Money en-us catherined at cosmopolitan dot co dot za Copyright 2009 Yoga Poses For Energy

Modified Down-Dog Split:

Starting in a push-up position, lift your hips and move into downward facing dog, then take five breaths. Now extend your right heel upwards as high as you can, and slowly push your left forearm towards the floor, keeping your palms flat.


RELATED: Aerial Yoga

Chair Pose: 

Stand with your feet hip-width apart or together, then bend your lower body with a sitting motion. Now raise your arms to your ears and lift up your chest.

RELATED: Your Yoga Personality

Bridge Pose: 

Lie on your back and bend your knees, putting your arms at your sides and your feet flat against the floor. Raise your hips as high as you can and either lock your hands together or keep them at your sides. Take five deep breaths.

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Thu, 12 Jun 2014 12:00 +0200
11 Things That Will Never Happen, No Matter How ‘In Shape’ You Are You might love the leaner, meaner you – but there are some things that even your new body can’t guarantee

1 Regardless of all your friends’ WWBD bracelets, you will never ‘OMG, I just looooooove’ cauliflower mash.

                                                                   Because, after vodka, mash is your second-favourite way of having potatoes.

No amount of relentless indoctrination will ever make you refer to lasagne as ‘poison’.

In fact, the healing properties of layered pasta are very well documented. Somewhere. Most likely in Italy.

You ‘getting’ out of bed on freezing, dreary, dark winter mornings is unlikely ever to be described as ‘bounding’.

Extra energy brought on by regular exercise aside, the walk from the electric blanket to the shower will always be like an endurance crawl to the South Pole.

Related: Surprising Exercise Benefits

‘I have SUCH a craving for brown rice!’ is not a sentence you’re ever likely to utter.


Eating a whole tub of chocolate and vanilla Magnum by yourself will never be entirely guilt-free.

No matter how ‘okay’ you are with occasionally cheating on your diet. Try it … let us know how it works out.

Your friends won’t ever be interested in blow-by-blow accounts of your daily kilojoule intake and expenditure.

Especially over a double-pepperoni-extra-everything-else pizza that would take about four hours of level-15 treadmill torture to burn off.

7 You’re unlikely to have much company on your 6am weekend trail runs.

Most probably because everyone you know is still sleeping off last night’s party – the one you left at 9pm after two drinks because the new, fit you is such a damn lightweight.

Related: Your Exercise Excuses Debunked

You’ll never be okay with being the poster girl for bran-cereal adverts.

Three times a day, every day – that ish gets inconvenient. So to speak.

9 You’ll never not be marginally freaked out by your own muscles.

Go on, touch them. Don’t they feel weird? Ugh, gross.

You’ll never entirely forego your vices.

Especially not your couch-and-cop-show addiction. And the associated Coke and peanuts. Om nom nom.

11 Working out will never feel 100% enjoyable.

It can’t. Because, in the back of your mind, as you become more and more obsessed with every move you make and every morsel of food you put in your mouth, you’ll know that skipping just two days of gym could bring the whole delicate sandcastle crashing down around your unused running shorts. And THAT will always make exercise just a teeny bit of a chore…

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Tue, 10 Jun 2014 12:00 +0200
Four Ways To Stay Motivated and Exercise This Winter

We know, staying motivated to exercise, especially in winter, is hard. Here is some advice to inspire you to keep healthy in mind and body:

Exercise with a friend
Having company while you work out is social as well as an incentive. Anna Paquin and husband Stephen Moyer are regular workout partners. Whether at the gym, cycling or hiking, having a partner’s support is always fun.

Work out at the beginning of the day
It is often easier to start your day off with exercise. Jennifer Aniston finds this way easier: ‘As long as I have cardio as well as a good sweat, I’m happy. It wakes me up and it keeps me alert the whole day. And it puts in a good sleep at night too, so it helps with not getting that afternoon lull rather than drinking lots of coffee.’

Build it up
If you are not that fit, building up your workout in small stages is easier than doing a full 20 minutes in one go. Emma Watson says, ‘Generally I try and stay active. I like walking; I like wandering around. I always take the stairs, never the elevator – that kind of vibe.’

Reward yourself at the end of the week when you have reached your exercise goals. Celebrity trainer JJ Virgin recommends treating yourself to a spa day or a movie night with friends.

The article was originally posted on Marie Claire

Tue, 20 May 2014 12:00 +0200
The Big Fat Fitness Fade It’s that time of the year… New Year’s fitness resolutions are a long distant memory and the weather’s turning not-so-fitness-friendly… Ugh.

STOP! Put that guilt away immediately. You were set up for failure – just like everyone else who stumbled soon after Old Year’s Night. What we forget on 1 Jan (every year) is that we’re much more likely to stick to something that’s fun than something that feels like an imperative or a chore.

So, how about starting again and making a not-NY resolution?

Related: Back on the Fitness Track

Cipla Nutrition Ambassador and CrossFit trainer Alan Foulis says, ‘The only way to reach your goals and not join the thousands of individuals who break their New Year’s resolutions is if you enjoy an exercise regime and it doesn’t feel like work, but becomes part of your lifestyle.’

Related: Before You Cancel Your Gym Membership

Here are his tips on how to make sure you don’t stumble before you reach the first water stop:

Set small realistic and achievable goals that are easy to maintain;
Fit your fitness schedule into your every day routine so that it doesn’t feel like work;
Find a gym partner who will make you more accountable to the routine;
Tell friends and family about your fitness goals and small achievements to keep motivated;
Keep your exercise routine exciting by varying your workout schedule and learn a new routine very week;
• Take advantage of the summer weather and exercise outdoors or join an outdoor sports club;
Have Fun!

And on that note… we think this sounds totally like an option we could get into.

Wham! Sh’bam! THANK you, ma’am!

Think you could get into a dance class where the emphasis is on fun? We could, especially with the promise that those 45-minutes of fun will burn about 506 calories. Yup, SH'BAM has you doing simple (but ‘seriously hot’) dance moves at high intensity to current hits and remixes of familiar classics, interspersed with recovery tracks – you’ll get a great workout while you have fun. Find a class near you

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Wed, 14 May 2014 12:00 +0200
5 Reasons Why You Should Do the Neon Run Make exercise an adventure – and glow with more than just health!

The sunrise is late. Mornings are chilly. The snooze button is becoming your best mate. It’s getting tricky to motivate yourself into your workout pants and onto a treadmill with winter around the corner, so we’ve found an event that’ll make exercise fun – and we give you five reasons why you should take part. Get ready to glow!

1 It’s cool to exercise at night
Routine is exercise’s best friend but it can also get quite boring. This will shake it up, even if it is for just one night.

2 It’s even cooler to exercise with friends
Your mates might not be ‘gym’ people or ‘runners’ but this five-kilometre route can be run, cycled, walked or skated. In fact, you could probably give your friend a piggyback ride if you felt like it. No excuse not to join in!

3 You’re literally going to glow
And we don’t mean the healthy, endorphin-induced post-exercise glow (though that’s pretty much a given). You’ll also be covered in neon body paint and wield as many neon accessories and glowsticks as you can carry – and the route will take you through different Glow Zones to make things even more fun.

4 There’s a party at the finish line
More neon, a light display and performances by The Kiffness, Shortstraw, Dean Fuel, Chris Taylor and Roger Goode. Stay on and dance – you’re already warmed up!

5 You can sleep late the next day
The events are planned for Saturdays, so you can lie in on Sunday morning feeling smug about the good work you’d put in the night before. Bonus!

The Neon Run takes place in at the Green Point Stadium forecourt in Cape Town on 10 May from 3pm, and at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on 17 May 2014 from 3pm. Events in Durban and Port Elizabeth to be confirmed. Tickets, appropriately glowy merchandise and more info available at

Tue, 22 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
The Work Out Programme That Will Have You Looking Like Marilyn Monroe
1. Small weights
‘I never used to bother with exercises. Now I spent at least 10 minutes each morning working out with small weights. I have evolved my own exercises, for the muscles I wish to keep firm, and I know they are right for me because I can feel them putting the proper muscles into play as I exercise.’

2. Start your day with some bust-firming
‘Each morning, after I brush my teeth, wash my face and shake off the first deep layer of sleep, I lie down on the floor beside my bed and begin my first exercise. It is a simple bust-firming routine that consists of lifting five-pound [about 2kg] weights from a spread-eagle arm position to a point directly above my head. I do this 15 times… Then, with my arms at a 45-degree angle from the floor, I move my weights in circles until I’m tired.’

3. Ignore all advice, it’s all about you
‘I don’t count rhythmically like the exercise people on the radio; I couldn’t stand exercise if I had to feel regimented about it. By nature, I suppose I have a languorous disposition. I hate to do things in a hurried, tense atmosphere and it is virtually impossible for me to spring out of bed in the morning.’

4. Follow the raw food diet (and indulge in treats)
‘My dinners at home are startlingly simple. Every night I stop at the market near my hotel and pick up a steak, lamb chops and some liver, which I boil in the electric oven in my room. I usually eat four or five raw carrots with my meat and that is all. I must be part-rabbit; I never get bored with raw carrots. It’s a good thing, I suppose that I eat simply during the day, for in recent months I have developed the habit of stopping off at Wil Wright’s ice cream parlour for a hot fudge sundae on my way home from my evening drama classes. I’m sure that I couldn’t allow myself this indulgence were it not that my normal diet is composed almost totally of protein foods.’

5. Pay no attention to body-beautiful fads
‘Despite its great vogue in California, I don’t think suntanned skin is any more attractive than white skin, or any healthier for that matter. I’m personally opposed to a deep tan, because I like to feel blonde all over.’

Watch the entire video here:

The article originally appeared on Marie Claire

Sat, 19 Apr 2014 12:00 +0200
Feed Yourself Fit COFFEE
Perk yourself up before a run or workout. Caffeine blocks pain-processing adenosine so aches will be no excuse to quit! (Hold the froth and sprinkles.)

Carbs are crucial for maintaining your muscles’ glycogen stores (necessary for repeat training) and are the easiest foods to metabolise. Go for low GI options though.

Popeye had the right idea. The iron-rich leaf boosts the body’s ability to convert protein into muscle. Eat with lean meat for a great post-weights meal.

A crunchy bowl of cornflakes (just add skimmed milk) will replenish the body’s energy stores after a workout just as effectively as a sport drink. It’s tastier, too.

This stamina superbooster can help you work out 16% longer thanks to its high nitrate content. It’s best juiced but it’s still beneficial in a salad.

Wed, 05 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
5 Fat Burning Activities to Start Today


There is no doubt that you will burn the most calories if running is your exercise of choice. The requirements to run are simple – all you need are a good pair of running shoes and a supportive sport bra. You may not have the perfect form yet but everyone knows how to run and the more you run the more you will want to run. Plus, there’s no extra equipment required so all that’s left to do is get out there and pound that pavement.


Yoga is a popular exercise choice amongst women as, not only does it lengthen limbs and give you a firm booty, but it is also known for its amazing ability to relieve stress, focus on the breath and be in the present. Yoga is offered as a group class at most gyms and there are yoga studios offering a variety of Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Birkram and Hatha classes all over the country. If you’re looking to sleep better, calm the mind and stay at a healthy weight you should try a yoga class.


Dancing is a fun way to burn an extra few calories with no pain or strain. You don’t need moves like Jagger in order to benefit from dancing; all you need is your favourite song. Dancing is considered a moderate activity, therefore we recommend moving for 30 minutes in order to get your heart rate up.

Wii Fit
Easy-to-do-at home exercise comes in the form of a video-gaming system known as Wii Fit. The game was first released in 2007 and is still a popular exercise tool amongst women. The Wii has a wireless motion detector that registers your every move. Wii Fit is an additional purchase to the standard Wii and offers a variety of core-strengthening exercises by working on your balance and movement skills. It might seem pricey, but this is fitness fun that the whole family will love.


Hiking is the perfect way to get away from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life. Just an hour of hiking burns up to 370 calories and is a wonderful way to clear your head. Invite a friend to join you because, not only is exercise more fun with a buddy, but it is safer too.

Original article on Marie Claire
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Tue, 04 Feb 2014 12:00 +0200
10 Songs To Get You Moving
We've put together ten songs that will get you moving again.


1 Icona Pop - I Don’t Care

2 David Guetta - Titanium

3 Ellie Golding - Anything Could Happen

4 Armin Van Buuren - This is what it feels like

5 The Script - Hall of Fame

6 Justin Timberlake - Mirrors

7 The Killers - Mr Brightside

8 Lady Gaga - Edge of Glory

9 Foster The People - Pumped Up Kicks

10 Bastille - Things We Lost In The Fire

Thu, 09 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Retail Therapy Yourself Back Into The Gym
But with the start of a new year comes resolutions and new starts. If one of them is getting fitter, you need some inspiration to get moving. And what better way to motivate yourself than with some new running shoes.

These gorgeous Nike Frees are not only beautiful to look at but are incredibly lightweight and comfortable. The idea behind the Nike Free range is that they mimic running barefoot (but with foot support) and after a few runs I can say they live up to their promise.


Tue, 14 Jan 2014 12:00 +0200
Radical New Diet ose weight. But exposing yourself to internet fat-shaming in order to humiliate yourself into dieting? That’s one we haven’t heard before.

As unimaginable as it may seem to some, there are women who are so desperate to lose weight that this is exactly what they did. It’s all part of a controversial online dieting programme created by personal trainer Frank Gorman that encompasses all the regular elements of a diet plan, such as eating healthily and doing more exercise, but with a boost from the internet and its outspoken mass of critical users to provide the motivation women need to commit to losing weight.

Participants in this radical diet programme are required to post pictures of themselves in their underwear once a week (on ‘Naked Saturdays’) from all angles for everyone on social media to see – and comment on. One woman, Pippa, was inspired to take part in the programme after seeing the impressive weight loss results of her friend who’d dropped two dress sizes after signing up. But given that people often take advantage of the internet and its lack of boundaries to cause verbal harm and offend others, it is no surprise that Pippa, and others like her, were reluctant to expose themselves to the intense scrutiny of online strangers. ‘When my friend told me about the photo side of things it really made me question whether I wanted to go ahead,’ she said. ‘I remember saying to her: “Crumbs, you must be brave.”’

She continues, ‘I got my daughter to take my picture. It was awful – a photo shows up everything. I thought it was going to be bad, but when you see a full-screen photo of your bulging tummy and big bottom it’s even worse; I wanted to weep. But in the end, I thought if I don’t do this, nothing is going to change. I was bigger than I’d ever been and I hated it’. Pippa has lost a significant amount of weight, moving down from a size 12 to a size 8. According to Gorman, successes such as these are the sole result of his concept to use online humiliation and fat-shaming. But apparently, dieters can avoid public ridicule as their membership fee grants them access to members-only groups that are actually quite supportive, according to Pippa. ‘With the first picture, they’ll tell you that you’ve taken the hardest step. Then if you are having a bad day and say “God I’m craving chocolate” you will have 50 people on there saying “Don’t do it! Look at your picture, you’re doing really well.” Everyone supports everybody.’

We’re all for exercise and healthy weight loss, but while these women – or ‘Frankettes’ as they like to be called – made a conscious decision to take part in a programme that risks humiliation and fat-shaming online, weight loss cannot and should not be done in an attempt to live up to the ideals of someone else.

This article originally appeared on

Tue, 10 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
5 Reasons It’s Okay To Suck At Yoga … So Don’t Give Up! 1. So what if your Crow looks like more like a lopsided post… keep going and you’ll loosen up your hamstrings, preventing aches and pains as you grow older.

2. It’s a great mystery: you so easily pull off those killer heels while simply balancing on one bare and totally grounded foot is beyond you. Don’t worry about looking ludicrous: you’re improving your co-ordination and stability (even if you fall clean over).

3. The whole leg-behind-the-head thing leaving you red-faced and feeling about as sexy as a large bowl of cold porridge? Get over it! Even attempting these deep hip postures improves circulation and could boost sexual pleasure.

4. Just because you keep braining yourself when attempting a handstand is no reason to quit your Bikhram, Hatha or Vinyasa. Rather stick to the preparatory poses and you’ll get the same detox and anti-ageing benefits as a full inversion.

5. You’re not the only one nodding off during meditation, so stop feeling so unevolved. Yoga teachers say it’s even okay to snore!

Tue, 03 Dec 2013 12:00 +0200
Bye-bye Winter Wobbles: Part 2
‘We’ve created workouts that are tailored to target different body shapes,’ says Yabsley. These specially selected moves will help you achieve exactly what you need. And once you’ve diagnosed your body type, there are only three moves to master!

To really maximise your results, each plan comes with a suggested cardio workout, too. We all store fat in different ways. So the workouts are designed to give you not only targeted shaping moves, but also the right type and intensity of cardio exercise that will shift fat from your problem areas most effectively.

You can’t change what you were born with but you can make the most of it! Here’s how…

You will need:

• A matt or soft service
• A set of dumbbells (2kg to 5kg)
• An exercise band
• A fitness or Pilates ball (optional)
Remember… Aim to do the workout every day for four weeks, with one rest day.

A-list hourglasses: Beyoncé Knowles, Scarlett Johansson and Kate Winslet.
Your trouble spots: Bottom, thighs and arms.
Your workout: Warm up for 10 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of interval training: swim, cycle or run – 40 seconds fast, then two minutes at a slower pace. Follow with your three key moves. (If it feels too easy, increase the repetitions.) Finish with a 10-minute cool down, including stretches.

MOVE 1: The thigh and waist strengthener
• Lie on your back, arms out to the sides. Bend your knees and place a rolled-up towel between them. Lift your lower legs so that your calves are parallel to the floor. Pull in your lower belly.
• Exhale and lower your knees to the right to just above the floor. Inhale and bring your legs back to the centre. Keep your torso still. Repeat on the other side. Do seven reps on each side.

MOVE 2: The bingo-wing buster
• Stand with one foot on an exercise band, and hold both ends. Bend one arm towards your shoulder, keeping your body still.
• Lower your arm, then repeat with the other arm. Don’t rush the move – keep it slow and controlled. Aim for 30 reps each side.

MOVE 3: The leg lengthener
• Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand, with your palms facing inwards.
• Pull in your tummy as you breathe in. Still breathing in, lower your bottom backward and downward, as though you’re about to sit on a chair.
• Keep lowering yourself, but make sure your knees don’t move further forward than your toes. When your thighs are parallel to the floor, pause and exhale. Breathe in and return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times.

Fri, 08 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Bye-bye Winter Wobbles: Part 1
‘We’ve created workouts that are tailored to target different body shapes,’ says Yabsley. These specially selected moves will help you achieve exactly what you need. And once you’ve diagnosed your body type, there are only three moves to master!

To really maximise your results, each plan comes with a suggested cardio workout, too. We all store fat in different ways. So the workouts are designed to give you not only targeted shaping moves, but also the right type and intensity of cardio exercise that will shift fat from your problem areas most effectively.

You can’t change what you were born with but you can make the most of it! Here’s how…

You will need:
• A matt or soft service
• A set of dumbbells (2kg to 5kg)
• An exercise band
• A fitness or Pilates ball (optional)
Remember… Aim to do the workout every day for four weeks, with one rest day.

• Your waist is toned and much smaller than your bust and hips.
• You have curvy, well-shaped calves and trim ankles.
• You tend to put on weight on the backs of your thighs and your upper arms.
Celeb example: Beyoncé Knowles

• You tend to gain weight on the lower half of your body.
• Your hips are wider than your shoulders and bust.
• Your waist is well defined and you have a shapely, well-rounded bottom.
Celeb example: Rihanna

• You have a large bust and maybe a bit of a tummy – your waist, hip and butt measurements are not too dissimilar.
• You’re likely to have a small bum, almost as if it disappears into your legs.
• You lose weight easily on your arms and legs, but find it difficult to shift it from your midriff.
Celeb example: Catherine Zeta-Jones

• You are slim and waiflike – your shoulders, waist and hips are a similar width.
• If you put on weight, it goes to your waist and bottom.
• You carry little weight on your legs and have a shapely back, arms and shoulders.
Celeb example: Kendall Jenner

Thu, 07 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
5 Ways to Survive a Bo-o-o-oring Cardio Session
1. ‘Hide’ the timer or cover it with your gym towel. It’s a proven scientific fact* that, in the same way a watched pot of water never boils, a watched clock slows down to a snail’s pace.

2. Many gyms around the country have an ‘upstairs’ cardio area (with treadmills, cross-trainers and bikes) that overlooks the pool. Some say it’s about maximising the available space. We say it’s so you can check out the hotties in Speedos doing laps in the water.

3. Create a playlist of your eight favourite upbeat tracks – stuff you can sing to, stuff you want to dance to and stuff you’d like to learn the words to. Eight songs x four minutes = your workout will be over before you know it. (You might want to keep the singing down to a whisper at the gym, though.)

4. Break up the session into five-minute intervals: two minutes of walking, three minutes of jogging; four minutes of walking, one minute of jogging. It’s up to you how you structure it – but you’ll feel less bored if you vary your pace.

5. It’s summer, so take it outside. There’s probably a trail, a beach, a reservoir, a park or a hill where you live, which will provide a break from the monotony of a treadmill. Better yet, talk a friend into joining you – it’ll give you a chance to catch up while you tone up!

* Okay, so it isn’t a proven scientific fact. But it should be.

Tue, 05 Nov 2013 12:00 +0200
Back on the Fitness Track
So how can you get back on the horse – or bike or treadmill, as the case may be? You simply have to pull on your tracksuit pants and get that first workout out of the way. ‘Once you take that first step, you’ll remember all the benefits exercise brings,’ says Brown. Then use the afterglow of exercise-induced energy and endorphins to build momentum and re-establish your routine by upping your workouts to two to three times a week.

Once you’ve finally made the move, Brown’s advice is to increase the intensity of your exercise routine gradually. ‘Set realistic goals. If you haven’t been to the gym for two to three months, don’t tell yourself that you’ll now go five times a week. Go once a week, then build up to twice a week and so on. Before you know it, you’ll be back into your old routine.’ And, no matter how fit you were before your exercise break, keep your expectations in check. Don’t expect to gear up and go straight into beach sprints or a five-kilometre run. ‘Your body has to catch up,’ says Brown. Likewise, if you’re back at the gym or rejoining a spinning class, take your level down a notch from what you used to do. You don’t want it to be so sore it will turn you off training again. Gradually work up – if you used to do three spinning classes a week, start with one, says Brown.

Tue, 29 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
ADVERTORIAL: Pick n Pay Women's Walk, Johannesburg
You can be part of this excellent project by participating in a Women's Walk near you or donating your smart shopper points to PinkDrive at an in-store kiosk. You'll be joining the fight against a disease many South African women face bravely every day.

Join us as we participate in these walks and share your stories iwth us on Twitter.

Details for the next walk are 

19 October, Soccer City, Johannesburg

Cost of entry: R20 (children under 18), R35 for adults

Entry Points: Pick n Pay Maponya Mall, Pick n Pay The Glen and Pick n Pay Southgate Mall.

Book online at Pick n Pay Tickets.

Event pack collection:

Date: 16, 17 and 18 October 2013

Pick n Pay Maponya Mall (16 October 2013)

Pick n Pay The Glen (17 October 2013)

Pick n Pay Southgate Mall (18 October 2013)

Times: 10h00 – 18h00

Tue, 01 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
ADVERTORIAL: Pick n Pay Women's Walk, Pretoria
You can be part of this excellent project by participating in a Women's Walk near you or donating your smart shopper points to PinkDrive at an in-store kiosk. You'll be joining the fight against a disease many South African women face bravely every day.

Join us as we participate in these walks and share your stories iwth us on Twitter.

Details for the next walk are 

26 October, LC De Villers Sports grounds, Pretoria

Cost of entry: R20 (children under 18), R35 for adults

Entry Points: Pick n Pay Faerie Glen Hyper, Pick n Pay Hatfield and Pick n Pay HIllcrest.

Book online at Pick n Pay Tickets.

Event pack collection:

Date: 24 and 25 October 2013

Venue: Pick n Pay Faeire Glen

Times: 10h00 – 18h00

Tue, 01 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
ADVERTORIAL: Pick n Pay Women's Walk, Knysna
You can be part of this excellent project by participating in a Women's Walk near you or donating your smart shopper points to PinkDrive at an in-store kiosk. You'll be joining the fight against a disease many South African women face bravely every day.

Join us as we participate in these walks and share your stories.Tweet us your pics and be included on our Facebook wall. We will be following the walks around the country and will let you know when the next one is taking place.

Details for the next walk are:

8 June, Knysna

Cost of entry: R20 (children under 18), R35 for adults

Entry Points: Pick n Pay George Corporate Store, Pick n Pay Garden Route Mall, Pick n Pay Knysna and Pick n Pay Plett Family Store.

Book online at Pick n Pay Tickets.

Event pack collection:

Date: 5 and 6 July 2013

Venue: Pick n Pay Garden Route Mall and Pick n Pay Knysna

Times: 10h00 – 18h00

Proudly sponsored by COSMOPOLITAN.

Mon, 10 Jun 2013 12:00 +0200
ADVERTORIAL: Pick n Pay Women's Walk, Bloemfontein
You can be part of this excellent project by participating in a Women's Walk near you or donating your smart shopper points to PinkDrive at an in-store kiosk. You'll be joining the fight against a disease many South African women face bravely every day.

Join us as we participate in these walks and share your stories iwth us on Twitter.

Details for the next walk are 

02 November, Grey College Campus, Bloemfontein

Cost of entry: R20 (children under 18), R35 for adults

Entry Points: Pick n Pay Bloem Hyper, Pick n Pay Loch Logan and Pick n Pay Brandwag.

Book online at Pick n Pay Tickets.

Event pack collection:

Date: 31 October and 01 November 2013

Venue: Pick n Pay Bloem Hyper

Times: 10h00 – 18h00

Tue, 01 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
ADVERTORIAL: Pick n Pay Women's Walk, Cape Town
You can be part of this excellent project by participating in a Women's Walk near you or donating your smart shopper points to PinkDrive at an in-store kiosk. You'll be joining the fight against a disease many South African women face bravely every day.

Join us as we participate in these walks and share your stories iwth us on Twitter.

Details for the next walk are 

5 October, Kenilworth Racecourse, Cape Town

Cost of entry: R20 (children under 18), R35 for adults

Entry Points: Pick n Pay Ottery Hyper, Pick n Pay Kenilworth, Pick n Pay Constantia and Pick n Pay Vangate Mall.
Book online at Pick n Pay Tickets.

Event pack collection:

Date: 3 and 4 October 2013

Venue: Pick n Pay Ottery Hyper

Times: 10h00 – 18h00

Tue, 01 Oct 2013 12:00 +0200
Get Moving! Reverse lunges
This is a great way to start an exercise regime! You will start in a standing position with your legs together, step one leg back behind you and bend your knee towards the ground. Without letting it actually touch the ground, pause for a second before pushing up off your back leg and returning it to the start position.

An old faithful we all know how to do! Some important tips to remember are to keep your hands shoulder-width apart, your back straight, abs sucked in and be sure to get your arms fully straightened at the top! You can vary a standard push up by moving your hands further down towards your feet, and eventually even bring your hands together into a diamond shape. (Only try that when you have built up some strength or you could fall flat on your face!) Best side effect of lots of push ups? Perky boobs!

Renegade rows
Prepare to work your back, shoulders and abs!!! Although these take some balance and skill, once you get the movement right, you will really enjoy the burn you get. Starting at the top of a push-up position, you will balance your hands on two dumbbells. (I would suggest starting with a light weight in each hand if you are a beginner!) While leaving one arm extended, row the other one up to your arm pit, and extend it back down to the ground before swapping to the other arm.

Want a tight round backside? Make the squat your new best friend! It has been proven that squats burn more kilojoules per rep than any other movement – not to mention that they target your glutes and hamstrings (Buttocks baby!) It’s really simple to do, and whether you are a beginner or pro you can simply add or remove certain elements to ensure you remain challenged.
Start by standing with feet hip width apart, toes below your knees and pointing slightly outwards. It’s important that they aren’t facing forward as this can put unnecessary strain on your knees! Bend your legs at the knee, dropping your butt towards the ground. (Imagine you are about to sit on a low chair – if you are new to squatting you can even start by actually using a chair behind you!) The lower you go – the better! Trust me on this one, your butt will thank you! Drop your bum down as low as you can without your heels lifting off the ground, pause for a spilt second before returning to the top.
As you progress, you can add weights! Start with light dumbbells in each hand, progressing to a bar bell with increasing weight loaded onto it. Once you feel comfortable with a certain weight, add a few kg onto it and get down low again!

Lateral lunges
I am not the hugest fan of these, simply because I have poor balance – and end up getting more frustrated than anything else! However, if you get it right you will be sure to feel the burn in your inner and outer thighs. (You know those stubborn saddle bags we all hate?)
Start in the position for squats, feet hip-width apart, back straight. Step one foot out to the side, far enough to get a stretch but be careful not to step too far. (Normally around half a metre is enough.) Slowly bend the leg you have just stepped out, lowering yourself to the ground while making sure your knee doesn’t extend over your toe. Your ‘standing leg’ will now be stretching laterally, but won’t have much weight on it. Pause for a second before pushing off your bent leg and returning to the start position. Again you can begin to add weights to this movement to challenge yourself further. 

Side plank
This one is deceiving – the explanation seems simple enough, and seeing someone doing it will make you think it’s easy. Wrong! Think CORE stability!!
Start lying on one side with both legs extended straight out, one leg directly on top of the other. Rest your upper body on your bent elbow and keep your neck neutral. Exhale as you push your hips up off the ground, leaving your elbow where it was. While keeping your legs straight and hip off the ground, suck your abs in and hold the position for as long as you can, adding 10 seconds each time you try it! Switch sides, add time and enjoy the change in your belly!

70 Jumping jacks
We all did jumping jacks (also known as star jumps) during PT lessons as children, so this should be easy right? Afraid not! Jumping Jacks are great for women who want to improve fitness and performance without building muscle, as it will test and work your muscles and certainly also your cardio fitness!
Starting with your feet together and arms at your side, jump both feet out while extending your arms up above your head and clapping your hands together. Then repeat, again and again and again….

60 mountain climbers 
Start in a push-up position, legs extended behind you and hands below your shoulders. Kick one leg up underneath your bum, while keeping the other leg extended out behind you. Alternate your legs kicking in and out, from under your bum to extended straight behind you. Want to work harder? Move faster and go for longer.

50 squats
We’ve already been through how to squat – now you have to 50 in a row. No stopping now!!

40 plank twists
Another great ab workout – start in a push-up position. Twist your body while extending one arm up towards the ceiling, so that your arms are now in line, one on the ground and one pointing to the roof. Return your hand back down to the ground and switch to the other side!

30 press-ups
Follow the description above – 30 times!

20 reverse lunges
Start with 10 on each leg.

10 Burpees
Aaahhhh… What can I actually say about the beautiful burpee? Everyone loves to hate them – they are brilliant for strength, fat burning and conditioning.
Start in a standing position, arms at your side. Drop down to your haunches and kick both legs out behind you, while dropping your chest to the floor. Push up and bring both legs in again before jumping up to stand with a clap above your head. Repeat! The secret here is to do as many as possible, one after another without stopping. Eventually, you can set goals such as counting how many burpees you can do in one minute, how many in five minutes, etc. Write your scores down and redo the test once a month to track your progress!

Words courtesy of Gaelyn Cokayne, lifestyle and fitness coach, founder of A New Weigh
Find her on Twitter: @anewweigh
Find her on Facebook:
Find her on Instagram: A New Weigh - Gaelyn Cokayne

Picture Credits
1. Pink and black animal print R699, adidas
2. Silver high top R799, adidas
3. Black, white and colourful detail R649, Converse
4. Neon yellow R550, Superga
5. Black and white printed high tops R999, adidas
6. Floral platform sneaker R349, Call it Spring
7. Gold high top R799, adidas
8. Yellow and purple sneaker R649, Converse

Fri, 20 Sep 2013 12:00 +0200
Exercise From Your Desk recommends these simple moves to help keep you in shape as you type

1. The Sitting Run
Sitting upright in your chair, jog your knees up and down as fast as you can for about 30 seconds. It’s great for beating that sluggish ‘when can I go home?’ feeling.

2. The Big Squeeze
Squeeze a folded-up jersey (read our Winter Warmers article here) between your knees for about five seconds to engage your pelvic-floor muscles, then release and repeat 10 times.

3. The Knee Press
Put your hands on the outside of your knees. Press your knees outwards against your hands as hard as you can, until you feel your arm and chest muscles working. Hold for five seconds, release and repeat 10 times.

For more fitness articles, click here – and watch out for the October issue of COSMO (we’ve put together a 28-day guide to a hotter, healthier you!).
Thu, 22 Aug 2013 12:00 +0200
Office Fitness
Grab a stapler and sit on the floor with knees bent and feet about shoulder-width apart, heels resting on the floor.

With shoulders and back straight and abs tight, lean back no further than a 45-degree angle.

Holding the stapler with both hands, gently rotate at your waist, twisting your shoulders and upper body from side to side, lowering the stapler almost to the floor behind you. Work up to three sets of 20.

For more fitness articles click here

Fri, 12 Jul 2013 12:00 +0200
ADVERTORIAL: Pick n Pay Women's Walk, Durban
You can be part of this excellent project by participating in a Women's Walk near you or donating your smart shopper points to PinkDrive at an in-store kiosk. You'll be joining the fight against a disease many South African women face bravely every day.

Join us as we participate in these walks and share your stories.Tweet us your pics and be included on our Facebook wall. We will be following the walks around the country and will let you know when the next one is taking place.

Details for the next walk are:

3 August, Durban

Venue: Sunkist Lawns, Durban Beachfront Promenade

Cost of entry: R20 (children under 18), R35 for adults

Entry Points: Pick n Pay Hyper by the Sea, Pick n Pay Umhlanga, Pick n Pay La Lucia Mall and online at Pick n Pay Tickets.

Event pack collection:

Date: 1 and 2 August 2013

Venue: Pick n Pay Hyper by the Sea

Times: 10h00 – 18h00

Proudly sponsored by COSMOPOLITAN.

Mon, 10 Jun 2013 12:00 +0200
Body of the Month: Bridgette Hartley Through personal sacrifice and single-minded training, Joburg-born sprint kayaker, Bridgette, 29, has won two Olympic medals. She shares the crucial lessons she’s learnt…

Pain is necessary – and rest

During a race you’re pushed beyond your pain threshold. It's important to feel pain in training so that when you reach that level in a race you don’t give up. But you also need to respect your body and not overexert yourself. Rest is just as important as training.

Push past your nerves
In the World Championship Games in 2011 I didn’t do very well in the semi-finals, which meant that I didn’t qualify for the ‘A finals’, which was what I needed to qualify [immediately] for the Olympics. I had to then race the ‘B finals’ and was very nervous I wouldn’t make the cut. However, I pulled myself together and ended up finishing in world-record time!

I’ll never give up chocolate!
I’m always conscious of my diet and do my best to eat balanced meals. I’ll be happy with chicken and roast vegetables all week, but don’t ask me to give up chocolate. It’s the one guilty pleasure I don’t see myself ever letting go of.

Aim higher – and then higher
Set yourself goals – they keep you motivated and give you a reason to train. You can start with small, short-term goals like wanting to get fit, then make them bigger … maybe all the way to winning a medal at the Olympics!
Thu, 27 Jun 2013 12:00 +0200
Before You Cancel Your Gym Membership
Your Eating Habits
Exercise, particularly weight training, speeds up your metabolism. When you’re training with weights you’re building lean muscle mass which allows you to move better, making you stronger and fitter.

Your Sex Life
Working out for just 20 minutes can boost your bedroom satisfaction, according to a study published by the University of British Columbia. Researchers discovered a greater sexual response in women participants who exercised.

Your Sleep
Regular workouts mean regular sleep patterns. ‘Exercise offers a potentially attractive alternative or treatment for insomnia and it’s a healthy, safe, inexpensive, and simple means of improving sleep,’ says exercise physiologist, Dr Jarrod Meerkin.

Your Brain
‘As you age, exercise (will make) you more alert,’ says Dr Meerkin. ‘Exercise increases oxygen, circulation and glucose that reach your brain. Your breathing rate and heart rate increase so more blood flows to the brain, enhancing energy production.’

Your Skin
Activity increases sweating, which can have a positive effect on breakouts, says Meerkin. ‘If you are properly hydrating yourself during and after exercise, you will get better blood flow to the skin and this encourages the elimination of toxins.’

Thu, 20 Jun 2013 12:00 +0200
The Seven Minute Workout
1. Jumping Jacks
Keep going till you can feel your heart-rate has risen and you’re feeling slightly out-of-breath.

2. Wall Sit
With your back against a wall, lower your bum till you’re in a seated position. Hold this position till your thighs are on fire. Then, hold it a little bit longer.

3. Push Ups
Your worst? Too bad. But, you can do the ‘girl kind’ where you stay on your knees. Do at least 10.

4. Abdominal Crunch
Lie on your back with your knees bent, and lift just your shoulders off the ground. Do at least 20.

5. Step-up
Find a very sturdy chair, low table or high step and carefully step up onto it. Step down and repeat. Repeat 10 times.

6. Triceps Dip
With your back to a low table or chair, grip onto it with your weight on your arms and lower your body as far down as you can go. Repeat 20 times.

7. Plank
Keeping your tummy and your bum tucked in, lean on your elbows and your feet in the ‘plank’ position. Hold for the count of 20, rest and repeat.

8. High Knee Jog
Run on the spot, lifting your knees as high as you can. Do this for 60 seconds.

9. Lunge
One leg at a time, leg forward, holding the position for the count of 20. Change legs and repeat 10 times.

10. Side Plank
This is the same as the regular plan, but done on the side where you lean your weight on one elbow instead of two. Hold for the count of 20, rest and change sides.

Mon, 27 May 2013 12:00 +0200
ADVERTORIAL: Pick n Pay Women's Walk, East London
You can be part of this excellent project by participating in a Women's Walk near you or donating your smart shopper points to PinkDrive at an in-store kiosk. You'll be joining the fight against a disease many South African women face bravely every day.

Join us as we participate in these walks and share your stories..Tweet us your pics and be included on our Facebook wall. We will be following the walks around the country and will let you know when the next one is taking place.

Details for the next walk are:

Date: 8 June

Venue: Buffalo Park Cricket Stadium, East London

Walk start time: 09h00

Cost of entry: R20 (children under 18), R35 for adults

Entry Points: Pick n Pay Vincent Park, Pick n Pay Hemming Ways, Pick n Pay Beacon Bay.

Book online at Pick n Pay Tickets.

Event pack collection:

Date: 6 and 7 June 2013
Venue: Pick n Pay Vincent Park
Times: 10h00 – 18h00

Proudly sponsored by COSMOPOLITAN.

Fri, 24 May 2013 12:00 +0200
The Winter Friendly Workout
Change your routine
As a rule, you should only alter your normal exercise routine if you’re not getting results, or if you’re getting bored. However, if shorter daylight hours and colder temperatures are impacting on your healthy habits, you may want to try something different, suggests personal trainer, Lisa Brown.

‘Aqua aerobics, indoor rock climbing, an indoor group exercise class, a game of squash with a friend, or an indoor team sport are all good ideas,’ she says. ‘The accountability of training with a friend will provide an incentive to exercise.’ Also, if your budget allows, book weekly sessions with a personal trainer or sign up to a short course, like Pilates or yoga. After all, money spent is a great motivator.

Keep moving
You bounced out of bed for your morning jog in the summer, but how can you find the motivation to get up and moving again when hibernation calls? ‘Treat yourself to some new fitness gear,’ suggests Brown. Adequate outdoor training gear will make exercise more comfortable on cold mornings. ‘Wear three thin layers so you can take them off as you get warmed up,’ says Brown. Try a single top, long-sleeve cotton top and a light waterproof jacket.

If your new kit isn’t enough to get you moving again, rent a treadmill or move your outdoor run or walk into the gym. ‘Make sure you have the treadmill set to a gradient of at least 1.0 so it can mimic the roads outdoors,’ says Brown. ‘The ground outdoors does not move backwards to help you run, does it?’

Be Prepared
Getting off the train two stops early, or walking to the DVD store rather than driving, to boost your incidental exercise isn’t so appealing when there’s a gale begging to turn your umbrella inside out.

So, how can you boost your levels of incidental exercise in colder months? ‘Always take the stairs instead of the lift,’ says Brown. Walking up escalators or taking the stairs in your office is an easy way to increase your activity levels. Also, be prepared. ‘Have a coat, scarf, umbrella with you so you know you can choose to walk from place to place if you really want to,’ adds Brown.

Thu, 13 Jun 2013 12:00 +0200
Get Fit in 10 Minutes
What’s the sense in taking the lift or edging slowly up the stairs and then sweating for an hour on the stairmaster? If you live or work on the top floor, run up those stairs. By the time you get to the top, your heart’s gotten a great workout – not to mention your bum and thighs.
Fri, 24 May 2013 12:00 +0200
Surprising Exercise Benefits Dr Kevin Jardine.

We often think the benefits of exercising end at building muscles and strengthening the heart and lungs, but in fact, physical activity and exercise are one of the best ways to help stimulate brain activity and develop and preserve cognitive function. Physical activity helps stimulate blood flow and sets off a neural cascade of activity, which has now been shown to help grow new brain cells, a process called neurogenesis. Physical activities focusing on skills rather than just raw effort can help reconnect the brain and the body to help accelerate healing and break the cycle of on-going discomfort in the event of injury.

Fri, 10 May 2013 12:00 +0200
ADVERTORIAL: Skechers GO Footwear
The Skechers fitness family has a shoe for every activity and the GO range is all about lightweight flexibility and comfort, allowing your foot to move more naturally.

The GOrun is a minimal running shoe and offers a barefoot experience, while the GOrun Ride is the perfect lightweight option for those who require more comfort and support than in a typical minimal shoe.

The GOtrail takes off-road running to all new heights. Designed with rugged, uneven running surfaces in mind, the outsole is durable and able to handle wear and tear while offering maximum traction control.

When it comes to walking, people wear running shoes because they have limited options. Now there’s a better footwear choice thanks to the success of the Skechers GOwalk. The GOwalk is designed with innovative Skechers Performance technologies and is built from top to bottom specifically for walking.

The Skechers GO range is available at all Skechers retail stores in the following shopping centres: Sandton City (011 783 0132), Cresta (011 431 3077), Eastgate (011 615 4097), East Rand Mall (011 823 1119), Clearwater (011 375 4103), Menlyn (012 348 6617) and Canal Walk (021 551 1391). Alternatively you can contact our head office on 011 630 4000.

Enter our competition and you could win one of five pairs of Skechers footwear.

Wed, 01 May 2013 12:00 +0200
Give Me a C!
For anyone who was bummed about the fact that they couldn't take cheerleading as a sport at school (sigh), take heart - Cheer Strength is a new competitive cheerleading company, and they are dying to teach you a few sexy moves. Over and above being a bundle of fun (and getting to wear those cute outfits), cheerleading provides an awesome cardio workout, increases flexibility, improves posture and strengthens the spine. Cheerleading is soon to become an Olympic sport, and Cheer Strength is dedicated to developing South Africa as a world contender. Its founder, Amanda Bowden, is a coach of National Champion teams, has coached in eight different countries, and is dedicated to making the sport big in SA.

As Amanda explains, there are endless physical benefits of trying cheerleading, not matter what your age and any level. The sport consists of various elements including jumps, tumbling, stunts and dance, all showcased in a physically demanding, and highly entertaining routine. A background in dance or gymnastics helps, but it's not imperative, assures Bowden, and girls and guys can take part. It's a sport that will get you fit, fast. Cheerleading jumps, including toe touches and pikes, improves flexibility, strength and agility, especially in the legs and core body. Tumbling is also required of cheerleaders and consists of the same physical demands of those required of a gymnast.

Because tumbling requires strength in the upper body, abdominals and legs, a large portion of cheerleading training is solely spent on conditioning these parts of the body, improving overall strength and muscle tone and flexibility in the shoulders and lower back. Stunting involves lifting and tossing other people and holding them above the head in elegant and flexible positions. Stunting is a fabulous form of strength training as it works all muscles, especially the arms, shoulders, core abdominals, back and legs. Cheerleading dances have specific motions and movements. They are sharp and very fast-paced requiring great agility to jump, drop and roll elegantly and with ease. Cheerleading dances certainly improves stamina, flexibility, agility, and sense of timing and rhythm.

A lot of movement in cheerleading requires great flexibility and deep stretching is a great workout. Working towards being able to achieve the splits, back bends, toes touches and lifting your leg above your head is an everyday part of cheerleading training. Cheerleaders are not just healthy because of the exercise that it provides, but because they generally lead a healthy lifestyle.

Mon, 15 Apr 2013 12:00 +0200
The Toning Trick Trainers Use Themselves
Exercise physiologist and certified personal trainer, Sal Fichera, explains a simple and effective workout to specifically slim and sculpt your top trouble spots. What makes this lean routine so special is that it targets each problem area from two angles. 'Your muscles are multidimensional, so to sculpt your abs, bum and thighs, you have to attack them from two directions,' says Fichera. Try this two-pronged approach three times a week on non-consecutive days and you should make noticeable progress in one month.

Knee Roll
Lie facedown on a stability ball with your palms on the floor. Walk your arms forward until just your shins are resting on the ball. Exhale and contract your abs, pulling your knees toward your chest. 'This move will slim your entire midsection because your abs and back are working together to keep you stabilised,' says Fichera. Inhale as you slowly extend your legs back to starting position. Rest for 15 seconds, then repeat, working up to five to 10 reps.

Oblique Twist
Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Grab a 1-3kg medicine ball (a dumbbell works too) with both hands and raise it above your left shoulder. Your front elbow should be below your chin. Contract your abs and turn your torso to the right as you bring the ball diagonally across your chest to the outside of your right knee. 'This chopping motion attacks your love handles more effectively than a lot of other oblique exercises,' says Fichera. Inhale as you return to starting position. Do 10 to 20 reps and switch sides.

Mon, 29 Apr 2013 12:00 +0200
Best Quickie Workouts

Unless you're super driven, chances are you slack off wherever you can, which is why a class is the way to go. A good instructor will cram in the best workout in the allocated time, and will push you harder than if you were on your own - as well as yell at you to keep going when you decide you're over it. A high-interval training class is your best bet.

Tue, 19 Mar 2013 12:00 +0200
Blast Your Bum & Thighs
Start with three sets of 20 reps two times per week. Depending on genetics and diet, you should see a difference within weeks.

1. Lie on your back with your arms straight at your sides, palms flat on the floor, and heels on top of a stability ball.

2. Press your heels into the ball, then tighten your core and bum muscles. Slowly raise your hips, and draw your heels - and the ball - toward you as far as you can. Pause, then roll the ball back by straightening your legs; your hips will naturally lower back down. Repeat.

Tue, 05 Mar 2013 12:00 +0200
The Shortest Workout In The World

This can be done on the treadmill, stationary bike or stair master. It's great for building fitness, increasing cardiovascular health and burns loads of calories in a short amount of time.

What To Do:
Warm up for 10 minutes.
Run, bike or climb for two minutes at 90% of your maximum heart-rate.
Take two minutes active recovery where you keep moving, but at a slow pace.
Repeat for twenty minutes.
Cool down for 10 minutes.

Tue, 19 Feb 2013 12:00 +0200
The Sexy Abs Workout
Start by doing the entire sequence once, then work up to three sets as you get stronger. Stick to this 'belly boot camp' and you'll actually look forward to walking around in your bikini!

1. Start in a push-up position, and contract your abs.
2. Bend your left leg, and bring your left knee up under your stomach and toward your right shoulder. Then return to starting position, and switch sides. Repeat 20 times.

Fri, 08 Feb 2013 12:00 +0200
Bribe Yourself Fit

Your goal: To get off the couch.

Your carrot: If you're stuck on the couch, your workout gear will be stuck back in the '90s. Splash out on new shower gel, sexy undies or new running shoes - anything that signals 'fitness'.

Your plan: Do a 30-minute walk three times a week followed by a victory dance. 'You're now a lightly active person,' says fitness expert Joanna Hall. 'Walking will increase energy levels, tone muscle and help weight loss.'

Mon, 28 Jan 2013 12:00 +0200
Tone Your Lower Body

Stand with your feet together, knees slightly bent, hands on hips. Lunge to the right side with your right leg, putting your weight on your inner thighs. Shift your weight to your left leg as you return to starting position. Repeat on the other side.

Max The Move: Add resistance by holding 1kg weights.

Fri, 11 Jan 2013 12:00 +0200
20 Fitness Facts You Need To Know
1. You burn more calories during the 23 hours you don't exercise than the one hour you do.

2. You can't target fat loss - where you lose weight is determined by your genes.

3. Muscle does not weigh more than fat - it's just denser.

4. There's a high correlation between your fitness level and those of the people close to you.

5. The perimeter of the supermarket is where 90% of the healthy food is.

6. You can lose fat but still gain weight, according to the scale.

7. Being thin doesn't automatically mean you have low body fat.

8. Whole-wheat bread is still a processed food.

9. You don't have to do cardio in order to lose weight.

10. 0% fat does not mean there is no fat in the food.

11. You can't calculate body fat percentage from height and weight alone.

12. Lifting weights does not create bulk (to grow muscles you have to lift extremely heavy weights and follow a strict, high-protein diet).

13. You can eat anything you want and still lose weight - it's all about your total calorie intake.

14. Only 20% of people who start an exercise programme stick to it.

15. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn.

16. Fat cells can only be created; never lost (your only option is to shrink them).

17. Eating at night does not make you fat - only overeating does.

18. If you have junk food in the house you're going to eat it.

19. Losing weight is not a physical challenge, it's a mental one.

20. The key to long-term weight loss does not lie in diets or fads, but consistency and hard work.

Thu, 08 Nov 2012 12:00 +0200
Yoga Tricks That Help You Climax Journal of Sexual Medicine. Here, three yoga moves to steal for ultimate satisfaction in bed.

Take any yoga class and the teacher will say to 'focus on your breath.' Inhaling and exhaling seem basic, and yet many of us breathe unevenly. 'The steadier your breath, the better your body can relax,' says yoga instructor Garvey Rich, co-author of Better Sex Through Yoga (Broadway).

Zen stuff aside, using this technique will make it easier to orgasm. One reason women fail to climax is that they tense up and hold their breath, says yoga instructor, Jeanmarie Paolillo. Yoga-style breathing not only prevents tension from short-circuiting your orgasm, but it also delivers oxygen down there, making it easier for you to go over the edge. All you have to do, says Rich, is inhale and exhale evenly - try two seconds in, two seconds out - as you feel yourself starting to reach your peak. This is key, since a shallow breath increases anxiety, which causes unsteady breathing, creating an orgasm-killing cycle that makes it damn near impossible to let go.

Thu, 25 Oct 2012 12:00 +0200
Fierce Fitness
'Fierce' incorporates a wide range of movements, using African dance as its base. As Teva explains, 'The reason for this is threefold – a) African dance uses fairly natural body movements which mimic everyday activities, making them accessible for most people; b) African dance is 'one' with the music – the rhythm drives the dance – and therefore uses quite a bit of repetition (again, this makes it easy for people to learn the steps and to get a workout as they keep moving), and c) African dance is a communal activity where everyone participates – and I believe we need more of that!'

As Karen Broekhuizen, who teaches 'Fierce' at Virgin Active, explains, 'The idea is to get into the "fierce mode" and just feel the energy we have all around us all the time. We live in a special place, and have grown up with a huge amount of cultural diversity amongst people who have an innate rhythm and style. We see people dancing for every occasion in their lives, so what better way to celebrate our cultural heritage than in exercise form?'

In a 'Fierce' class there are moments of working in a circle or dancing together to create that feeling of community instead of everyone being isolated and separate. In the first version of 'Fierce' (the one that is currently in the clubs), there are warrior-inspired dances that use intimidating movements, high kicks and stamps; there is a 'women's' dance that uses more feminine movements; a Pantsula-inspired dance (street dance) and even a "safari" experience and tribal circle.

For more information about 'Fierce' classes at Virgin Active, click here.

Mon, 08 Oct 2012 12:00 +0200
Fitness Fibs

Yes, as a rule, breakfast is an important meal. But, eating a bacon butty before you do a spinning class will weigh you down and make you feel ill. If you wake up hungry, have some fruit and a few handfuls of nuts and seeds before you head to the gym. It will be much easier on your body to work out on a relatively empty stomach. Leave the heavy food for later.

Mon, 01 Oct 2012 12:00 +0200
Your Exercise Excuses Debunked

Really. Funny how finding time to meet your besties for cocktails/shopping for date shoes/getting a blow-wave isn't a problem. 'A big psychological impediment to working out is the idea that it takes hours, but it doesn't have to be that way,' says Jodi McLeod, personal trainer. 'You can make a big difference to your overall fitness levels by slotting in just 20 minutes of exercise three times a week.' And everybody can manage that. 'When you get home from work, instead of flopping down and going straight into sloth mode, pull on a pair of tackies and go out for a brisk walk. Not only will it get your heart-rate up and burn calories, you'll breathe fresh air, take in the sights and sounds of the street and walk off the stresses of the day.' Just make sure you head out in daylight hours, and in well-populated areas.

Wed, 19 Sep 2012 12:00 +0200
Get a Beach Body Fast
Before You Begin The Plan:

You'll need to get: A fitness ball and a pair of 3kg and 4kg dumb-bells (or two two-litre bottles of water if you don't have the kit).
Warm up well: Make sure you jog and stretch for five minutes, both before and after your exercise session.

A month is plenty of time to get in shape, says personal trainer Joe Fournier, author of The Red Carpet Workout (Headline Book Publishing) 'If I'm working on a film set, I rarely have longer to tone up the stars. Your muscles react well to exercise if you're consistent, so keep it up through the month.'

The Oscar Arms Workout
'Arms are susceptible to "skinny fat", so even slender celebs have batwing moments,' says Fournier. 'The trick is to work all three muscle groups - biceps, triceps and deltoids.' How often? Do three sets of 12 repetitions, four days a week, for each of the following:

• Bicep Curl: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent and arms at your sides, holding 4kg dumb-bells, with palms facing forwards and elbows straight. Curl your arms up towards your shoulders, keeping your back straight. Slowly lower your arms to your sides.

• Tricep Dip:
Sit on the floor with your back to a chair. Rest your hands behind you on the chair, with your fingers pointing forwards. Lift your buttocks off the ground and straighten your legs so only your heels are touching the floor. Bend your elbows to lower your buttocks towards the floor. Push back up until your elbows are straight.

• Deltoid Lift:
Stand with your arms resting at your sides, holding 3kg dumbbells. Bend your torso forwards, keeping your back straight and your arms hanging in front of you. Raise both arms outwards to shoulder height. Lower both arms and repeat the lift.

Mon, 10 Sep 2012 12:00 +0200
Loosen Up!
In a paper published in the American Journal of Physiology, researchers discovered that a lack of flexibility might increase stiffness in the coronary arteries, a condition that precedes coronary heart disease. In the study, 526 slim, healthy adults' ability to reach their toes from a seated position was measured against their degree of arterial stiffness. While the younger group showed no correlation, amongst the middle-aged participants, the least flexible all had the stiffest blood vessels and were more likely to have higher blood pressure.

Lengthen To Strengthen
It was also found that middle-aged and older people who started a stretch exercise class could increase the flexibility of their carotids, the major artery found in the neck. Stiff carotid arteries increase the risk of a stroke. But don't wait until you're middle-aged: 'With every year of age the body gets stiffer and less flexible,' explains Dr Per Rehn, Cape Town chiropractor who was on the Swedish medical team at the London Olympics. 'Our bodies were designed to move, but most of us spend the whole day sitting behind a desk, and as we get older our posture becomes more and more slouched. When you remain limber and flexible through stretching, the mechanics of the body improve - your joints fair better, oxygen intake increases and blood flow through the entire body is optimised.'

Says Pinheiro, 'Observe a baby in movement, twisting, curling and uncurling with completely loose limbs. When that baby starts sitting, her spine is effortlessly and completely upright. Now compare that with an older person, shuffling along, unable to straighten the spine, and without any sense of stability and strength in the muscular-skeletal system. You need to ask yourself how you would you like to age - nimble, balanced, strong and agile or cramped, inflexible, tense and stuck? If you want your energy to move freely, your skeleton to retain its postural integrity and your muscles to gain and retain their strength, it's imperative to stretch.'

How To Stretch
Yoga and Pilates both provide excellent stretching and strengthening exercises, so try to factor at least one class in per week. If this isn't your 'thing,' you can achieve good results by doing a few simple stretches by yourself, either after you finish a cardio session, first thing in the morning to 'wake' your body up or in the evening after you get home from work to help you relax and unwind.

Dr Rehn suggests the following five simple stretches to do every day:

Stand with your legs hip distance apart and your hands linked, arms stretched out in front of you. Bring your arms up, hands still linked, above your head. With your arms straight above your head, lean back as far as you can. Hold for the count of five. Repeat five times.

Fri, 31 Aug 2012 12:00 +0200
Fitness Myths

The biggest psychological obstacle to working out is the thought that you have to stay on that treadmill/elliptical machine/stair-master forever, but in fact short, intense interval training sessions can improve fat oxidation by 36%, says Cape Town fitness instructor Shelley Pienaar. 'You might feel like you're loafing, but actually when you take frequent breaks between intense bouts of exercise, you burn more calories overall. And, by having a rest, you make sure you maintain the stamina to push yourself to the max.'

Fri, 10 Aug 2012 12:00 +0200
Tighten Your Abs, Bum and Thighs

Works: Biceps, shoulders

Step #1: Standing with your feet about five centimetres apart, step on one end of a resistance band with both feet. Grab the handle of the other end with your right hand, and let your arm rest by your side, palm facing out. Using your bicep muscle, lift the band up until your palm reaches your shoulder.

Step #2: Move your arm out to the side (so it makes an L shape), and then press your arm up towards the ceiling. Do 15 reps; switch arms and repeat.

Works: Triceps
Start with your arm extended straight above your head. Bend your elbow until your fist is almost touching the back of your shoulder; push back up. Do 15 reps, then switch arms and repeat.

Tue, 03 Jul 2012 12:00 +0200
The Ultimate Sexy-Ass Workout Au contraire - it's all in making the right moves, and we've snagged the best ones, courtesy of celebrity trainer, David Kirsch. He's the author of David Kirsch's Butt Book and the man behind Heidi Klum's iconic lower half, as well as training other super-fit celebs like Anne Hathaway and Liv Tyler. Kirsch created a workout that's all gain with less pain: There's not a lunge or a dumbbell in the bunch. 'These moves use your body weight, so you'll look lean, not bulky,' says Kirsch. Do them three times a week and you'll start to see results in about 14 days.

1. Stand with your legs apart so your heels line up under your shoulders and your feet are angled out slightly. Put your hands behind your head, and stick out your bum.

2. Bend your legs so your thighs are parallel to the floor (your knees shouldn't go past your toes), and lift your heels. Hold for a few seconds. Tucking in your abs will help you balance. As you rise back up, squeeze your glutes until you reach the top. Do 15 reps.

Fri, 22 Jun 2012 12:00 +0200
Come Back From An Exercise Break

So, how can you get back on the horse - or bike, or treadmill, as the case may be? You simply have to pull on your tights and get that first workout out of the way. 'Once you take that first step, you'll remember all the benefits exercise brings,' says Brown.

Then use the afterglow of exercise-induced energy and endorphins to build momentum and re-establish your routine by upping your workouts to two or three times a week.

Mon, 28 May 2012 12:00 +0200
Dance Off Your Cuddly Bits

Squats are so 2011. Instead, combine classes like jazz, funk and tap at least twice a week for a pert derriere and legs that stretch for days.

‘Jazz and funk are fantastic for toning the lower body,’ says celebrity choreographer Adam Williams from So You Think You Can Dance. ‘The bent knee or "plié" action is a great workout for the quads.’ Short on time? If one class is all you can squeeze in, make it a JFH class. ‘JFH is a combination of jazz, funk and hip-hop. It borrows techniques from jazz, some groove from funk, and the locking and popping we love from hip-hop,’ adds Williams. Find a class with a long and intense warm-up, as holding a series of stretches can strengthen, tone and lengthen the muscles, resulting in long, slender pins.

Fri, 04 May 2012 12:00 +0200
Pole Fitness
1. How long has pole-dancing been a sport in SA, and where did it first originate?
A form of pole dance for fitness started in 2006 in SA, but since its first launch, the sport has developed a great deal. The original 'pole dance classes' had a focus on sensual dance solely for women. However, it has now become an exercise class with a focus on cardio fitness and building muscular strength and endurance. The vertical pole is used to perform body weight exercises such as lifts, climbs, pull ups and spins. Some link Pole Fitness to 'Chinese Pole', as seen in circus arts, while other people have established similarities between pole fitness and 'Pole Mallakhamb', a traditional Indian form of gymnastics performed on a vertical wooden pole. The Maypole is another possible origin of pole fitness, with dancing around the Maypole being an ancient pagan ritual.

2. Why has it become popular as a sport, and what do people enjoy about it?
Pole Fitness classes today are participated in by women as well as men who enjoy its numerous fitness benefits and find it a fun way to exercise. It is a challenging and enjoyable way to build strength and improve fitness levels, and in the creation of routines and sequences, participants not only improve stamina levels, they also get a great sense of achievement.

3. Pole dancing always been considered something a bit sleazy - has its image changed?
The image of pole dancing, or pole fitness, has changed a lot in South Africa. People are starting to recognise it as a fitness regime, and due to the publicity it receives are now starting to understand what it is about.

4. In terms of strengthening/toning the body, which target areas is it especially good for?
Although you can get a full body workout in the pole fitness class, the most rapid results are seen in the arms, upper body and core. People have reported having better muscle tone in their arms during the first six weeks of attending two-three classes per week.

5. Can anyone do it, or does it require a background in dancing/gymnastics?
No background required! Beginners will start at a beginner level in pole fitness. Through pole fitness strengthening exercises and routines, people build strength and great coordination.

6. If someone wanted to learn pole-dancing in SA, where would they go?
They should look at and find our directory of reputable pole fitness studios in SA.

Mon, 12 Mar 2012 12:00 +0200
Hot-Body Basics
Arm/Butt Blaster Start in backward lunge, right leg behind, left leg in front. Hold 1.4kg weights at shoulder level. Raise your arms as you press through your left heel to stand. Lower arms and legs back to starting position. Do 15 times; switch sides.

Max The Move: Put your back foot on a step to stretch your front leg.
Knee Touch
Total-Body Squat

Wed, 15 Feb 2012 12:00 +0200
Zap Saddlebags
Side Lunge Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed forward, knees slightly bent, and your hands on your hips. Keeping your right leg in position, bend your left knee and lunge to your left side, making sure your knee doesn't extend past your ankle. Hold for a two-second count. Push off of your left leg to step back into starting position. Switch sides and repeat.
Hip Extension
The Pendulum

Mon, 23 Jan 2012 12:00 +0200
Cardio Fibs
Cardio Fib #1: Calorie Counters On Machines are Accurate Real Deal: Most machines overestimate your output by up to 20% because they rely on an equation to calculate calories burned, which doesn't take into account your muscle mass or your form.
Cardio Fib #2: You Have To Work Out For 30 Minutes To Burn Fat
Cardio Fib #3: Activity In The Morning Helps You Burn Calories In The Day

Fri, 06 Jan 2012 12:00 +0200
False Fitness Facts Lisa Raleigh.

Myth: Weight Training Bulks You Up BUSTED: Muscles require fuel to operate, so the more lean muscle you have, the more calories you will burn throughout the day. Whilst cardio burns calories throughout the session, strength training will build more lean muscle, therefore burning calories even when your muscles are relaxed. We naturally lose muscle mass as we age, causing our metabolisms to slow down, with weight gain being the result. Strength training is crucial to maintaining and building the muscle mass we need to keep our metabolisms up to speed and manage our weight.
Myth: Muscle Turns To Fat If You Stop Exercising
Myth: You Can't Be Fit AND Fat
Myth: If You're Not Working Up a Sweat, You're Not Working Hard Enough
Myth: A Steady Routine Gives The Best Results
Myth: Low Intensity and High Reps Still Qualify as Strength Training
Myth: Isolated Training Of Your Problem Area Will Get Results

Thu, 08 Dec 2011 12:00 +0200
Take a Break this-into-a-bikini panic, gyms and fitness centres are packed with people eager to shed the results of a long, lazy winter. And while embarking on an exercise regime is almost always a good thing, in our enthusiasm to look like Candice like, yesterday, sometimes good judgement goes out of the window. When it comes to working out you need to listen to your body, and always apply a big, fat dose of common sense. Here's when you're officially better off on the couch.

When You're Sick No matter what you heard some overenthusiastic fitness instructor once say, working out when you're sick is always a bad idea. 'When you're ill your immune system is working hard to make you well again,' says fitness and yoga instructor, Nicola Meldrum. 'Instead of expending extra energy on exercising, use this time to rest and let your immune system do its job. Even if it's just a cold you're nursing, working out puts strain on your heart. There is a reason why, when you're ill, all you want to do is snuggle up under your duvet and sleep - your body is telling you that it needs to conserve energy.' Worried about deviating from your exercise regime? Working out when you're sick will prolong your illness and cost you even more gym time.
If You Have an Injury
When You're Hungover
If You're Feeling Mentally Exhausted
When You Haven't Fully Recuperated

Wed, 23 Nov 2011 12:00 +0200
Tighten Up With Taekwondo
This is the sport for girls who are willing to play with the boys. Being a rough-and-tumble sport it comes with major physical benefits, and yes, the occasional stumble. Luckily, COSMO girls are tough and we know you can handle it…

This is a tiring and sweaty business which quickly gets your heart rate going. That means you are welcome to splurge on that chocolate fondant (bonus!). 'Taekwondo gives you a full body workout as all the muscle groups are activated - the core, lower body and even upper body. It is truly a great sport for women to try, so don't be scared to give it a go,' says Taekwondo lover, Svenja Lach.

Fellow classmate, Hanlie Myburgh, agrees: 'I've never been much of an exercise fan, so a class that determines the intensity of my exercise routine appealed to me. Taekwondo really gives you great cardio and toning. We also do blocks, strikes, and self-defence techniques which are helpful for everyday safety.'

It provides your body with great flexibility, strength, speed and power. You can expect increased fitness levels (push-ups, sit-ups, etc.) combined with a lot of kicking and punching and some thorough stretching. Due to the nature of the training (which features a lot of calisthenics and striking), you'll also build greater endurance, stamina, agility and balance.

Over and above becoming physically fit, it also gives you mental strength. Taekwondo enhances your coordination and discipline, teaches you to think calmly under pressure and, most importantly, gives you confidence.

But be careful: This sport is not for sissies, so be careful at all times. Some students suffer from torn hamstrings, deep bruises and sprained toes. The important thing to remember is to always concentrate on every move you make in order to avoid being injured.

Visit for more information on where you can train.

Fri, 18 Nov 2011 12:00 +0200
Anywhere, Anytime The Biggest Loser SA trainer and author, Lisa Raleigh, gives you easy-to-do-anywhere workouts.

1. Always incorporate a brisk 10-minute walk into your day: Walking more is the easiest way to burn more calories. Park further away from shopping mall entrances, walk to nearby destinations rather than driving, and visit colleague's offices to talk face-to-face instead of simply e-mailing them.

2. Move while you wait: If you had to add up all the time you spend waiting in a day you'll be surprised by how much down-time you'd total - so use that time to move. Perform a few side-kicks while you wait for the kettle to boil, squeeze your abs while waiting for your e-mails to download or practice a few squats while on the phone with friends.

3. And the clock strikes 10: When the clock strikes a new hour, that's your cue to move. Get up from your desk and do 10 push-ups, 10 dips, and one minute of ab crunches. Practising this just five times a day will help you accumulate an easy 10 minutes of exercise.

4. Take the stairs: This may seem like a common suggestion, but do you practice it? Make it a habit to always use the stairs in favour of escalators and lifts. Just 10 minutes of stair-climbing can burn up to 80 calories - that's a slice of bread.

5. Step it up: Get a pedometer and track how many steps you take each day. This is a great motivator to squeeze in a few extra steps when you wouldn't normally.

6. Train in front of the TV: Series time doesn't mean you have to sit still. Use the time to train.

Here are some great at-home exercises to practise for a full workout.

Push-Ups Keep your body straight and elbows tucked in as you dip. 15 reps, 3 sets.
Tricep Dips
Ballet Squats
Travelling Lunges
Side Abs

Looking for fitness equipment? Click here.

Fri, 07 Oct 2011 12:00 +0200
Tone Your Tummy 6 Weeks to a Hollywood Body (Wiley), will help you whittle your middle into sexy shape. For best results, do three sets of 20 repetitions every other day. To really optimise this routine, don't rest for more than 30 seconds between each set.

ALTERNATING CRUNCH Lie flat on your back with your arms extended overhead, legs straight. Contract your abs and, in one move, lift your right leg and left arm straight up and stretch your left hand as far as you can toward your right foot. Return to starting position and switch sides.

MAX THE MOVE: Hold a one-kilogram weight in each hand for more resistance.

Thu, 22 Sep 2011 12:00 +0200
Free Training From Planet Fitness *ADVERTORIAL*

Get your body in shape for summer with two weeks of free training at your nearest Planet Fitness. Plus you'll receive free training vouchers giving you a personal training session, a tanning session and much more, all valued at R1350.

Click here to take up the two weeks free training offer now and to see what vouchers you qualify for. A consultant will contact you to arrange for collection of your vouchers.

When you like what you see, you can join for just R1, saving you R899, and we'll give you a free gym bag worth R400. Hurry as this offer ends on 31 October 2011!
Terms & Conditions apply.

Thu, 15 Sep 2011 12:00 +0200
What Can I Do To Tone My...
Wobbly Arms At Home: Tricep Extensions
'Fill a two-litre drink bottle with sand or water - this serves as the weight. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and, holding the bottle above your head firmly with both hands, slowly push the weight towards the ceiling, and then down until it almost touches your forehead,' says Cole. Do three sets of 10 reps.

At The Gym: Bicep Curls
'If you're a beginner, grab a pair of 2.5kg dumbbells, or load up a bar with 2.5kg weights at each end,' says Cole. 'Standing with one foot in front of the other and your hands at your sides, lift the dumbbells towards your chest and then lower back down.' Try two to three sets of 15-20 reps.
The Bottom Half
The Muffin Top

Tue, 26 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
Belly Blasters
Toe Touch Lie flat with your legs straight up, perpendicular to your body, keeping your knees slightly bent. Extend your arms toward the ceiling. Contract your abs and curl your shoulders up off the floor, reaching your fingertips toward your toes. Lift as high as you can and concentrate on feeling your ab muscles do the work. Hold for one second, then lower back to the starting position. Rest for 10 seconds, then repeat.
Lower-Ab Lift
Side Sit-Up

Wed, 20 Jul 2011 12:00 +0200
Get First Lady Fit
The identity of Michelle Obama's trainer is a well-guarded secret. So, we asked Ramona Braganza, who trains celebs like Halle Berry, to put together this fine-tuned workout. She says the trick to building triceps, biceps, and shoulders as lean and balanced as Michelle's is to combine cardio and strength training - Michelle has said she lifts weights and runs regularly. You'll need to work each of the muscles separately and finish by engaging all three at once. Our workout does that in just 15 minutes, three times a week. Do 20 reps of each move, using 2.3- to 3.6-kilogram weights, and begin and end with three minutes of cardio.

ONE-LEG LATERAL RAISE: For strapless-worthy shoulders Start by bending your right knee at a 90-degree angle and raising it to hip height; tightening your abs will help you balance. Then, lift both arms out to your sides, elbows slightly bent, until they're parallel to the floor. Pause, and lower the weights. That's one rep. Complete 10 with your right knee raised, then 10 with your left.
LUNGING CURL: To score supercut biceps
OVERHEAD EXTENSION: To tighten tricep jiggle
TOTAL-ARM KNOCKOUT: To get definition without bulk

Wed, 29 Jun 2011 12:00 +0200
Luscious Legs One on One With Tony Little: A Complete 28-Day Body Sculpting and Weight Loss Program (Perigee Trade). The key: Use slow, controlled movements and squeeze your butt and thigh muscles on the return. Do them three times a week and you should see results in a month.

Wide-Stance Squats Stand with your feet slightly farther than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed forward. Hold a one- to two-kilogram dumbbell on each shoulder. Keeping your back straight, abs contracted, and eyes forward, slowly squat until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. (Make sure your knees don't extend past your toes.) Hold for a two-second count, then return to the starting position. Do two sets of 10 to 12 reps.
Split Lunges
Leg Curls

Fri, 27 May 2011 12:00 +0200
Aerial Yoga
Thanks to two committed Jo'burg-based yogis, Carly Bowden, (certified Pilates, yoga and Unnata aerial yoga teacher) and Julie Swart (certified pole, yoga and Unnata aerial yoga teacher), who travelled to New York in 2010 to be trained as Aerial Yoga teachers, South Africans can now benefit from this fun, unique take on an ancient tradition.

As Bowden explains, 'The fabric sling has long been a tool used in yoga for a static inverted pose which focuses on decompression of the spine, but it is only recently that whole classes have been focused around the use of this tool.' Says Bowden, 'Aerial Yoga poses offer the same benefits as their traditional counterparts, but when done in the hammock, the poses feel different as we have changed the effect gravity has on the body, from gravity pushing downward on the body in traditional floor poses, to gravity now pulling one part of the body towards the floor while another part is being held by the fabric. This "pulling apart" results in a feeling of length and strength throughout the body. For many, the most recognisable difference is the lack of compression felt in the lower back during back-bends.'

The aerial yoga hammock offers poses to the student that may not otherwise be within her reach. Aerial yoga develops upper body strength, allows deeper stretches without strain to the lower back, it forces the core muscles to work, poses can be held for longer and inversions can be done without neck or spine compression. Says Bowden, 'There are very few of us who can hold a handstand for minutes at a time, and even fewer who can achieve challenging poses such as Scorpion, but with the aid of the hammock, these now become available to any level of fitness and flexibility. These poses can now be held longer and with the correct alignment, building confidence that may bring the student closer to perfecting these challenging poses on the floor.'

Aerial yoga aims to stay true to the traditional yogic principles of connecting the right and left sides of the body and bringing the body into union with the mind. As Michelle Dortignac, describes it, 'I always relate hammock work to a vitamin supplement, I wouldn't want to live off it, but it really helps push you further, faster.'

For more information about aerial yoga, visit

Thu, 09 Jun 2011 12:00 +0200
Change-Your-Shape Secrets
If You Think: I Can Only Run For 20 Minutes The PT Secret: Stay on the treadmill for 30 minutes by breaking up your normal run with 10 minutes of walking (try four minutes running, then two minutes walking). Once you've broken through the mental barrier of staying on the treadmill, start reducing the time spent walking. Soon you'll be running for 30 minutes straight.
If You Think: I Get Bored After 20 Lengths Of The Swimming Pool
If You Think: Exercising Any Harder Is Going To Be Painful and Sweaty
If You Think: I Have No Upper Body Strength

Thu, 05 May 2011 12:00 +0200
Fitness Food Mistakes
Fitness Food Mistake #1: Not Eating Before a Workout Without food to fuel it, your body will steal energy from the sugar that's stored in muscle tissue. When that's used up, it's more difficult to build muscle and train as intensely as you need to.

Food Fix

Eat a combination of protein and carbohydrates (a slice of whole-wheat toast and low-fat cheese) half an hour pre-gym. Pressed for time? At least grab a banana.
Fitness Food Mistake #2: Not Eating Post-Workout
Fitness Food Mistake #3: Pigging Out On Healthy Food
Fitness Food Mistake #4: Living On Power Bars

Fri, 29 Apr 2011 12:00 +0200
Feel-Good Fix #1: For Optimism Leave the negative mental loops in the change room and concentrate on your body instead. When the negative thoughts come back, shake your head and say 'no' to doubt, fear and dissatisfaction. (An internal shake will do if you're in public.) Say, 'I'm going to see good things in what I do today. I can do it.'
Feel-Good Fix #2: For Strength
Feel-Good Fix #3: For Courage

Mon, 04 Apr 2011 12:00 +0200
The S.M.A.R.T. Girl's Workout
Bin The S.I.L.L.Y. Goals Superhuman: Adopting your favourite A-lister's fanatical exercise and diet habits is worthy but overambitious. Aim for something you can achieve.

Impractical: Swimming may be your favourite exercise but if the pool is miles away, it's not practical. 'Do exercise that fits easily into your life,' says Williams.

Lonely: You'll struggle to keep on track it you work out alone, so hook up with a workout buddy. 'Companionship and competition help you work harder,' says Williams.

Learning-Free: If you do what you've always done, you'll look the way you always have. So try something new. 'Read about fitness - new info will help you move on,' says Williams.

Years and Years: 'It might take you two years to reach your ultimate body goal, but think that far ahead and you'll never keep on track,' says Williams.
Bring on the S.M.A.R.T. Goals

Wed, 30 Mar 2011 12:00 +0200
Fitness Mistakes
Fitness Mistake #1: Afraid To Try Weights? A balanced workout consists of cardio and weights training. 'The more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, and the easier it is to keep your weight stable,' says Cawte.

To get started, Cawte suggests trying a pump class to learn the basics, or incorporate a full-body weights routine into your session and ask for help if you need it.
Fitness Mistake #2: Sticking With The Same Programme
Fitness Mistake #3: You Don't Know Why You're Exercising
Fitness Mistake #4: Not Activating The Core
Fitness Mistake #5: Not Pushing Yourself
Fitness Mistake #6: Losing Momentum
Fitness Mistake #7: The Barter Theory

Tue, 15 Mar 2011 12:00 +0200
Trim Your Gym Time
Sexy Shortcut #1: Be Intense Inject fast 'sprints' into runs, swims and cycles.

'Try 30 seconds on (sprint) and two minutes off (gentler pace) if you're unfit; one minute on and 30 seconds off if you're fit,' Hodgkin says.
Sexy Shortcut #2: Get Pha-bulous
Sexy Shortcut #3: Add It Up
Sexy Shortcut #4: Use a Rower

Fri, 11 Mar 2011 12:00 +0200
Running Vs. Walking
For Weight Loss 'You can lose weight whether you walk or run,' says exercise physiologist Jonathan Cawte. Any cardio exercise will improve your body's efficiency.

For optimum fitness. Cawte suggests three 45-minute runs per week, at 75% of your maximum heart rate (to find yours, subtract your age from 220 beats per minute). Exercising at your 'fat-burning pace' (50% of your maximum heart rate) will burn more fat than carbs, but working out at a higher intensity will burn more fuel as a whole.

'If you're overweight, or are easing into exercise, walking is the best thing you can do. It'll get your heart rate up which helps to burn fat,' says Cawte. Aim for five 45-minute walks a week. The bad news: 'lf you're generally fit, walking will do very little unless you're power-walking,' says Cawte. For most, walking will help to maintain your fitness, rather than shed kilos.
For General Health
For The Joints
For Sustainability

Tue, 08 Mar 2011 12:00 +0200
Ballet Beautiful Ballet Beautiful in the US. We spoke to her about Natalie's training, the benefits of ballet as a form of exercise and how you can master these moves at home.

Ballet is a terrific form of exercise for women, says Bowers. 'Specific "ballet muscles" are targeted to help you develop a long, toned body shape and excellent posture. My method focuses on the muscle groups used by ballerinas in daily training – the inner thighs and backs of the legs, the butt, abs, shoulders, back and upper body.'

Principal dancer for The South African Ballet Theatre, Burnise Silvuis agrees. 'Unlike gym, where one works parts of the body at a given time, classical ballet focuses on expression throughout the body. Aside from the benefits of encouraging musicality, focus, coordination, teamwork and improved memory, ballet strengthens the core and back while elongating the leg muscles.'


It seems Silvuis and Natalie Portman have something in common: not only did they both start their dancing careers at the tender age of four, but both understand the necessity of daily classes in perfecting your training as a ballet dancer. 'When I am in my compulsory daily class, our exercises are structured to slowly warm up the body, which is imperative if I am to get through a strenuous day of rehearsals. The daily class is about centring my weight and preparing for the long day ahead.'

The days are indeed long and the training, incredibly intensive. 'The programme that I put together for Natalie for Black Swan was quite comprehensive,' says Bowers. To ensure her body was strong and sculpted, she explains, Natalie was required to attend ballet classes six days a week, beginning with two hours of training per day and moving on to over five hours per day six months before production of the film began. On top of that, she was required to do point work, choreography and swim approximately two kilometres a day for cross training.


It becomes very clear when you watch Black Swan how challenging ballet can be, and if you decide to start you need to be 100% committed in order to fully benefit from your training. For Natalie's demanding role, says Bowers, the training was very intensive. 'We began training together for a full year before the film went into production. Natalie was working on other films at the time, clocking in 12-hour days on set and training early in the morning and late in the evening with me to prepare. It was remarkable! Natalie has an unbelievable work ethic and was fully committed to her training and preparation for the film.'

Commitment doesn't only relate to your training but to your diet too. 'Having a healthy balanced diet is an important part of any exercise programme,' says Bowers. She recommends drinking lots of water, eating wholegrain carbohydrates for energy, lean proteins and good fats such as nuts and avocados, as well as lots of fruit and vegetables.

Silvuis agrees and feels she naturally craves healthy food. 'A professional ballet dancer has to ensure she is 'equipped' to do her job and this means giving your body sufficient fuel to get through a three-act ballet night after night. 'It is my job to entertain the audience and make the choreography look as effortless as possible; if I am not properly hydrated or energised the steps become even more challenging and laborious.'


While the above might sound super-challenging, don't worry. Between Mary Helen Bowers and Burnise Silvuis, you'll have no problem mastering integral ballet moves at home.

'It only takes an hour, three days a week to see a big difference in the way you look and feel,' says Bowers. Here are a few steps from the Ballet Beautiful method that any COSMO girl can master:

>>Next: Stretching

Tue, 01 Mar 2011 12:00 +0200
Upper Body Blaster
Biceps Curl Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your weight evenly centred between toes and heels. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, with your arms at your sides and palms facing forward. Exhale and slowly bend your elbows, curling the weights up to your shoulders. Be sure to keep your elbows close by your sides and your shoulders relaxed. Hold for one second, then slowly return to starting position.
Shoulder Crank
Traps Contraction

Thu, 27 Jan 2011 12:00 +0200
Party-Girl Workout
Do 15 reps of each exercise, and move quickly onto the next. 'That way you're getting a cardio workout as well as toning. Fit people will do three sets in half an hour, beginners one or two.' First, grasp two small water bottles as weights.

1. SQUATS WITH SHOULDER PRESS Stand, feet shoulder distance apart, toes out, holding bottles at shoulder height with arms bent. Squat down, sticking your bum out, and straighten arms up to the ceiling. Return to start.

Wed, 08 Dec 2010 12:00 +0200
Your Outdoor Workout
Even celebrities - who have all the new fitness gismos, personal gyms and trainers at their disposal - are choosing to get trim al fresco. Gwen Stefani, Halle Berry and Jennifer Aniston pound the ground in early-morning runs, Cameron Diaz plays golf and surfs, while Madonna rides horses. So spare yourself the gym fees and join the free outdoor- workout club. Here are some reasons why you'd want to.

BONUS #1: You Lose More Weight If you run outside, you burn more calories. Why? The ground is equivalent to a 1% incline on the treadmill because of the earth's natural curve. And there are more uneven surfaces, activating more muscles and strengthening core muscles in the abdomen that boost energy-burning.

Sienna Miller's trainer, Charlie Cannon, says that moving outside can get you out of a gym rut, too. (Let's face it: how many us of have been doing the same old workout the personal trainer showed us in the free introductory session?) 'It's very easy to get stuck running at the same speed for the same amount of time for years, but you simply won't lose weight,' says Cannon. Fighting the elements and tackling natural obstacles, such as hills and steps, also use up more energy.
BONUS #2: It Feels Easier
BONUS #3: You've Got More Time
BONUS #4: You've Got a Ready-Made Circuit
BONUS #5: You'll Be Happier

Tue, 23 Nov 2010 12:00 +0200
Famous and Fit
REESE WITHERSPOON – Running Benefits: When it comes to running, the benefits are endless, says personal trainer, Ian Waddell. Running improves cardiovascular functioning, burns fat, de-stresses and is great for your bones, he says. Slipping into your jogging shoes will also help keep your legs toned for the bikini season.
KATE HUDSON – Pole Dancing
EVA LONGORIA – Circuit Training
BEYONCÉ – Dancing

Tue, 19 Oct 2010 12:00 +0200
Running Like Mad
1. It's a fabulous fat-burner - you continue to burn fat for hours after you've stopped.

2. It's best to eat a big meal after a run. 'Your body will use carbohydrates like rice and pasta to replenish your stores, without letting them turn into fat,' says physiologist Dr Jarrod Meerkin.

3. To overcome a stitch, 'Don't stop running; just relax your breathing and slow down,' says running coach Sean Williams.

4. Snack on almonds. Rich in vitamin E, they help reduce muscle damage, according to Amby Burfoot, author of Runner's World: Complete Book of Running for Beginners (Rodale Press).

5. Try interval training (such as doing short sprints, then walking in between each set). This technique burns three-and-a-half times more kilojoules than an even-paced run, according to a Canadian study. After a warm-up jog, try doing five lots of 100-metre sprints, with a moderate-paced run back to the start each time. Then do a warm-down jog to finish off your workout.

6. Keep your chin up and your back straight. 'Your natural running motion needs your torso to be close to vertical,' says Williams.

7. Set yourself a realistic goal, says cross-country world champion Benita Johnson. 'Look out for a fun run to do in your local area, which is about a month or two away,' she says. Then you can start training with that particular event in mind.

8. Take note: recent research has proven that exercisers who make a note on their calendar after each run exercise more than those who don't keep track of their workouts.

9. Try cross training. 'Your body can "get used" to any sort of exercise, so mix it up to get the best results,' says Michael George, Reese Witherspoon's personal trainer.

10. Gross is good. An experiment found that grass is the best surface to run on because it's low impact. Concrete is the worst outdoor surface to run on, because the heavy impact is more likely to cause an injury. The treadmill is on par with grass.

11. Strengthen your hamstrings with bum-flick kicks. With your back tilted slightly forward, kick your bum with your heels as you run at an easy pace.

12. Don't overdo it; it's best to run three to four times a week. 'Overtraining will do you more harm than good,' warns Williams.

13. Keep your fluids up. 'Sip water or a protein drink during and after exercise,' says Meerkin.

Wed, 06 Oct 2010 12:00 +0200
Balancing Act
Celeste Wylie, a Pilates and Callanetics instructor at HybriDynamX, and Cathy Rogers, owner of Your Yoga Space, review three complementary, but very different, forms of exercise to make your choice a whole lot easier.

The Pilates method of conditioning restores natural balance by focusing on centring both the body and mind to give you the shape you want. Developed by Joseph Hubertus Pilates, this method combines the best of Western and Eastern traditions, blending the mind and body and viewing them as a unity working in complete harmony with one another.

The Eastern approach to exercise is one of calmness, with an emphasis on stretching and limberness. The Western approach emphasises motion, muscle tone and strength. Joseph Pilates emphasised both of these approaches in his method. When taught correctly, it will safely lead you to a state of total, balanced fitness through concentric and eccentric movements of your muscles, while maintaining correct and consistent posture.

Classes vary according to the instructor’s individual style and underlying influences. There is a general standard of what Pilates is and what it isn’t, which can be used as a guideline to give an indication of what can be expected during a class. There are no violent, quick or jerky movements, no heavy weights are used and sequences are strategically conducted. Continuously lengthening postures are combined with a breathing technique, while movements are repeated a few times each with counter postures to create a balance. Any straining to the point of exhaustion is considered counterproductive.

Classes can either be conducted in an open studio where students can make quick use of balls, bands and mats, or in a Pilates’ apparatus-equipped gym, where certain equipment unique to Pilates is used. The general flow of each class can consist of a warm-up, either aerobic, or an even, fast-paced series of stretches, followed by a sequence of postures, which are all taught at a consistent pace. The principles of Pilates are applied to each posture to ensure you experience a mind-body connection. Each class finishes off with cool-down stretches.

Your body becomes firmer and sleeker, with longer, leaner muscles. You move easily and quickly. Your physical and mental strength, as well as endurance is increased, making this form of exercise ideal for anyone living a stressful life. The mind becomes the body’s master, increasing confidence. Back pain is relieved and muscle flexibility and joint mobility is improved. The body’s co-ordination, posture, balance and alignment are corrected, helping prevent bone deterioration. Pilates’ exercises facilitate optimal function of the internal organs too, stimulating the circulatory system, oxygenating the blood, aiding in lymphatic drainage and releasing endorphins responsible for the ‘feel good’ factor.

Is It For You?
Anyone can try Pilates, whether they are ‘new’ to exercise or want to increase their daily activity.

Tue, 14 Sep 2010 12:00 +0200
Should I Exercise When Sick?
You’re Feeling Achy and Fluey ‘Don’t do anything strenuous when you’re in the beginning stages of a cold, because a workout will tax your immune system and actually make you feel worse,’ says George. Try some light exercise, like a 30-minute walk, which will get your heart rate up without exhausting you. ‘Stock up on vitamin C and echinacea to help strengthen your weakened immune system,’ Michael adds.
Aunty Flo Is Giving You Grief
You’ve Had a Super-Large Night
You’re Exhausted

Mon, 06 Sep 2010 12:00 +0200
Your Yoga Personality Your Yoga Space in Johannesburg.

Although the aim of yoga is the same, the method for achieving goals differs according to the different schools of yoga, she says. There is a branch of yoga to suit all personalities, fitness levels, ages and needs.

ASHTANGA Creator: Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
This form of yoga focuses on connecting movement to breathing, says Rogers. It's fast-paced and boosts internal body heat, allowing you to detoxify your body from the inside out, she explains. Each class consists of a set series of postures perfected by repeated practice, allowing an individual to master one level and then move ahead to the next.

Its For You If you are energetic. If you are looking for both serenity and a cardio workout, you should try Ashtanga yoga, says Rogers. It provides a moving meditation. It's fast, yet focuses on conscious breathing. It is ideal for someone who wants the benefits of meditation, but finds sitting still difficult. If you like to sweat, want a cardio workout and enjoy repetition and familiarity, Rogers recommends you go for this style.

Thu, 05 Aug 2010 12:00 +0200
While you might associate African dance with tourist entertainment instead of health benefits, Zulurobics actually requires intense cardio endurance, she explains. Once you experience this vigorous workout, you'll realise how effective African dance can be in giving you a toned body.

‘With all the hype about Africa and the World Cup, I think this form of exercise could really take off worldwide,’ says Zone Fitness personal trainer, Candice Hemp. It can benefit you both physically and psychologically, she adds.

‘From a physical aspect, ’ says Hemp, ‘it will improve cardio vascular fitness, which increases fat burning enzymes and decreases body fat.’ (Read: weight loss!) ‘It will also increase muscle mass, and tone and firm the body for an all-round workout.’

With a focus on rhythmic African dance movements, says Stallings, Zulurobics is made up of traditional Indlamu Zulu dance, gumboot dancing, the Jive, West African dance, Cumbia, Kwela and Capoeira. ‘Traditional dance plays a vital role in African culture. It is a way of storytelling passed down from generations.’ The Indlamu Zulu dance, for example, tells the story of a warrior preparing for battle, she explains. ‘Their leader, Shaka Zulu trained his warriors to imitate the leopard and this dance mimics the leopard’s strength and stealth.’

There are also psychological benefits of Zulurobics, says Hemp. And because it adds fun to training, it can improve your mood, reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, and relieve stress. Stallings believes it's because of the emotional enjoyment you'll experience when you hear African music and drum beats.

To get a feel of how Zulurobics works, watch this video.

If you’re keen to try out Zulurobics, classes are held every Monday at 6pm at 68B Wale Street in Cape Town. Contact Temi Stallings on 021 433 0829/084 869 6699, e-mail or visit Zulurobics for more information. If you don't live in Cape Town, you can purchase the Zulurobics DVD (R149, 95) from the website. For every DVD sold, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the We Count Foundation, which benefits underprivileged children in Africa.

Thu, 29 Jul 2010 12:00 +0200
Make-Me-Sexy Incentives
Make-Me-Sexy-Motivator #1 Sexual Confidence
Want to boost your body confidence and get into bed? Then work out earlier in the day: a recent study found it was one of the top ways to increase between-the-sheets bravado.
Make-Me-Sexy-Motivator #2
Make-Me-Sexy-Motivator #3
Make-Me-Sexy-Motivator #4
Make-Me-Sexy-Motivator #5
Make-Me-Sexy-Motivator #6
Make-Me-Sexy-Motivator #7

Thu, 22 Jul 2010 12:00 +0200
Your Perfect Workout
Your Type: NO HOLDS BARRED Fun-loving and easygoing, you’ll get fit as long as it’s enjoyable.

Go for: Anything different, such as dance classes or even karaoke aerobics. Go skating or play frisbee in the park – the fewer the rules, the better.

Although we’d all love to find a miracle cream, there’s one thing that’s proven to work – yup, exercise. ‘I’ve got rid of cellulite in 45-year-old women in just 12 weeks,’ says trainer Mark Anthony. ‘High-intensity resistance work (like a weights circuit) is the best way to break up fat cells very quickly.’ To kill the orange peel, do three or four resistance workouts a week, or run or cycle for 30 minutes. Then, after each session, target your high-level cellulite areas with two sets of 20 of each of these bottom-smoothing exercises – that’s 40 minutes in total:
• Lateral Squat: From standing, move your right leg out to the side, squat, raise and return to start.
• Travelling 70-Degree Lunge: From standing, step forward into a lunge, making sure your hip, knees and toes are in line. Then lean your body forward 70 degrees and bend at the knee. (The change in body angle makes your bottom work harder than it does in a normal squat.) Unlike creams, these exercises are free – and at the end of the month, you’re guaranteed results.

Thu, 01 Jul 2010 12:00 +0200
Recharge Your Workout
BAD WORKOUT HABIT #1 Working out six times in the first week you start
Start your fitness campaign with daily workouts and you’ll be out of enthusiasm by day seven. ‘Build up gradually, with a day’s rest between workouts,’ says personal trainer Simon Waterson.

Wed, 16 Jun 2010 12:00 +0200
Butt Boot Camp Once-a-Week Workout (Sterling). Incorporate these exercises into your regular routine just one day a week and you should start seeing results in as little as a month. Do two sets of 12 to 15 reps each.

1. Two-Point Alternate Lunges Stand with your feet slightly apart with arms straight out, palms down. Bring your right leg 30 to 45 centimetres behind you as you lower into a squat. Don’t let your knee hit the floor. Squeeze your butt as you push back up. Switch sides.
Max The Move: Pulse (move slightly up and down) the outstretched leg.
2. Butt Lift
3. Stability-Ball Squat

*Images by Noel J Federizo

Wed, 02 Jun 2010 12:00 +0200
Rocking Bodies
Please note, in each routine Pasternak refers to his Harley-Bar, a 4.5kg tone-up device ($39. 94). If you don't want to buy this product, you can substitute it with barbells or dumbbells in the same weight class. Then with your weights or Harley-Bar, do three sets of 10 reps of these moves three times a week.

1. KAYAKER What It Works: Your core
Sit with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Hold the bar at chest height in front of you with your hands wide and your palms facing the floor with your elbows bent. Lean back until your abs engage. Reach the right side of the bar forward to the outside of your left knee as you draw the left end towards your hip, as if you are paddling. Switch sides to complete one rep.

Wed, 12 May 2010 12:00 +0200
The 15-Minute Lounge Workout
'Lying on your stomach, position your hands at each side of your chest, and push up onto your hands and feet (or knees),' says Ponton. Concentrate on keeping your back as flat as a board.

With your back to the couch, feet shoulder-width apart and hands on hips, squat down slowly until your bum reaches the seat, then stand up. Too hard? Put a cushion on the couch.

'Lie on you back with knees bent and hands on your quads. Slowly slide your hands towards your knees and back down again, using your stomach muscles to pull yourself up.'

'Sitting on the couch with your feet on the floor and hands resting beside you, lift your bum over the edge of the seat and towards the floor,' says Ponton. Lift yourself back to the sitting position, then start again.

'With feet shoulder-width apart, step forward with one leg and lunge down as low as you can before stepping back,' says Ponton. Alternate legs.

'Lying on your back with your knees bent, feet on the floor and hands behind your heard, crunch your right elbow towards your left knee,' says Ponton. Alternate knees. Too easy? As you crunch towards your left leg, stick the right leg out and vice versa. ]]>
Mon, 19 Apr 2010 12:00 +0200
Body Astrology
FIRE (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)
You thrive on regular exercise to keep you in shape and your sexual libido on red alert. Channel your high spirits into weekly, sociable gym classes; otherwise you may cave in to heavy drinking and smoking. Avoid spontaneous combustion (symptoms include headaches and temper tantrums) by going swimming, trying yoga and taking long, calming baths.

EARTH (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)
Earthy people are body – conscious and physical, but quick to feel the effects of an unhealthy lifestyle. Blessed with fantastic stamina, you may have a slow metabolism. You do best with outdoor exercise, like walking and cycling, and should eat a low-carb diet, otherwise you may fall prone to weight gain, sluggishness and throat infections.

AIR (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)
Air signs are healthiest when mentally stimulated by new people and ideas. Blessed with a fast metabolism, you rarely get overweight. The hitch? Too much nervous energy can lead to insomnia, dry skin, IBS and eczema. Balance yourself by cutting down on coffee, getting enough sleep and regular tension-blasting dancing.

WATER (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)
As a water sign, you feel healthiest and sexiest when you can express yourself emotionally. Your physical health and emotional health are interlinked, creating dramatic mood swings, PMT and a tendency to yo-yo between total indulgence and diet fads. Mutual massages with your man are brilliant body therapy. ]]>
Fri, 02 Apr 2010 12:00 +0200
Fitness Fails
From botched Wii sessions (smashed flat screens) and seriously painful exercise ball falls (or should we say fails) to aerobics class disasters and a hilarious pole-dancing lesson gone wrong, let's just hope these people have now learnt their lessons…

We've loaded them all to our YouTube channel, so all you need to do is click here to start watching. ]]>
Thu, 01 Apr 2010 12:00 +0200
Cross Fit
CrossFit is a strengthening and conditioning workout that doesn't use any machines except a rower and free weights, says Jobst Olschewski, a Level 2 Instructor at Cape CrossFit. Instead of one exercise working an isolated muscle, the moves target every muscle in your body so you're getting a full-body workout.

'Unlike ordinary gym workouts where most of the exercises are aimed at muscle building or conditioning, CrossFit is all about functional strength. It's aimed at improving our daily lives,' explains Smit.

Because CrossFit focuses on performance-based fitness, carrying a heavy load of shopping bags, walking up and down the stairs or even picking up a heavy suitcase should become much easier after a few of these intensive classes, adds Smit.

According to Cape CrossFit, these unique clubs are based in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Pretoria, and offer functional exercise, athletic conditioning, pylometrics, kettleball training, Olympic weightlifting, medicine ball and dumbbell training, powerlifting, gymnastics, rowing, running and jump rope exercises. The website also explains CrossFit's focus on optimising your stamina, cardio-respiratory endurance, strength, flexibility, balance, power, accuracy, speed, coordination and agility.

After that extensive list, even we were exhausted by just writing it. But don't be put off; CrossFit really is for all fitness levels.

'Anyone can start CrossFit at any age,' says Smit. 'During the introduction session you are taken through a baseline workout, which allows the "coach" to assess your athletic level and alert him or her to any specific movement issues that might need attention,' she says.

Statistics show that 65% of CrossFit students are female, so there's no need to worry that you'll be lost in the sea of testosterone. Smit also says CrossFit is more of a school than a gym because the coaches teach you the correct technique before you tackle each exercise, and then walk you through it.

Workouts are done in a class of between three and 15 people, explains Smit. Not only does this create camaraderie and healthy competition, individuals also learn by watching each other. 'This is the first time where men and women compete not against each other, but with each other,' says Smit. 'Yes, they may bench press more than us, but can they row as fast as we can?'

'I just started, but I already feel like I want to take this further and become a part of the community,' says Smit. 'I want my name to feature on the huge white board where all of the top performers are noted.'

For contact details, time slots and a more detailed look at membership options, visit any one of the following CrossFit South Africa sites.
Johannesburg: CrossFit Rebel; CrossFit One Ten; Fitness Technologies
Cape Town: Cape CrossFit
Pretoria: Ballistix CrossFit

We found this promotional video demonstrating a few of the exercises. It may be American-made, but it's the exact same workout that's happening in South African CrossFit gyms. Some of the women may look a little bulky, but the majority are lean and don't look like The Incredible Hulk, even after all that heavy lifting.

Thu, 18 Mar 2010 12:00 +0200
Tight Little Package


Holding 1kg weights, squat with your right leg in front, left leg behind you, knee a few inches off the floor. Straighten right leg, raise your left knee to chest level, and bring your arms straight up.

Max The Move
: When going to the second position, don't fully straighten your leg to keep the muscles engaged.

>> Next ]]>
Mon, 08 Mar 2010 12:00 +0200
Reasons To Get Friendly With Dumb-Bells
1. It’ll shrink your pot belly
A general weight-training regime reduces fat beneath the skin, particularly around the stomach. ‘Abdominal fat is more mobile than fat in the hips and thighs, and seems particularly affected by weight training,’ says fitness expert Sam Murphy.

2. It’ll make you look slimmer
Weight training swaps fat for muscle, which is denser, firmer and fits better into clothes.

3. It burns calories even when you’re not working out

Because strength training is intense, your metabolism stays high long after exercising. ‘You keep burning calories while your body cleans out the by-products of exercise and restores itself to a pre-exercise state,’ says Murphy.

4. Your body will look younger than it really is
After 30, it’s all downhill in terms of muscle mass – with your bum, breasts and upper arms joining the slump. Weight training tightens the age-related decline in metabolism and muscle mass.

5. If you can lift a 10kg barbell, lugging a weekend bag becomes effortless
‘Strength makes us resilient and less likely to become tired from life’s physical demands.’

‘Start two 30-minute sessions a week and you’ll soon see the difference,’ says Murphy. Join a circuit training or weights class, or work out a programme with a trainer.


Call the posture police – slumping at your desk all day can make you look awful. Try these three moves to straighten yourself out. ‘If you don’t counteract the “desk slump”, you’ll end up with round shoulders, a sticking out stomach and backache,’ says Joanna Peyton-Jones from Stretch Therapy. Try these three easy fixes:
‘Sit in your chair, lean right forward between your knees, reach through your legs and grab the chair legs. Pull for two seconds, sit up. Repeat 10 times. This will lengthen your spine and counteract compression from sitting down.’
‘Stand or sit beside a wall and put your arm out at a 90-degree angle so your hand is flat against the wall (fingers facing backwards). Lean forwards for two seconds, feeling the stretch across your shoulder. Repeat 10 times.’
Bad desk posture can equal bad sex because it creates slack abdominal and pelvic-floor muscles. Combat this by using an exercise ball as a desk chair. In a normal chair? Sit upright with both feet flat on the floor. ‘It enhances the muscles and sensory function around the vagina,’ says Dr Laura Berman, director of the Berman Center for women’s sexual health in Chicago. ]]>
Thu, 11 Feb 2010 12:00 +0200
Blast Your Butt and Thighs The 5-Factor Diet (Ballantine Books). Since you deserve a hot body too, we asked Harley to create a workout just for us.

‘These movements, which hit your butt and thighs simultaneously, are isolateral, meaning they work equally both sides of your lower body to ensure that you’ll look proportionate,’ says Harley.

Start with three sets of 20 reps two times per week. Depending on genetics and diet, you should see a difference within weeks.

>> Get started here... ]]>
Tue, 26 Jan 2010 12:00 +0200
Tighten Your Abs
Wed, 02 Dec 2009 12:00 +0200
The Buddy System
The study involved 344 African-American adults over a two-year period. The participants were divided into four separate groups: the Individual Low-Support Group didn't involve a partner at all; the Individual High-Support Group were allowed to choose a team member from within their division and work together; the Family High-Support Group required the participant and their partner to fully partake in all activities assigned to them as a fitness team; and the Family Low-Support Group didn't demand full participation from partners.

The idea was to compare whether there was a significant difference in weight loss between those who worked with their partners throughout the process and those who worked with less or no support.

The study found that weight loss was indeed linked to whether or not a participant's partner lost any weight. If the partner was successful in losing weight, the participant shed the kilos too.

'The general explanation is the fact that the partner was sufficiently motivated to adhere to the weight loss recommendations suggests that the partner was also encouraging and supporting adherence in the participant,' says Dr. Kumanyika. 'Perhaps they were able to help each other to stick with the program, or at least did not discourage each other. That is the idea of social support.'

However, it's important to note that social support can also be seen as social discouragement. 'Using the same reasoning,' says Kumanyika, 'if the partner doesn't adhere [to the exercise routine] they might limit the adherence of the other person.'

'Training with a buddy is an excellent way to stay motivated during exercise,' says Cape Town-based personal trainer, Tamara Potgieter. You can draw inspiration from seeing your partner lose weight or inspire her when motivation is running low, says Potgieter. As determination and working together is key, she warns that you pick your partner wisely, as your success together will depend on how you motivate each other.

'You will find that this method can push you way beyond what you thought you could do, and by combining your knowledge on training routines, you can draw on each other's strengths to get the best from every session.'

Personal trainer Candice Hemp believes the buddy system is beneficial to both parties. 'If your training partner has already noticeably started to lose weight and is on their way to achieving their goals, this could be used as a huge motivation tool for both parties,' says Hemp. 'By training with a partner, you will both be able to feel the physiological and psychological benefits of regular training, which will help both parties to adhere to their training programme, and encourage and motivate one another.'

Kumanyika says her team can't be more specific about why the partner effect was successful but the fact that the effect was there is consistent with the literature on social support. So, whether you want to take a Muay Thai class with a friend, go kick boxing with your boyfriend or do cardio with a family member, you both need to be serious about losing weight. ]]>
Thu, 19 Nov 2009 12:00 +0200
Tone Your Body Love Your Legs DVD, target those hard-to-tone spots. Crank out three sets of 20 reps three times a week.

Click here for the MOVES TO MASTER ]]>
Fri, 06 Nov 2009 12:00 +0200
Bust Your Bad Gym Habits
The worst slip-ups to watch out for are:

Bad Workout Habit #1
Going six times in the first week
Start your fitness campaign with daily workouts and you'll be stiff and out of enthusiasm by day seven. 'Build up gradually, with a day's rest between workouts,' says personal trainer Simon Waterson.

Bad Workout Habit #2
Chatting as you swim
'You need to swim for more than 20 minutes for a proper workout – plus, swimming with your head up creates a stiff neck and backache,' says swimming teacher Kari Furre.

Bad Workout Habit #3

You belong to a gym – but never go
The average annual gym membership would pay for a small holiday. If you're not using yours, find one that's close to work or home, or try running outdoors. 'People find it more fun, which is the key to staying motivated,' says Waterson.

Bad Workout Habit #4
You skip the cool-down
False economy: 'Stretching helps to create a long, lean, sexy body,' says Waterson.

Bad Workout Habit #5
You take your cellphone with you
'You get faster results if you concentrate on using the right muscles as you work out,' says Waterson. 'It's not enough to just go to the gym – you have to be there mentally, too.'

Bad Workout Habit #6
You use the sauna for weight loss
Saunas can help reduce stiffness, but don't try to lose a dress size in there. ‘Drink water – being hydrated gives you energy,' says Waterson.

Bad Workout Habit #7
Not eating for hours after a workout
A good thing, right? Wrong. 'Eat within 30 minutes of a workout for the maximum metabolism boost,' says sports nutritionist Anita Bean. ]]>
Mon, 19 Oct 2009 12:00 +0200
Fit All Over
For best results, do three sets, three times a week.

>> Click here and get started on the MOVES TO MASTER ]]>
Fri, 09 Oct 2009 12:00 +0200
Get Long and Lean
Do them three times a week after your cardio session – when your body is already warmed up and flexible. You should see results in about a month.

>> Learn how to master the moves…
Mon, 07 Sep 2009 12:00 +0200
Tone Your Tush
>> Get started with THE BRIDGE
Thu, 06 Aug 2009 12:00 +0200
Get a Sexy Tummy
Designed by celebrity trainer Sue Fleming, who helped Katie Holmes get back into pre-Suri shape and author of Fashionably Buff (Villard Books), these waist-whittling exercises target all areas of the abdominals – upper, lower, and obliques. 'Aim for training your abdominals three to four times per week,' says Fleming. 'Do three sets of 10 to 12 repetitions on each side.'

Even though this routine will help tighten your stomach muscles, you'll also have to burn calories to reveal them. There's a top layer of fat that conveniently resides right over your abdominals, shielding them from the light of day. 'A regular cardio routine as well as a healthy diet is necessary in order to peel away that top layer of fat,' says Fleming.

>> Click here to begin the belly-boot-camp
Fri, 17 Jul 2009 12:00 +0200
Trouble Spots SOS

Side Plank
Lie on your right side, keeping your legs stacked and straight. Lift your torso and hips a few centimetres off the floor. Contract your abs, and lift your hips as high as you can. Hold for five seconds, and then lower back down. Do 15 reps, and then switch sides.
Max the move: Keep your hips lifted for a 10-second count to make your abs work at staying contracted longer.

Lateral Lunge
Stand up straight with your hands on your hips, feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Lunge to your right so your weight is on your right leg. Pressing through your right heel, slowly straighten the leg, and shift back to the starting position. Switch sides.
Max the move: For a cardio bonus, pick up the pace as you move from side to side and you'll get your heart rate up.

Squat With a Bicep Curl
Holding a 1.5kg dumbbell in each hand, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Bend into a half squat while bringing the weights towards your chest. Slowly press through your heels as you return to the starting position.
Max the move: Do a full squat to work your butt and thighs even harder.
Fri, 12 Jun 2009 12:00 +0200
Along For The Ride
The Body & Soul cover in the June 2009 issue of COSMOPOLITAN magazine, Hip Ride, looked like so much fun the online team decided to give it a try. We were confident we would master the art of J-Boarding in a matter of minutes...

After one of our instructors did a quick demo around the aisles at Surf Centre (in Canal Walk, Cape Town), we were ready, but we could hardly even mount the board, let alone ride it! Despite countless attempts onto various railings, walls and anything else we could get our hands on, we continued to wobble our way precariously in and amongst the cars. Some of us were more successful than others.

Fri, 22 May 2009 12:00 +0200
Hot Legs
'Perform each by coming up to 75% of the way so your knees never straighten out,' says personal trainer Kim Overton, creator of the Love Your Legs DVD. 'This keeps your muscles engaged.' Do three sets of 20 reps (on each leg) three days a week.


1. Curtsy lunge
With hands on hips, cross your right foot behind your left leg. Knees should be slightly bent. Pressing through your left heel, slowly rise, squeezing your right outer thigh as you lift that leg to the side.
Max the move: Keep the outstretched leg lifted for 15 seconds to challenge your outer thigh.

2. Abductor lift
Get on all fours with your back straight. Squeeze your butt and left outer thigh as you lift your left leg out the side, keeping the knee bent at a 90-degreee angle. Return to starting position without resting your knee on the floor.
Max the move: Do the reps quickly – without moving your back – to get your heart rate up.

3. Touchdown
Lunge forward with your right leg so your left leg is extended behind you, knee slight bent, 5cm off the floor. With right hand on your hip, reach your left pointer finger toward the ground. Press through your right heel and slowly stand.
Max the move: Pulse the extended leg to work your hamstrings harder.

Engaging in everyday activities can keep your weight in check and burn 100 calories:

Minutes Activity
20 Washing your car
20 Walking your dog
10 Jumping rope – moderately
25 Grocery shopping
15 Dancing at a club
30 Pacing while talking on your cell
15 Speed walking

Mon, 04 May 2009 12:00 +0200
A Fitness Flop?
I'd love to know which model the legs in the Fitflop ads belong to. Who wouldn't want them? Just look at them!

I have quite skinny calves and jelly-ish thighs, and not just because I think so, but because I've actually been told so on many occasions, and have been looking for a way to tone them. I've considered buying a step machine, have taken up NYC Ballet Workout classes and just signed up for street dance classes. So I was pretty excited to test-walk my very own pair of Fitflops I received in the mail.

After Day 1, I didn't care that I'd walked more in four hours than I'd done in four days. I was too excited to notice because of the tingly sensation in my calf muscles, hamstrings and quadriceps. And maybe my glutes too, but that might've been caused by me actually walking around instead of being glued to my chair in front of my laptop like most days.


An almost unbelievable amount of tech has gone into 'UK's hottest new fitness shoe'. Engineered by podiatric biochemist Dr David Cook, the midsoles of the Fitflop incorporate patent-pending micro-wobbleboard technology that stimulates your muscles as you walk. By mildly destabilising the foot the Fitflop forces the muscles in your thighs, hamstrings, calf and glutes to work more than usual, resulting in visible toning in those areas. (Still with me?) Essentially, according to co-founder and personal trainer Marcia Kilgore, the Fitflop is supposed to train the bottom of your foot to do all the work it would naturally do as if you were walking barefoot.

Watch the video for a more detailed explanation.

Unfortunately, after wearing Fitflops for two months, I am disappointed. I have seen no noticeable change. Thinking maybe I expected too much, I dug out the PR material again and went through what happens with Every step you take in your Fitflops:
1. Improves your core muscle strength – haven't noticed a difference really, maybe I should give Pilates a try
2. Absorbs shock on your feet, knees and back – this I can believe because I've actually felt less pressure on my knees and more cushioning for my feet
3. Encourages better posture and stronger muscles – my posture's improved only because I've been trying to strike the Fitflop leg model's pose for the past two months
4. Burns calories – no noticeable difference
5. Mimics barefoot walking, but with a little bit more of a challenge – ok, cudos to the Fitflop people for successfully recreating this motion. But what stops me from just walking barefoot anyway?
6. Can reduce cellulite and slim and tone your thighs – if you can spot the difference in my 'before' and 'after' photos, I'll buy you a pair
7. Improves muscle tone – see comment at point #6
8. Strengthens and tones muscles in the feet, legs, buttocks, stomach and back – see comment at point #1, #3 and #6
9. Increases leg muscle activity and circulation – wouldn't this depend on how much activity you perform in any shoe, let alone the Fitflop?

If you're dead set on buying a pair, it's best you do so for aesthetic and not fitness purposes. While the red Walkster might not do much for your wardrobe, Fitflops come in different styles and colours – one I've grown particularly fond of is the Electra style. And let's face it, anything is better than Crocs.

I've never spent as much time staring at my legs in mirrors and window reflections in shopping malls, trying to spot the difference. But sadly I must admit that my legs have received more of a workout in 6-inch heels than in Fitflops.

Wed, 22 Apr 2009 12:00 +0200
Tone Up, Trim Down
Instead of the usual instructions –15 reps of 3 sets, etc – she suggests switching things up a bit. 'Do as many repetitions of each move as you can in one minute, then aim for repeating the entire rotation three times,' instructs Kaehler. 'Keep your focus on maintaining correct form as well.'

And remember, consistency is key, aim for at least three times a week.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms extended straight out to the sides (picture a). Bend your right leg so it's supporting your weight, and make sure not to extend your right knee past your foot. Kick your left leg straight out in front of you, keeping your foot flexed, and try to touch your left foot with your right hand (picture b). 'Keep your back straight,' notes Kaehler. 'This move is all about balance. Leaning forward too much shifts your weight off your leg, so you won't get the maximum benefit in your butt and thighs.' After the first minute, switch sides and repeat.

Start by lying on the floor in a half push-up position (palms on the ground – slightly wider than shoulder-width apart – chest lifted, knees bent, ankles crossed). Keep your head, neck, and back in a straight line, with your belly button pulled in (picture c). Using your arms for momentum, push up quickly and clap your hands in midair (picture d). Then land on your hands, and slowly lower yourself to starting position. 'This is a plyometric exercise, which means it's a fast movement that forces your muscles to contract quickly,' says Kaehler. 'With this move, you'll see a great upper-body payoff in your triceps, chest and shoulders.'

Stand with your arms straight at your sides, feet slightly apart (picture e). Bend your knees into a deep-seated squat (your butt should almost touch your heels), lean forward and place your hands flat on the floor in front of you (picture f). In one move, kick your legs straight behind you so you're in a push-up position, making sure your body is in a straight line (picture g). Hold for three seconds. Jump back into position (picture f), then stand up and repeat. 'Because this is a full-body strength move, it's a great calorie blaster when you do it fast,' notes Kaehler. 'Aim for 10 reps a minute in the beginning, then try to work toward 15.'

Holding 1.5kg dumb-bells, stand with your left foot forward and right leg behind you. Your arms should be bent, with the left arm in front of you and the right elbow behind you (picture h). Pressing through your heels, jump up and switch your legs in midair (picture i) so that you land with your right foot forward and left leg behind you. Pump your arms at the same time (picture j). 'Concentrate on using your thighs to push yourself up and down,' notes Kaehler. 'And the quicker you go, the higher your heart rate climbs.' Once you feel comfortable with this move, you can increase the intensity by using 2.5kg weights.


Squat down, and place your hands in front of you for balance (picture k). Press through your heels and jump in the air, while reaching your arms straight up (picture l). Land back in position (picture k). Stand up, put your hands on your hips, and lunge forward with your right leg (picture l). 'Max the lunge by bringing your left leg as close to the floor as you can,' notes Kaehler. 'Slowly press through your right heel, and contract that thigh as you rise. This pace challenges the leg to balance you for a Ionger time.' Repeat on that leg for a minute, then switch sides.

Stand in front of a chair with the seat facing you. Contract your abs and place your right foot on the centre of the chair (your leg will form a right angle to it) (picture m). Press through your right heel, keeping your butt and right thigh tight, and slowly straighten your right leg as you raise your left leg and tap the chair with your left foot (picture n). Step down and repeat. After the first minute, switch sides. 'This move elevates your heart rate and targets your entire bottom-ham-strings, quads and butt,' explains Kaehler. 'Once you get stronger, use a higher chair.'
Thu, 19 Feb 2009 12:00 +0200
A Wii Little Fitter
Marketed as the fun way to get fit in your own living room , the Nintendo Wii Fit was launched in South Africa in 2008. Ninentendo's PR machine got to work churning out press releases and called it a 'fun and healthy way to get fit' that 'uses the latest technology to assist you in leading a healthier lifestyle'. It sounded like we'd heard it all before (I'm ashamed to admit my addiction to informercials), but for the sake of the journalistic integrity COSMO prides itself on, we put our disdain for corporate communication aside and stepped onto the Balance Board.

The Wii Fit is easy enough to set up and connect to your television, and doesn't require much space – as say a small home gym would. The wireless balance board's shape may trouble users who aren't particularly fond of measuring scales, but it's a nifty device that uses numerous pressure sensors to assess your centre of balance.

After being prompted to step on the board, the first thing that's put to the test is your current level of fitness and your Wii Fit age and BMI is calculated. Then it's on to the 'games'. There are four main activities to choose from: yoga, aerobic exercises, balance games and muscle workouts. Hard core gymmers might find the Wii Fit a bit juvenile as you are at first only allowed to access a few of the exercises, but the more workout hours you clock the more exercises you unlock – there are 40 in total.

The Wii Fit also features a virtual trainer who demonstrates new routines and exercises, and motivates you along the way. Unfortunately after a while this voice becomes a bit annoying, but hey, that's why the mute function on your TV's remote was invented.

The interactive channel allows you to track your progress, and if more than one person is using the same balance board, you can compare your results.

But with this all-in-one, in-home exercise machine available to anybody who has a spare R1 500 in their wallet, will it ever replace the conventional gym? Probably not.

We can't take the Wii Fit seriously when all it really is built on is standard exercises like sit-ups and push-ups and trying to keep your balance on par with a little red dot. I'll admit that I had fun snowboarding, tight-rope walking and dodging soccer balls thrown at my head, but when it comes to a serious sweat-dripping, muscle-burning workout, the Wii Fit is found wanting.

You won't dramatically drop three jeans sizes, but if you're looking to have fun (it is a 'game' after all), the Wii Fit is for you. For everybody else, I'll see you at Bums and Tums next week.
Mon, 19 Jan 2009 12:00 +0200
But the hoop is making a big comeback with Hulaerobics classes being implemented in gyms across the United States and the United Kingdom. Maddy Wolmarans, creator of the Hooping in South Africa blogsite and a hip hoop dance ambassador, is approaching selected gyms across South Africa to have Hulaerobics offered as part of their aerobic programme as well.

'Hooping is fun, you get fit and you smile,' says Wolmarans, who also makes hula hoops and hosts hula hooping workshops at schools. She says it allows you to get in touch with your inner child while you lose weight and get fit. On her website, Wolmarans says hooping increases flexibility of the spine, understanding of rhythm and fluidity of movement, while offering a therapeutic practice that engages the mind and body.

Asked if there is a wrong way to hoop, Wolmarans says yes. 'If the hoop keeps falling, you're doing it wrong.'

1. Put one leg in front of other.
2. Move your hips forwards and backwards, but keep rest of your body still.
3. Push your hips backwards when the hoop reaches your stomach, and then forwards when it touches your spine.

The sideways shuffle is more intense, when instead of moving your hips forwards and backwards, you move them from side to side.

'Most people only hoop anti-clockwise, but you need both directions,' says Wolmarans. 'But you need to hoop in both directions to experience the full benefits.' Hooping not only trims your waistline, Wolmarans adds, if you move around with your hoop, you will get a full cardio workout.

Once you've perfected your basic hooping skills, try weighted hoops as a form of resistance training. You can also order 'The Hoop Dance Workout' instructional DVD, created by professional hooper and trainer Christabel Zamor, online. ]]>
Thu, 18 Dec 2008 12:00 +0200
Fact or Fiction?
Here are a few for starters:

Building muscle prevents weight loss
Women often gain weight with strength training, instead of losing it. ‘This is because the body gains more muscle, so your body composition changes,’ Giani says. ‘You’ll actually have more lean body mass and less fat. As muscle weighs more than fat, it’s important for women who are strength training to have body-fat measurements taken every month or so to track their progress, rather than watching the scale.’

Spot reduction

Many women still believe you can lose fat in so-called problem areas by performing muscle-conditioning exercises in these target zones. ‘Although the exercise will work those muscles, a combination of cardiovascular exercise and conditioning exercises together with a low diet will promote fat loss,’ says Giani.

Women can’t be strong
‘Because many women restrict themselves to correct resistance training, they tend to have less lean body mass than men. However, many women are actually capable of becoming proportionally as strong as men,’ Giani says.
Sun, 14 Dec 2008 12:00 +0200
Training Tips
Just six months after giving birth to twins, Jennifer Lopez took part in (and finished) the 22nd Annual Malibu Triathlon.

'I thought, "What can I do to make my babies proud?" I think about what they'll think about the year they were born – who I was and what I did,' she told US fitness and health magazine, Self. 'It's important to me to set examples for them. I want to lead with my life.'

In a month-long blog for the women's monthly magazine, she documented her journey towards the event (which included an 800m swim, 29km cycle and 6,5km run). We've put together a selection of her training tips as well as a few of our own.

Lopez's advice to those getting started is to take it slow at first. When you're training, start little by little to give yourself time and you'll eventually increase your fitness level.

'Give yourself time to work up to you goal,' she said in her blog for Self magazine. 'It's hard, but I have more energy, and I feel proud of myself. When I'm training, I keep telling myself, "It's for the kids".'

Lucy Danziger, Self's editor-in-chief who became Jennifer's training partner, said when she did not feel like training, she concentrated on her goal instead of on the actual workouts.

'My favourite self-motivator is telling myself, "Give it five more minutes",' Danziger told Good Morning America in a television interview. 'Relax into it, breathe and you'll likely want to continue.'

'To run easier, go farther and enjoy the time after the run, insert one minute walk breaks, after one to three minutes of running,' says Jeff Galloway, a North Carolina running coach and author. 'On long events, walk breaks help runners to record faster times.'

The former Olympian suggests keeping your feet low to the ground when running, touching the surface lightly. In his book he says to run faster, 'increase the turnover or cadence and not the stride length. Don't huff and puff during the run. Run at a pace that allows you to talk. If you start slowly enough, you can enjoy every run.'

Gary Lavin, founder of To the MAX Training Systems in Florida, recommends single legs squats and posterior reaches to strengthen your muscles.

'These help to stabilize the hips and core which will allow you to transfer more power per step with less effort,' says Lavin.

Tim Shead, a world champion swimmer and coach based in Cape Town, says his cardinal rule of swimming is to relax.

'If you tense up, you will sink like a rock. If you rush or go fast, you will exhaust yourself very quickly and unnecessarily. None of these are conducive to good swimming or a pleasant experience.'

Shead says each of us has a different body type, mass, strength, composition and flexibility, which means your ideal freestyle swimming stroke will be different to the next person.

'Regardless of how fast you wish to swim, your goal is simple and always remains the same – swim from point A to B expending the least effort and energy.'

Shead's tips are to streamline your body (from extended arms to head to hips to toes), deepen your arm pull (try to touch the pool bottom with each stroke), when breathing, turn your head to the side (never lift it) and don't kick too hard (you will exhaust yourself instead).

When buying a bicycle it's important to test out a few of those on display in the store. You need to find the fit (handle bars, seat and peddles) you are comfortable with to avoid injuries. Jennifer's personal trainer, Gunnar Peterson, told Self magazine you need to be comfortable, so make sure the sales person knows what he or she is talking about.

'A pro will make sure the pitch and position of your saddle and handlebars and everything else is properly fitted', the celebrity trainer who has worked with Penelope Cruz, Matthew McConaughey and Gwen Stefani, was quoted as saying. 'That will improve how you ride and feel on a bike, giving you more power.'

In one of her blog entries, Lopez commented: 'The other day I ate Chinese food, then did a mini, mock tri: a swim, then a bike and a run. I could feel the heavy, greasy food slowing me down. By the end of the workout, I was thinking to myself, "If I ate better, I'd feel better about now and I'd have more energy".'

Once you progress to the longer distances, you will need more energy. Easily digestible proteins and carbohydrates like chicken, pasta, fruit and vegetables give you the fuel you need to feel good throughout your workout.

According the Elna van Coller, a personal trainer in Johannesburg, you can't 'out train' a bad diet.

'Doing exercises in addition [to following a good diet] gives you the leverage to exponentially increase your results.'

Even before she attempted the triathlon, the 39-year-old Lopez had a demanding schedule. But it is all about finding a balance and arranging your training schedule around your life, not vice versa.

'I never let my desire to train or my other goals get too crazy that they will keep me from my babies,' she blogged. 'I will work to fit in my training sessions so I'll be ready for whatever I'm going for, so that I'm fulfilled in that way, too. I think it's important for all women to have that balance.'

Having a supportive partner helps too. Jennifer's equally high-profiled musician husband, Marc Anthony, set up an area for her to train in at home with a treadmill and electric bicycles so she didn't have to spend too much time away from their twins Max and Emme. He was also seen cheering her on along the route on competition day.

The singer, actress, fashion designer and entrepreneur raised $127 000 (about R1,1 million) for the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles when she completed the triathlon in two hours, 23 minutes and 28 seconds.

'If you have a goal you can reach that finish line,' Danziger told Good Morning America. 'Having a goal really helps.'
Thu, 11 Dec 2008 12:00 +0200
Snow Patrol Ice skating

What it does
‘Skating is a great form of cardio exercise. Skaters tend to have firm, toned thigh muscles as well as strong back muscles. It’s a fun, exciting form of exercise that builds character and self-discipline, exercising the body and the brain,’ says Taryn Finlayson, a skating coach at Northgate Ice Arena in Johannesburg.

Who benefits?
People of all ages can skate, although those with serious back or knee problems should avoid the sport. Since private lessons are usually held in the mornings, this is not for girls who enjoy a lie-in.

Where can you do it?
There are ice rinks in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, Vereeniging, Pretoria and Kempton Park.

What it is

What it does
‘Skiing provides an excellent cardio work-out. The sport requires a lot of endurance training and the lungs must be able to cope with the altitude of the ski slope and the physical strain. It helps tone the quads, hamstrings and calves,’ says Gareth Martin, manager of Snowsports at Snowscape, home of Tiffindell Ski.

Who benefits?
Absolutely anyone can ski or snowboard. However, people with previous injuries should wear protective strapping and safety equipment to provide support.

Where can you do it?
Learn to ski at Snowscape’s 50m indoor ski slope in Johannesburg or at Tiffindell Ski Resort in the Drakensberg mountains.
Fri, 25 Jul 2008 12:00 +0200
Fighting Fit?
‘The problem is that your heart rate is elevated when you exercise,’ says Pearce. This puts strain on an already overburdened system, especially if you are suffering from a chest infection. ‘The golden rule is that if your symptoms are from the head and chest, and your body is aching, stay in bed. If you have a head cold, see your doctor first and if you do decide to exercise, be careful, as putting extra stress on your body could turn an irritating niggle into something much worse.’
If you’re desperate to train, try some gentle stretching – perhaps a light session of yoga, t’ai chi or Pilates. But, as Pearce says, remember that you won’t be able to perform as well as you usually do.
Wed, 04 Jun 2008 12:00 +0200
Yoga Is Cooking!
Wash and dry your hands, then rest them lightly on the sink, focusing on the three central yoga elements:

* Posture matters: keep your weight equally distributed on both feet. Relax shoulders and arms, and slightly tuck in your pelvis, extending the spine so that your head floats upwards.

* Belly breathing: place both hands on your abdomen, with index fingers touching each other near the navel. Inhale deeply, expanding your abdomen until it pushes against your hands. On exhaling, tighten your abs to push air out from the bottom of your lungs.

* Yoga-tude: use belly breathing to become fully present in the moment (awareness) and release unnecessary tension (relaxation).
Wed, 28 May 2008 12:00 +0200
Weighty Issues
A general weight-training regime reduces abdominal fat, as it’s ‘more mobile than fat in the hips and thighs, and seems particularly affected by weight training,’ says Murphy.

2. YOU’LL LOOK SLIMMER Weight training swaps fat for muscle, which is denser, firmer and means you’ll fit into clothes better.

Strength training is intense, so your metabolism will stay revved long after you’ve stopped exercising. Says Murphy, ‘You keep burning kilojoules while your body cleans out the by-products of exercise, and restores itself to its pre-exercise state.’

4. YOUR BODY WILL LOOK YOUNGER THAN IT REALLY IS After you reach 30, it’s all downhill in terms of muscle mass – with your bum, breasts and upper arms joining the slump. Weight training fights the age-related decline in metabolism and muscle mass.

5. YOU’LL BE READY FOR ANYTHING If you’re strong enough to a 10kg barbell, lugging shopping bags or a suitcase becomes effortless. ‘Strength makes us resilient and less likely to become tired from life’s physical demands,’ explains Murphy.
Wed, 07 May 2008 12:00 +0200