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    Here’s How To Make Weight Loss Goals That Will Actually Stick in 2024

    Quick question: how are your New Year’s resolutions coming on? If your answer is a shifty, awkward silence, chances are the goals you set weren’t designed to set you up for success in the first place. Goal-setting can be a powerful tool, but it’s also a specific science. Get it wrong and that dress you’re aiming to fit into is going to stay at the back of your cupboard. But get it right and prepare to tap into a force of motivation that will help you achieve anything you set your mind to. The best part? It’s not hard.

    Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals: Know Your Motivation

    On the surface, this sounds pretty straightforward, but it’s super important to narrow down what actually motivates you. Understanding the benefits of your goals will help you achieve them, says Raeesa Seedat, dietician and spokesperson for the Association for Dietetics in South Africa. The key to finding those benefits is asking yourself “Why?”. So, if you want to lose weight, ask yourself why. Is it because you want to know what it’s like to walk up a flight of stairs and not be out of breath? Do you want to lower your blood pressure? Or are you just keen to see yourself with a six-pack of abs?

    Whatever your reason, make sure it’s something that has meaning to you; somehow it should better your life and there should be real value in achieving it. If you’re not excited about – and even slightly scared of – your goal, there’s a good chance you won’t stick to it. Once you’ve found your “why”, write it down and look at it whenever you feel like slacking off.

    READ MORE: How To Burn Calories Without Actually Exercising

    Get Smart

    Ever heard the saying, “Work smarter, not harder”? Surprise, surprise, it’s also the ultimate motto on the road map to being your own #goals. SMART is an acronym of the attributes that your winning goal should have. By ticking each one off, you’ll create a clear target to work towards – and achieve. Time to smarten up…

    Be Specific

    When it comes to planning, you can’t be unsure or vague. “A practical way to do this is to change desire into a clear goal,” says Dr Craig Nossel, co-founder of Evia Health. The first crucial step in setting goals is knowing exactly what you want to achieve. Saying, “I want to lose weight” is not good enough. “Your goal needs to be well defined. Instead, identify a specific amount of weight you want to lose, like, “I want to lose five kilos” or “I want to lose 10 percent body fat,” he says.

    READ MORE: Volume Eating: The Pros, Cons And Nuances Of The Weight Loss Approach

    Measure Up

    “There are a number of mistakes people make when goal-setting – mainly setting goals that are vague, unmeasurable or impractical,” says Nossel. It’s important that your goals are able to be measured, so choose your number, whether it’s a weight on the scale, a mark on a measuring tape or a distance you want to run. It could even be a move you want to master, like a pull-up. As long as you can measure your success.

    Make it Attainable

    Making sure your goals are attainable is as important as knowing exactly what you want to achieve. “If your goals are too difficult to attain, then not fully achieving them is most likely going to demotivate you,” says psychologist Jogini Packery. Never run further than a Parkrun? The Soweto Marathon probably shouldn’t be your first race. You have to hit that sweet spot of doable, but challenging. The Soweto 10-kay will still be twice as far as you’ve ever run (challenging), but with training, it’s totally possible. Remember that goals are there to challenge you to be better than you already are, so don’t be afraid to aim for something high, but break that lofty long-term goal up into smaller short-term goals – like running 10 kays, then 21, then 42. Or losing 1.2 percent body fat per month until, four months later, you’ve almost hit your goal of losing five percent! Setting smaller, achievable targets is a great way to keep you motivated because you see results almost constantly.

    READ MORE: How One Woman Lost Half Her Bodyweight – And Kept It Off

    Keep it Realistic

    It’s one thing to dream big, but you also need to be sensible. A 2016 study by Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy found that unrealistic and poorly planned goals are the number one reason people become demotivated. “If, for example, you haven’t trained in months and suddenly go back to training at high intensity five days a week, the exhaustion and DOMS alone will be demotivating,” says personal trainer Aneeka Buys. You may find you skip a day because you’re tired and sore. That day becomes two and next thing you know, you’re back at square one. Instead, start with HIIT two days a week and plan to build up steadily from there.

    Time Yourself

    If your goal doesn’t have a cut-off date, you’re less likely to stick to it. A timeline keeps your eye on the prize. “You have to set a date by which you want to achieve your goal,” says Buys. Not having a time frame makes your goal seem less urgent – and then it becomes something you can put off. Hold yourself accountable by making a commitment, like signing up for a race. If you feel accountable, you’re less likely to become demotivated, says Buys.

    READ MORE: How To *Actually* Lose Belly Fat With Diet And Exercise

    And Action!

    By now your weight-loss goal should look something like this: I will lose five percent of my body fat by 1 April. What you want to achieve is clear: you’ve set a time frame, it’s measurable, totally achievable and realistic. Now it’s time to map out your plan of action. How are you going to make this a reality? That’s where mini targets come in – things that may be different to your main goal, but will help you achieve it. For example, you may aim to get in four 30-minute workouts per week or meal prep every evening so you avoid the office canteen.

    A week’s worth of exercise and healthy eating? That’s an achievement within itself. But it’s also going to get you closer to that five percent fat loss. “It may seem trivial, but each step counts,” says dietician Raeesa Seedat. By taking the mini steps, you’re making progress that will ultimately lead to your end goal. In her study, Cuddy found that focusing on little bits of improvement was the secret to successful goal planning. By switching your focus to the little achievements you make daily, you’ll keep yourself motivated and before you know it, you’ll be your very own #goals. More

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    20 Fitness Apps To Kickstart Your Wellness Journey

    Looking to crush your goals? Turn to fitness apps. With their variety of programmes and helpful notifications to remind you to get moving, these nifty apps can be a powerful tool in your wellness journey. Many fitness apps also have community programmes built-in to keep you motivated as you share and swap achievements.

    To get the most from your fitness apps, use them to track your progress, set goals (and work towards them) and take note of those notifications. Per a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, these are the conditions in which fitness apps work best.

    Here, we’ve crafted a list of the coolest fitness apps worth your time and bucks. You’ll find an app that works well for you from running, pre-and post-natal to yoga and conditioning and HIIT. Let’s crush those goals!

    Proudly South African Programmes

    Find Balance Kindly

    This app, created by trainer Kirsten Johnson, is meant to be a friendly, safe space for fitness and wellness. Find live and on-demand classes, recipes and programmes to help you reach your goals.


    Harnessing the power of community, you can join workouts and smash your goals along with other people taking on various challenges that creator Juli Poeli hosts. In it, you’ll also find fitness, health and wellness guides for your journey and help you keep track of your progress.

    Hustle Fit

    The app is an extension of the fitness studio owned by surfer and trainer Teal Hogg. Moreover, they offer female-focused classes, including HIIT, boxing, strength training and DNA-specialised nutrition.

    The Movement Lab

    The Movement Lab is a Pilates studio that’s known for doing classes to really great, upbeat music. The best news? They offer online classes and online packages so you can join the fabulous movement wherever you are.

    READ MORE: How To *Actually* Lose Belly Fat With Diet And Exercise

    Apps for running

    Zombies, Run!

    This is probably my favourite running app of all time. A story-driven app, each episode takes you on a thrilling run around the settlement in a post-apocalyptic zombie-infested world. You can choose to add a high-intensity zombie chase with every run, pushing you to go faster and further. With each episode, the story develops, but there’s plenty of time to jog to your own music while listening along.

    Nike Run Club

    This app is always updating and changing to elevate your running experience. There are runs for whatever you’re in the mood for, including mindfulness runs, powered by Headspace. You can pick from programmes like Don’t Wanna Run (such a vibe) or pick your distance and get in-ear coaching.


    Made with certified USATF Coaching Support, you’ll get top-tier coaching in this app. Set a goal, tell the app more about yourself, set up a schedule and let the app do the rest. You’ll work hard but the smartness of the app is in its algorithm, able to adjust to missed runs, flagging motivation and more.

    Couch To 5K

    A great way to pick things up when you’re starting your journey. In partnership with the UK’s NHS and the BBC, this app is a flexible nine-week training plan that builds up your strength and endurance over time. You’ll get progress wards, a selection of trainers and tips.

    READ MORE: The 15-Minute Pregnancy Workout You Can Do At Home

    Apps for new moms or moms-to-be

    Daily Burn

    This app offers classes specifically for moms-to-be, including post-natal classes and conditioning programmes. Find Pilates, Barre, ten-minute workouts and more. Plus, the community section offers a space for support when your motivation is flagging or just need a high five.


    This app offers classes for post-natal and prenatal women, along with 12 other yoga styles to choose from. You can use the app with your Apple Watch, iPad, Laptop or phone, too. There’s also Chromecast built-in if you want to work out from your TV.

    Prenatal Yoga by Down Dog

    This specific class by Down Dog offers classes for prenatal yoga. You can pick the length of your practice, choose the type of flow and boost your session with flexibility, core focus and more.

    Kayla’s Post-Pregnancy on SWEAT

    Not only does this app cater for no-equipment HIIT classes (and so much more) but there’s a specific programme for post-pregnancy babes looking to get back into fitness. There is also a programme by Kayla for pregnancy, where you’ll be taken through moves specific to your body’s season.

    READ MORE: 6 Genius Fitness Hacks From TikTok Sensation Megan Shongwe

    Fitness apps for yoga and conditioning

    Down Dog

    One of my favourite yoga apps, you can follow along a bespoke flow tailored to your needs and each and every practice is different. You can also use it on your desktop or on your phone. With a paid plan, you can boost your flow with cardio, abs and more. Plus, the music is chef’s kiss.


    Get a selection of classes from this programme, including live and on-demand sessions. The classes are energetic but gentle enough for beginners, with a strong focus on conditioning and bodyweight work.

    Asana Rebel

    An inventive way to approach yoga, these high-energy flows see many different types of bodies leading you through classes that’ll tap into your chakras and more. You’ll find challenges to join, new trainers to learn from and more.

    Pilates Anytime

    An online studio, you’ll get premium instruction with thousands of videos that you can try at any level. With so many styles and classes to choose from, you’ll never get bored.

    READ MORE: 6 Weight Loss Strategies That’ll Get You Closer To Your #BodyGoals

    Fitness apps for HIIT and strength training


    The best part about this app? It’s 100% free. There are so many classes to choose from with varying difficulty levels and a variety of disciplines. Join a live class or get ‘em on-demand whenever you’d like. You can even load this app onto your TV and stream classes from there. Genius.


    This app is all-inclusive, with nutrition tips, mindset hacks and more. And of course, there are fitness classes, ranging from beginner’s programmes to biking to building strength and more.

    Nike Training Club

    This app is fantastic for athletes and everyday athletes alike. Pick classes from top trainers and try out a variety of disciplines, including dance. It also works across Nike’s other platforms, like the Nike Run app.

    Centr, by Chris Hemsworth

    While this is a paid-for app, the offering is substantial. You’ll get a personalised plan, custom meal plans and grocery lists and a progress tracker to help you crush your goals. Plus, they’ve got top trainers (including women, like Elsa Pataky) to guide you on your journey to wellness.

    Michelle October

    Michelle is a freelance writer at WH, passionate about all things health, fitness and mental wellness. She’s also an avid surfer and recently discovered skateboarding as a viable means of transport. Skate dates, anyone? More

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    4 Easy Exercises You Can’t Ignore If You’re Walking For Weight Loss

    There’s more to good walking form than standing up straight. Proper foot alignment and a powerful push-off keep you walking longer and stronger. First, use this simple test to find out how fit you are, then make good technique second nature with these exercises from Dr Suki Munseli, developer of Dynamic Walking.

    1. Shirt pull

    Why it’s crucial: Lengthens spine to prevent slumping.

    Cross your arms at the wrists in front of your waist and raise your arms, as if you’re pulling a shirt up and over your head. Grow taller as you reach up. Lower your arms, letting your shoulders drop into place. Repeat frequently during a walk to avoid back tightness.

    READ MORE: 18 New Running Shoes To Help You Run Faster And Farther In 2024

    2. Pendulum swing

    Why it’s crucial: Keeps hips lifted for a smooth stride.

    Holding onto something for support, like the back of a chair, balance on your right leg and swing your left leg forward and backward eight to 10 times without touching your foot to the ground. Repeat, this time swinging your right leg.

    3. Heel-toe roll

    Why it’s crucial: Realigns feet and knees.

    Stand with your feet parallel, one shoe-width apart. With your knees slightly bent, roll from heel to toe eight to 10 times, rocking back and forth down the centre of your feet.

    READ MORE: Walking For Weight Loss: Does It Work? Plus, 9 Tips To Get You There

    4. Kick sand

    Why it’s crucial: Increases push-off power.

    Standing tall, scrape the ground with one foot as if to kick sand behind you, like a dog digging a hole. Use your whole leg, from the hip to the butt. Don’t lean forward too much. Repeat six times on each side.

    Here are five ways to burn more fat during your walking workouts. Plus, we’ve got the beginner guide: how to lose weight with running!

    Originally published in Prevention’s Walking For Weight Loss. More

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    This Simple One-Minute Fitness Test Will Help You Reach Your Goals

    If your goal is to get fitter and stronger, you’re going to need a benchmark. This quick and simple fitness test will show you where you’re at. 

    So. The push-up. It’s an upper-body move that sculpts your arms, right? Correct. But did you know that it also tones your abs and butt? True story! When done correctly, a no-knees push-up is actually a killer total-body toner. Yes, it’s amazing for working your arms and chest (hello, perkier boobs!) but to maintain your body position, you also need to engage your core and squeeze those glutes. Relax the glutes and your bum sticks up in the air. Relax your tummy muscles and you’ll start to sag like you’re humping the ground. Not your most attractive moment.

    READ MORE: This Explosive 15-Minute Workout Gets It All Done – Fast

    The One-Minute Fitness Test

    Since the push-up is such a killer full-body move, it’s also a good way to test your muscle endurance, a key component of muscular fitness.

    Take The One-Minute Push-Up Fitness TestThe test is easy, quick and you can do it at home.

    Set a timer for one minute.

    Do as many push-ups as you can with good form in a minute. The key here is quality over quantity. If you’re losing form, take a quick break, then carry on again. Make a note of how many you were able to clock and see how much better you can get over time.

    Looking for more inspo on your wellness journey? Try one of these 20 Fitness Apps to get started. More

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    18 New Running Shoes To Help You Run Faster And Farther In 2024

    The pair of running shoes you choose can make or break your run. You ever slipped on a pair only to feel that red-hot feeling of an incoming blister a few kms into your first run? Or you take your shoes off after a long run to find a blackening toenail? Whatever your woeful running horror story is, one thing is for sure, you need a solid pair of takkies to help you hit the tar, treadmill or trails. And we’re here to help.

    What To Consider When Looking For A New Pair Of Running Shoes

    There are a few questions you’re going to want to ask yourself before you head out to your nearest Sportsmans Warehouse on the next available Saturday morning.

    What will you mostly be using your shoes for?

    How far do you want to run?

    What kind of terrain are you going to be running on?

    Do you want to use them for other kinds of training (like HIIT or strength training)?

    READ MORE: We Tested The NEW Under Armour Iso-Chill Range With Running Late Club

    What To Look For In A Shoe

    Cushioning: This helps the ground feel softer and encourages ground-contact stability.

    Weight: Lighter shoes usually have less cushioning; they’re designed for your speedy runs. Heavier shoes tend to have more cushioning and are better for your longer runs.

    Drop: This is the difference in cushioning (or height) from the heel to the front of the foot. Basically, when you’re barefoot your heel and forefoot touch the ground so the drop is 0mm. Slip on a pair of particularly cushioned running shoes (or some serious heels) and the drop starts to increase. Drop tends to range from 0mm to 14mm, with 10mm being the most common heel drop.

    Pronation: Many shoes will state the type of pronation they are suitable for (but every person is different). Make sure you choose a shoe that’s suitable for you after doing a gait analysis with an expert (hint: they’re usually free). Not sure what these words mean? Keep on reading!

    Do You Need A Gait Analysis For Running?

    Many running coaches, trainers and running brands recommend getting a gait analysis. But what does that actually mean? In simple terms, your gait describes the way in which you walk. So a gait analysis is an exam that gives you information about your walking and running style.

    Everyone is different and knowing your gait is a huge part of knowing your running style. The more information you have, the more equipped you are to choose the right pair of shoes for you and ultimately prevent injury.

    “Knowing your gait can help you grow as a runner and help prevent injuries in the future. Each runner has a specific gait, and not knowing yours could result in an injury,” according to Asics.

    What Does Pronation Mean?

    A large part of gait analysis focuses on determining your pronation. When it comes to running, pronation refers to how your foot naturally rolls inward after your heel strikes the ground. Ideal pronation would result in this motion (the natural inward roll) absorbing the shock from the force of your heel coming into contact with the ground.

    Once your pronation has been determined, you want to try to match yourself to a running shoe that adjusts for your specific pronation. Wearing the correct running shoe will make you a more efficient runner and help you avoid those jog-ending injuries.

    3 Types Of Pronation:

    Neutral pronation: When your foot lands outside of your heel and then rolls naturally inward (about 15%), absorbing the shock and keeping your ankles aligned. If this is you, try the Under Armour FLOW Velociti Elite.

    Overpronation: When your feet roll inward too much. This requires a more sturdy running shoe so that your foot can be kept in place. Try the PUMA NITRO or Asics Gel-Nimbus™ 25 if you’re an overpronater.

    Supination or underpronation: When the feet don’t roll inward enough. This requires a shoe that has plenty of cushioning, like the Salomon Spectur.

    READ MORE: These Strength And Cross-Training Workouts Will Improve Your Running

    5 Places To Get A Gait Analysis In South Africa

    Sportsmans Warehouse

    Sportsmans Warehouse has RUN-id, an industry-leading advanced gait analysis technology developed by German engineer Jens Hellenbacher. It’s in selected stores around South Africa (Gauteng, Western Cape, Pretoria, KZN and Eastern Cape), is completely free and only takes a few minutes. Find out more here.

    ASICS Mall Of Africa

    If you’re a runner, you’ll be familiar with Asics. They have a huge range of shoes to suit any type of runner. So if you’ve got your heart set on your next pair being from the brand, why not head straight to the Asics store at Mall Of Africa for a gait analysis? The analysis is free of charge. Find out more here.

    Total Sports

    Total Sports is really changing the game when it comes to getting active. Their free gait analysis is available at Totalsports in Sandton, Mall of Africa, Canal Walk, Cavendish, Gateway and more.

    The Athlete’s Foot

    You can pre-order your running and gait analysis at the shop over here. They also give an in-depth breakdown of what they will be analysing and why it matters here.

    The Sweat Shop

    Head to The Sweat Shop Dunkeld in Johannesburg or The Sweat Shop Claremont in Cape Town for shoe fittings, gait analysis and premium advice.

    Now that you know a little bit more about what to look for in your next pair of running shoes, you’re ready to shop. Whether you’re a newbie or an experienced runner, hit the ground running with these newly-released running shoes.

    READ MORE: Beginners 5K Running Training Plan And How To Crush It In Just 6 Weeks

    For Speed Runs

    For speed work and short-distance runs, look for a shoe with a little drop – in a European Journal of Sports Science study, they found that minimalist shoes can help you run faster, and make your feet and calves stronger. These are our top 2024 running shoes for speedy runs.

    Nike Vaporfly 3

    This is a speed shoe, indeed. But gone are the days when a quick 5K fit the bill for what creates a speedy run. These shoes can take you from a fast 10K through to a pacy marathon, too. The grooves in the sole drive energy from the sole through to the forefoot, making for faster take-offs.

    Under Armour Surge 3 Running Shoes

    With just an 8mm drop, this lightweight and breathable shoe will have you flying. A cushioned EVA midsole gives you a responsive ride while strategically placed rubber pods on the outsole add durability while keeping things light.

    adidas Adizero Boston 12

    You’d be surprised that such a chunky shoe can create such speed. Get flexibility in the forefoot along with a locked-in midfoot through your run. Energyrods at the bottom of the shoe provide a more seamless transition as you push off from the ground.

    PUMA Fast-R Nitro Elite

    You’d be forgiven for thinking this is a moon boot, but it’s actually a speed runner. The shoe, broken into two parts, delivers speed in the front section and comfort at the back, while the forefoot is primed to react to your cadence. It’s also surprisingly stable. While it’s built for speed, you could even take this bad boy on marathons, says PUMA. Expect a new version to drop in February 2024 – this shoe will be lighter and even faster.

    Asics Magic Speed

    Get the energy you need to ace your next PB. It works for both tempo runs and races and a carbon TPU plate propels your foot forward upon landing, so you go further, faster. A cushioned midsole keeps your stride propulsive while maintaining a lightweight feel.

    Hoka Mach X

    For those who want to run even faster, this pace-pushing shoe is it. It’s also a lightweight shoe built to last: the Mach X is supercharged with a layer of PEBA foam that’s 34% more resilient than the Carbon X 3 foam, making this a good shoe for both distance and speedy sprints.

    For Longer Distance Runs

    For longer distances, look for a higher drop in the shoe (read: a higher heel) that supports and keeps you comfy when you’re going for many km.

    On Running Cloudbloom Echo

    Made to go the distance, these shoes, with the upward curve, push your foot further and faster. You’ll also find enhanced cushioning on the forefoot, making for a more comfortable journey.

    Under Armour HOVR™ Machina 3

    Perfect for hot rides, the shoe’s mesh upper allows for maximum airflow, while tons of springy cushioning keeps you pushing forward. Plus, the combination of carbon and blown rubber on the outsole allows for durability and a lightweight rebound.

    adidas SOLARGLIDE 6

    Go the distance with this nifty runner. BOOST tech delivers energy return with each stride, while LEP 2.0 technology guides your foot forward for an extra push when you toe-off during your run.

    PUMA Magnify Nitro 2

    There’s tons of rubber in this shoe, making for a longer, smoother ride. In the midsole, you’ll find nitrogen-infused NITRO™ foam, to keep you bouncing along in comfort. The outsole’s rubber is durable and is built for all-surface traction.

    New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080

    Per New Balance, this shoe is IT. The shoe they’d make if they only made one. A bold claim, but we’ve reviewed it and can testify to its bounciness and responsiveness. The midsole, with proprietary Fresh Foam, allows the landing to push off to go that much more smoothly while the super-soft upper material is breathable.

    Nike Alphapfly 3

    Made with the beloved Zoom upper but with a decked-out sole, this shoe for marathoners looking to pace up fits the bill. It’s helped runner Kelvin Kiptum break the Marathon World Record, so it’s got to be good. What’s new? A smoother heel-to-toe transition from the continuous bottom as well as a wider carbon fibre Flyplate for extra propulsion.

    For Trail Runs

    With trail running shoes, you’re looking for a grippier outsole that can withstand uneven footpaths and keep your foot secure as you traverse the unknown. These are worth your cash.

    Salomon Pulsar

    A bouncy, superior comfort shoe that tackles the trails while you walk on clouds. An Energy Foam midsole gives you smooth transitions, while an Energy Blade helps with propulsion to shift you forward.

    Nike Ultrafly

    Fast and grippy, this shoe makes the case for a trail run that’s both fast, epic and yes, totally doable, no matter the conditions. The Nike Ultrafly was designed with Vibram and contains its lightweight, agile outsole design and traction tech underneath.

    Hoka SpeedGoat 5

    Like Nike’s Ultrafly, this shoe features the Vibram® Megagrip with Traction Lug designed to provide more surface contact and traction. It’s lighter and roomier but no less stable, making for light work when tackling the trails.


    A lightweight shoe that won’t bog you down on the hills. Shock-absorbing EVA provides comfort and the mesh upper takes you through mud, rain and sunshine. The Continental™ Rubber outsole also gives you a better grip on those trails.

    Under Armour Charged Maven

    For shock absorption, look for the UA Charged tech embedded in this shoe. The cushioning needs to be soft but rugged enough to take on rocks and gravel – and this shoe does the trick.

    PUMA Voyage Nitro 3

    The camo look is so subtle and beautiful, you’ll be wanting to wear this everywhere. But it’s destined for the trails: it sheds water so you’re never wet, while the outsole allows the shoe to move independently with the ground for better traction.

    Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. More

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    This Explosive 15-Minute Workout Gets It All Done – Fast

    Move faster with this get-nimble, get-quick explosive 15-minute workout routine. And you should have 15 minutes to spare, so no excuses! Ready, set, slim down.

    Guess what? Agility drills aren’t just for border collies. In fact, they’re a crucial part of any workout plan. Being able to start, stop and change direction quickly builds stamina and sculpts insane, look-at-me legs – it may even help improve your memory and focus. The explosive moves you see in this explosive 15-minute workout are designed to make that good stuff happen.

    Oh, and they’ll send your fat burners into overdrive, says performance coach Joel Sanders, who created this routine. “More movement equals more kilojoules burnt, making these exercises ideal if you’re crunched for time,” explains Sanders. Even better: they’re mentally stimulating – something you don’t get with the typical squat or lunge. And you can do them in your lounge, no equipment needed. Score!

    The Explosive 15-Minute Workout

    Two or three times a week, perform this explosive 15-minute workout as a circuit. Starting with the first exercise, do as many reps as you can in 20 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds before proceeding to the next exercise.

    Rest for one to two minutes at the end of the set. Complete up to five total sets.You’ll need: floor space; a wall

    Acceleration wall drill

    Place your hands on a wall, arms straight, and lean forward so that your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Drive your left knee up (A); pause for one second, then return to start and immediately repeat with your right leg (B). Continue alternating as quickly as possible.

    READ MORE: Grab Your BFF For This Fun Buddy Workout That Tones *Everything*

    Split Jumps

    Stand with your left foot one big step (about 90cm) in front of your right. Bend your knees to lower your body until your left thigh is parallel to the floor (A). This is a split squat. Jump up quickly (B), switching your legs midair so you land with your right foot in front; immediately lower back into a split squat (C). Continue alternating.

    READ MORE: What Is Cozy Cardio On TikTok? Trainers Weigh In On The Comfy Workout Trend

    Lateral Bound

    Standing on your right foot, bend your knee and sit your hips back as you swing your right arm behind you, keeping your chest lifted (A). Jump to the left, swinging your left arm behind you and landing softly on your left foot (B). Reverse the movement to return to start. Hold for three seconds, then switch legs and repeat.

    READ MORE: This Totally Explosive Workout Will Help You Burn Fat In No Time At All

    Base Rotation

    Stand with your feet just more than shoulder-width apart, knees bent and weight on your toes; rotate your shoulders and torso to the left (A). Keeping your shoulders facing in this direction, jump and rotate your lower body 180 degrees to the left (B), then jump to rotate back to start. Continue alternating quickly.

    This article is excerpted from The Women’s Health Big Book of 15-Minute Workouts. More

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    Step Into Your Best Shape With The WH Walking Challenge

    Starting a new exercise programme can be daunting. We get that! And it’s why we’re so excited about the Women’s Health Big Book of Walking Workouts, which proves once and for all that you don’t have to overhaul your entire life to meet your weight loss and fitness goals – you simply have to put one foot in front of the other.

    The WH Walking Challenge is a six-week programme that gives you weekly walking targets, plus workouts to keep you strong and fit. Let’s get moving!

    How To Get Started

    All you need is a good pair of walking shoes for major fitness gains! But following a few basic tips can make your walking challenge experience a whole lot more comfortable and enjoyable.

    Eat a small snack before you set out. To eat or not to eat before exercise is a matter of personal preference, but a big breakfast will likely weigh you down and you don’t want to get a stitch! Have a small snack, like a banana, a small yoghurt or half a slice of toast with peanut butter, and save brekkie for when you get home.

    Drink a glass of water. Your body will be dehydrated after a night’s sleep so drink one glass of water to keep you hydrated during your walk, but not desperate for the loo!

    Start slowly. Because walking is a low-impact activity, there’s no need to do a long warm-up. Simply start at a slow pace for five to ten minutes and pick it up once your body has warmed up.

    Wear reflective gear. If you’re new to walking on the road for exercise, make sure you wear bright and preferably reflective clothing. It’s still gloomy in the early mornings.

    READ MORE: 4 Easy Exercises You Can’t Ignore If You’re Walking For Weight Loss

    Find Your Fitness

    When you start the walking challenge, it’s good to know your fitness level so you can see how you improve over time. Dr James Rippe, a professor of biomedical sciences, developed the following formula to help walkers assess their fitness by age. Walk 1.6km (a mile) as quickly as you can, then compare your time: If you exceed the ideal time for your age group by three to six minutes or more, you’re not in the best shape aerobically. But don’t worry; just keep walking. Exercising consistently can lower your time.

    Under 30 years: If you can walk 1.6km in 13 minutes or less, you’re in great shape!

    30-39 years: 14 minutes means you’re in good cardio health!

    40-59 years: 14-15 minutes means you’re in peak condition.

    60-69 years: 15 minutes is an excellent pace!

    70+ years: If you can walk it in 18 minutes or so, you’re very fit.

    The WH Walking Challenge

    Follow the six-week plan below, designed by international trainer Leigh Crews, to get fitter and tone up your legs, tummy and bum. If you don’t have access to hills or stairs within your 5km radius, do a brisk pace walk for those sessions instead. Print this plan or screen grab it and save it on your phone for easy access.

    Jiggle-Blasting Strength Moves

    Do these in addition to your walk on days 3, 5 and 7 of the walking challenge. Use your walk as your warm-up, then do these moves when you get home. A set is 8-12 reps unless otherwise indicated.

    Glute Bridge

    How to: Lie on your back with feet flat against the floor and knees bent. Squeeze your glutes and lift your hips off of the floor until your body forms a straight line from your knees to your shoulders. Pause at the top, then lower back down to the starting position.

    Reverse Lunge With Twist

    How to: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with sliders under your feet, and hands behind your head. Slide back with your right leg and lower until your left knee is bent 90 degrees. Keeping your hands behind your head, twist your body to the left. Return to centre, then push through your left foot to return to start. That’s one rep.

    Lying Hamstring Curl

    How to: Start lying on back with knees bent, feet on top of a towel or paper. Engage core, then press into heels and squeeze glutes to raise hips toward the ceiling. Hold the position as you extend legs to straight. Reverse the movement to return to start. That’s one rep. 

    Weighted Fire Hydrant

    How to: Get on all fours on top of your mat. Tuck a two to six-kilo dumbbell in the crease of your right knee. Keeping that leg bent at 90 degrees, lift it out to the side, stopping at hip height. Return to start. That’s one rep.

    Heat It Up Hill Walk

    This workout incorporates inclines and specific intervals to help target your glute muscles while you walk. If you don’t have access to a hill or stairs, simply swap these sessions in the walking challenge for brisk-pace walks instead. You’ll still score major benefits!

    How It Works

    Walk for 30 minutes, hitting a hill, bridge or stairs if you can. Time how long it takes to go up a hill or staircase, then recover by walking on level ground for about half that time. For instance, if you took 40 seconds to get up a hill, recover for 20 seconds. Timing doesn’t have to be exact, but this is a good gauge. If you don’t have access to a hill, power walk as fast as you can for the incline parts, then slow your pace for the recovery.

    Follow this pattern for your 30-minute walk:

    PART 1: 5 minutes; Easy pace, like you’re window shopping

    PART 2: 5 minutes; Flat walk at a semi-brisk pace, like you’re walking with purpose.

    PART 3 (Repeat 5 times): 1:30 minutes incline or fast power walk; 1 minute flat or semi-brisk recovery walk. *Note: If your incline takes less than 1:30 minutes to the top, keep going up and down for this amount of time then walk on the flat for the recovery minute.

    PART 4: 5 minutes; Easy pace, like you’re window shopping

    Butt Shaper Walk

    Do this 35-35 minute routine on the stipulated days in the walking challenge programme, focusing on squeezing your bum. Try to keep that contraction in your glutes as you walk.

    READ MORE: DIY Your Own Butt Workout At Home With These 15 Moves From A Trainer

    How It Works

    Start walking at an easy, window-shopping pace. Gradually increase to a brisk, late-for-an-appointment pace over the next 10 minutes.

    Now stop walking and do drill 1 for 20 seconds. (Each week, add another 20 seconds until you’re doing the drill for a full five minutes by week 6.)

    Walk briskly for 5 minutes, then do drill 2 for 20 seconds. Follow this pattern until you’ve done all drills, each time followed by 5 minutes of brisk walking.

    After the last drill and subsequent 5-min brisk walk, stroll at an easy pace for four minutes.

    Drill 1: Speed Skater

    Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Sweep your left leg out to the side and jump. In one smooth motion, land on your left leg in a partial squat and swing your right leg diagonally behind you (shown). Then leap to the right, sweeping your left leg behind you. Continue jumping side to side until time is up.

    Drill 2: Long Lunge with Reach

    Take a long step forwards with your left leg (about 60 to 90cm) and bend your knees as you simultaneously lean forward from your hips and reach as though setting something on the ground next to your front foot. Press into your left foot, pull your hands back and stand up with feet together. Switch sides and repeat drill until time is up.

    Drill 3: Single-Leg Step-Down

    Stand with your left foot on a step or curb, right leg hanging off. Bend your hips and left knee to lower your right foot, gently tapping your right heel on the ground. Press into your left heel and straighten your leg, then repeat until halfway through the set. Switch legs and continue until time is up.

    Drill 4: Heel Walk

    Raise your toes off the ground and walk so you’re balancing on your heels only. Take short, quick steps and swing your arms naturally. Your pace will probably be slower than normal. Continue until the time is up.

    Extracted from the Women’s Health Big Book of Walking Workouts. More

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    Essential Gear For Any Active Vacay

    If your idea of a perfect getaway involves a bit more adrenaline and a lot less lounging, then join the club. Chamain van Zyl, our online editor and hiking enthusiast, knows the drill: “Spontaneous bushveld strolls and local trail scouting? Count me in!”

    Plus, a foray into nature reaps health benefits, too. In a 2020 study published in the Journal of Contemporary Psychotherapy, researchers discovered a significant correlation between outdoor mindfulness and two key components of human well-being: positivity and life satisfaction. The study underscores the impact of mindful experiences in natural settings on individuals’ emotional well-being and overall life contentment. So, if you’re still wondering why you should hit the trails and discover the great outdoors, these articles might help:

    Beyond the basics

    We’ve crafted a guide for your upcoming adventure—packed with action cameras, versatile gear and all the outdoor essentials you never knew you needed. Happy shopping!

    Hiking or Trail Running

    GoPro Hero 10 Black

    Capture the heart-pounding moments of your hiking, running, surfing, cycling and all the epic adventures with the GoPro Hero 10. Don’t miss a single second of the action!

    Garmin vívoactive® 5

    Keep a vigilant eye on your body battery this holiday season. Remember to prioritise much-needed rest and recovery after each exhilarating session. Your body’s your most valuable adventure tool!

    Salomon Active Skin 8 

    Whether it’s a quick run or a day-long hike, this hydration vest offers ultimate comfort with its soft, snug fit and breathability. Plus, enjoy modular storage and clever chest pockets for quick access to your flasks.

    USN Vooma Bar Almond & Honey Nougat

    Get hooked on these delectable USN nougat bars! Not only do they taste AMAZING, but they also give you the ‘vooma’ you need during your action-packed activities. It’s the perfect on-the-go fuel!

    PUMA X Liberty Women’s Crop Top

    It’s not just about hiking; it’s about hiking in both style and comfort. A sports bra ensures the utmost support for your adventure. After all, we need to look after the girls on any trip!

    READ MORE: 3 Things To Look For When Buying A Hiking Backpack (Plus, 8 Amazing Ones To Buy Right Now)

    Women’s UA RUSH™ Energy 2.0 Short Sleeve

    This top not only fits like a dream, but it helps you stay dry, stay energised and conquer every PB on your journey!

    Ladies X-Trail Waterproof Running Jacket

    Don’t let unpredictable weather keep you from the trails. Stay cool, dry and protected with the Ladies X-Trail lightweight jacket. It’s designed for the most demanding conditions and easily packs into your hydration pack. Be unstoppable, rain or shine!

    Kitchen Think Gadget Set

    Marshmallow on a stick is so last season. For the outdoor foodie, this self-stacking nesting gadget set is a game-changer. Enjoy brie and fig sarmies on your hike with a swivel peeler, mini grater, pizza cutter, bottle opener and grinder.

    adidas Terrex Speed Flow Trail Running Shoes

    Your adventure’s best friend. Designed for racing on any terrain and in all conditions, these shoes offer comfort and grip with a breathable mesh upper and a cushioned, lightweight midsole. Stay sure-footed on wet rocks and roots with the Continental™ Rubber outsole.

    Falke Silver Cushion Runner

    Never underestimate the importance of quality socks. Choose the right fit, just like the right shoes, for a blister-free experience.

    READ MORE: 24 Best Fitness Gifts For The Gym Lover In Your Life

    Thule AllTrail X 15L

    Whether you’re hauling snacks, jackets, or more, this versatile waxed canvas backpack can handle it all. It’s equally at home on the trail as it is in the city, ensuring you’re ready for any adventure that comes your way.

    Women’s UA Run Elite 2-in-1 Shorts

    What’s an adventure without comfy shorts? These have an expandable pocket to secure your phone without the bounce, making them perfect for runners who like to stay connected.

    Mountain Biking

    Specialized Women’s Camber Comp Carbon

    You cannot go wrong with Specialized! This bike is designed to give women the ultimate trail experience, offering speed, efficiency, and assured handling both uphill and downhill. Get ready to ride like never before!

    Assos® Uma GT Evo | Women’s Half Shorts

    “I prefer shorts over bib shorts, it’s just easier to get out of when nature calls. [chuckles]” says Chamain van Zyl, Digital Editor. Picking the right pair of cycling shorts is crucial to keep your comfort levels high and your bum happy on those long rides.

    Ciovita Nucleo Sport Fit Cycling Jersey

    Look as cool as your ride while tearing up the trails! The Nucleo Sport Fit Cycling Jersey offers a relaxed sport-fit style with slightly longer sleeves. It also packs an expandable pocket for extra storage, reflective trims for visibility and a secure elasticated back hem. Style and function in one!

    Fizik Ladies Terra Ergolace X2 Mountain Bike Shoe

    These gorgeous mountain bike shoes offer an anatomical fit for ultimate comfort. Plus, they feature an X2 outsole with Vibram grip for superior traction both on and off the bike.

    READ MORE: 10 Reasons Why You Should Take Up Cycling In 2023

    Giro Radix Cycle Helmet

    Safety is non-negotiable! Protect yourself with the Giro Radix Cycle Helmet, built to deliver toughness, protection, durability, and style. Your trusted companion for a thrilling ride through the trails.

    ILoveBoobies Tropical Socks

    Don’t forget to match your kit with cute socks! These tropical socks by I Love Boobies aren’t just adorable; they’re functional and for a fantastic cause. For every five pairs of socks sold, one breast cancer screening is paid for.

    Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. More