easy to give into temptation and to indulge in food you were trying so hard to stay away from.

It’s been just less than a year now, and even though lockdown restrictions are less strict now, some people are still trying their best to stay home and stay safe.

One of the greatest challenges of remaining on track, is to stay motivated.

Fitness coach, Anisa Essop, understands how frustrating and difficult it is to stay focused and motivated to continue on a weight loss and fitness program under such abnormal conditions.

Anisa Essop. Picture: Supplied

Essop is the woman behind Anisa Fitness, a health and wellness facility, which aims to empower women using fitness skills as well as healthy eating programmes.

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While she was in nine-year abusive marriage, the 42-year-old fitness guru gained so much weight. She went from 56kgs to 128kgs. But at some point, Essop knew she had to do something about it. While stuck in the marriage and unable to leave her home, she put herself on a healthy eating plan and did as much exercise as she could in her home. Essop successfully managed to drop her weight from 128kgs to 72kgs.

She eventually got divorced and continued to hold on to her goal and soon dropped to 65kgs.

Through Essop’s struggles, she learnt that there are so many people in South Africa in similar situations of abuse across all ages and races.

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She felt that she had a great calling to be an inspiration to others. Essop has come to learn she had to go through all the tough times to become stronger and achieve anything she set her mind on and to set an example for others.

She shared a few tips on how to remain motivated and on track during these challenging times:

Make a commitment to move every day by stretching. Stretching helps with one's blood circulation after sitting for long periods at a time.

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Take a few minutes break from working behind a computer or laptop and do abdominal workouts to strengthen the core and improve posture.

Try to keep moving by walking, any form of movement that gets you off the chair sitting all day long.

Put your legs up against the wall for 10 minutes – to bring back balance in the body.

Tips on how to watch your diet during the lockdown:

Small changes make a larger impact over a period of time. The small decisions you make each day, turns into bigger long term results in the end.

Replace your bad eating habits with healthy alternatives.

Try to avoid fizzy drinks, coffee, alcohol and takeaways.

Rather prepare wholesome foods at home with the family.

Incorporate vegetables in your meals.

Replace your sugar intake with fruits - they are healthier substitutes.

If you have a day of bad eating habits, dust it off and continue. One’s food intake is a lifestyle, not a temporary solution or diet.

Follow Essop on Instagram to check her regular exercise tips and words of encouragement.

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