When thinking about the festive season, activities like visiting family and friends, relaxing, going to the beach, and eating whatever we want are front of mind. Even though the rest is much needed after a year of hard work, this period often derails us from our fitness routine and healthy eating habits, says coach Anele Mpela, who owns and manages the Mbekweni Fitness Centre in Paarl in the Western Cape.
He advises that during the festive time, we need to adapt our approach so that we don’t feel we are starting from the bottom when January commences.
Mpela is passionate about all things fitness and cultivating the right environment. This is evident in his community activations where he planned and hosted the Mbekweni inter-schools and the 5km fun run and family day.
Minor deviations are okay
By adapting your approach, Mpela refers to not deviating too much from your normal fitness routine. If you always exercise five days a week, try and still be active for about three days a week, he advises.
Staying active is also a big component of staying healthy. However, when visiting family or friends away from home, it might become challenging to continue doing so. In this instance, Mpela encourages the use of the space you find yourself in as a tool to stay on track. In the space of your room, you can do exercises like push-ups, jumping jacks and even squats. The parking lot or any open space is perfect for quick shuttle runs and if all fails even a chair can be used for hip exercises.
In the podcast, Mpela also discusses:
- Monitoring what you put in your body, not neglecting your protein fibre and vitamin C intake. Examples of these foods can be eggs, avocado, bananas and nuts.
- Rationing of luxuries and not being too hard on yourself when enjoying the festivities of the season.
Listen to the full interview on the Health For Mzansi podcast:
Apple Podcasts: Click here to listen on any Apple device.
Google Podcasts: Click here to listen on Google Podcast.
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