By Chengetayi Nosikhumbuzo Mnisi
I am Chengetayi Nosikhumbuzo Mnisi and I believe that fitness and wellness is a personal journey; you have to want the best for yourself and your body. If you are not motivated and disciplined enough for yourself or by yourself, no one can take you there.
I started my fitness journey in July 2020, 8 months after giving birth to my daughter. We had been thrown into total lockdown after the Covid-19 pandemic struck, my life had become monotonous and I was very unhappy with how I looked. I really did not know how to get my life on track, but thanks to my friend Tsitsi Mujuru, I started working out and I have never looked back since.
Fitness is more than just looking good in a bikini or feeling confident enough to wear a short dress. It is a daily love letter you write to yourself, it is about giving your body a fighting chance against sickness and diseases. Fitness is also about having the discipline to show up for yourself and do exactly what you said you would do. It is an escape and a consistent challenge to do better for no one else but you. Fitness is not a size or number on a scale, it is ultimately you feeling confident, fierce and free in your beautiful body!
Unfortunately, time, genes, childbearing and age are not kind to women, we need to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to our bodies and mental wellness. I advise all women to live a healthy lifestyle, move their bodies and adopt better eating habits. Working out is not easy but it can be fun when you find what works for you, either dancing, running, weightlifting, swimming, yoga, the options are endless. You are ultimately the expert on your body; find what works for you and run with it!
Tips and recommendations
Work out for at least 30 minutes a day, 3 times a week, you are considered fit if you can do this consistently for 6 months straight. Having a trainer or a group of people you workout with is a great way to stay consistent and be accountable.
When it comes to nutrition there are sacrifices that need to be made, especially when you are trying to lose some excess weight. You need to drop white carbs, sugar, alcohol and fast food for vegetables, meat, eggs, dairy and at least 3 litres of water a day.
Just making these changes alone will improve bowel movement, improve your sleep patterns, make you feel lighter and much sharper as well. Combine this with working out, you are guaranteed to attain results; they are never instant but you can give yourself at least 3 months before you notice some drastic change, consistency is a must!
Bodyweight exercises are the best so that you get a hang of how your body moves, work on your cardiovascular system and find what you enjoy.
For intermediate trainers
Once you get into your groove and have your form on lock, you can start adding equipment to your workouts. You can purchase some dumbbells, resistance bands, exercise balls, aerobic steps and so on but make sure you also consult a trainer before purchasing this equipment.
For the experts
At this stage, you would have figured out what works for you and what you are good at. You can switch up your training; if you run, pick up some weights for strength or do some yoga for flexibility.
When it comes to exercising at different levels, absolutely nothing can stop you from doing something, no matter how simple it is. For women, you can exercise at any point in your life, for weight loss, when pregnant, post-pregnancy and so on.
More about Chengetayi
I am an American Council on Exercise-certified Group Fitness Instructor and an Oh Baby! Pregnancy & Postpartum Trainer with 2 “No Excuses” Virtual Programs. I have helped over 200 people in their wellness journeys since I started and it has been a fulfilling experience.
Ultimately you are in control of your body and your wellness. Absolutely nothing works unless you do, so if you have been waiting for a sign to just start working out, this is it. If you start today, you will be one step closer to your goal!
Images by Chengetayi
Originally published in the 5th Ndeipi Newsletter