There is no denying that exercise is great for everyone. It gets your heart racing, improves your mood and there is that added benefit of keeping you in shape. But what happens when you don’t have the chankura for a gym membership? That’s where Kimberley fitness trainer Neville Morema steps in.
Through body-weight training, Morema (26) uses little to no equipment. All you need is your fabulous machine of a body.
Morema, the owner of Finessed Fitness, tells Health For Mzansi, “I want to inspire and introduce wellness and fitness to my community and make it accessible. Many people assume that when you want to stay healthy and physically active you need the gym. I do body-weight training. I want to show people that you can do quite a lot with your body and still achieve impressive results.”
Morema was born in Johannesburg but has been living in the Northern Cape since he was six. He believes exercise also has the benefit of improving mental health and self-esteem.
Neville, so I did a bit of stalking and saw that you help kids to also achieve fitness goals? Can you tell me a bit about the clientele you have built?
When I started, most of my clients were my age. They were the ones who really seemed to enjoy what I had to offer, but that has sort of changed as I have grown. Currently, one of my youngest clients is nine while the eldest is around 68 years old.
Surely your clients have different reasons for why they are on fitness journey’s, but what sparked yours?
I was born into a sporty family. My dad, Daniel, was in the army, and he was a marathon runner as well. He and his brothers were always into weight lifting, athletics, and things like that, so from a young age I was exposed to sports and would go running with my family.
Is there like a secret sauce or method in approaching a healthy lifestyle?
Besides steroids [laughs], I know three things that could work for you: hard work, consistency, and patience.
It is good to set goals for yourself but when it comes to fitness and telling yourself that you want to look like Christiano Ronaldo in six months, check your expectations. I am not saying that it is an unrealistic goal, it’s just if you don’t achieve the goal, it demotivates you. Now you want to give up, and not go as hard because you are beating yourself up.
Be patient and trust the process. Work hard, stay consistent and be patient.
What role has nutrition played in your journey?
In the beginning I never used to be big on diets, I just thought food was whatever. I have learned to respect food.
Before I would eat a burger before exercising because I wasn’t aware of how to address my nutrition needs. I was just in it for the exercise and the results that came with exercising.
As time went by, I would listen to my body and become more aware of how it sort of reacted when I ate certain food and how it performed when I ate certain foods. That is how I realised that you are what you eat and by making better food choices I was able to control compulsive eating behaviours and weight gain. With that I experienced higher energy levels, alertness, enhanced fitness performance and overall improved health just being mindful of what I eat.
Seeing the benefits of a more focused nutritional approach in my journey is what helped me improve my relationship with food. By seeing how quickly my body started transforming and how efficient I was when exercising, how much better I felt emotionally, physically and mentally, is what helped me improve my relationship with food and helped me stick to not a strict diet but just eating healthy.
Most of the time when people say eat healthy, they think it is a diet. They think about having an apple for dinner or something like that, but it is not even [the case]. It is about alternatives. It is about making little replacements here and there. I was a sweet tooth, and I couldn’t help it so what I did was I would replace the unhealthy stuff like sweets and chocolate and replace it with a smoothie which is still sweet but healthier for me.
Do you have any advice for the rest of Mzansi to get fit in 2022?
Figure out what works for you. Respect food. Evaluate whether you use food as a tool to cope with anxiety or stress and rather develop other ways you can cope. How I cope with my emotions is exercise, meditation and eating well.
Remember it takes hard work, consistency, and patience. Also remember to embrace every little win and progress you make, even if it is when your muscles hurt, that is progress because it means something is happening and you are getting there. Just keep going, find your own motivation that is what will keep you at it.