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    10 Wellness Quotes By Miss SA Natasha Joubert (That We Absolutely Loved!)

    Ever met those people who are a freakin’ big deal but don’t treat themselves as such? This was the case when current Miss SA Natasha Joubert invited me to her home for the Jan/Feb 2024 cover interview. After insisting on brewing me the perfect cup of coffee, the 26-year-old opened up about everything in her new, busy world. From the gruelling Miss SA preps, dealing with negative opinions and managing a tight schedule to not being too anal about diets and swopping intense workouts for low-impact exercises, she left no stone unturned.

    After almost three hours of Natasha laying her soul bare, one important lesson that I took away was that: Our breakthrough or fresh start is always one last push, and sound decision, away. Ahead, some wisdom that we gleaned from one of the most relatable Miss SA’s in the history of the pageant:

    READ MORE: Do This Cardio Workout At Home To Burn Cals And Boost Your Mood

    1. Embracing New Beginnings And Forging Ahead

    “I’ve learnt not to become too complacent. I usually know that it’s time for change when I get to a point where a lot of things no longer excite me or when it feels like I’m settling. Then I know that it’s time to take a risk or introduce changes to my daily routine. Secondly, don’t only try one or twice — if you have to do something four times, then go for it! These days, failure is more common than success. If you study the lives of most successful people, they definitely didn’t get it right the first time around. For instance, my mother studied law when she was 18 and quit. She just recently got her law degree now at 50. The lesson? If there’s something that you genuinely want for yourself, go for it. Even if it means taking a break.”

    2. Fight For Your Dreams

    “In life you’re going to have to fight for the things you need and want. There are very few young people who have parents who can finance their future goals. And I was one of those kids. Saving my pageant winnings and working odd jobs as teenager and post-matric made me financially independent from a young age. At times, I’d have to borrow my mother money because she just couldn’t do it as a single mother. Granted, I grew up quicker than I would’ve liked to. Now that I’m running my own household, I fully understand how my mom struggled on her own after my dad’s passing. My wish is for young people to understand that having parents who fund their education and goals is a privilege that they should never take for granted – not a must!”

    READ MORE: 6 Times You’re Totally Sabotaging Yourself At Work — Without Realising It

    3. Humble Beginnings

    “When I entered Miss SA in 2020, the judges always advised us to bring our real selves to the competition if we really wanted to win. And I remember thinking: “What does that even mean?” But working with a therapist to heal my childhood traumas has been revolutionary. I wasn’t self-assured the first time around. The thought alone of admitting to being independent at a young age so that I could relieve my mother of any financial pressure, or the debilitating fact that we lost our home after my dad’s passing, would’ve embarrassed me or brought me to tears! But I now tell that story with pride in hopes that it will inspire many other young people to fight for their dreams like I did!” 

    4. What I Know For Sure

    “Now I know that life is about balance. It’s all about knowing when to work hard and when to take time off or when to take things seriously and when not to overthink. I don’t take my Miss SA title too seriously. I dance when I’m at events, I’m definitely not stiff and stuck up. At the end of the day, everyone is literally just like you – they’re human. I want to be known as a Miss SA who gets the job done, but who’s also relatable and showcases the downfalls and the struggles. I don’t mind being an open book because it allows me to go through life freely and without feeling the need to filter certain things out.”

    5. Navigating Negativity

    “I’ve never worked as hard as I did for Miss SA – little knowing that the hard work gets worse after being crowned [chuckles]. There will always be those people who feel that you didn’t deserve an opportunity, but no one can ever tell you that you’re not fit for anything if you give it your all.”

    6. Living With ADHD And Anxiety

    “I was diagnosed with ADHD and anxiety in my adulthood. It could’ve been earlier but I refused to go to therapy when my dad passed away in my teens. I didn’t want to be on medication chronically so we started on a really low dosage for a few months then eased it out. Eventually, I had to find coping mechanisms that would help me control the symptoms from the inside and exit that space of constantly wanting to be busy – and that’s where life coaching came in. I will always go to therapy for as long as circumstances allow me to.”

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

    7. Stop To Smell The Roses

    “I’m in my 20s now and understand that I haven’t reached the pinnacle of who I want to be. I don’t want to be so consumed by life’s responsibilities, or rush through it, without ever stopping to reflect on the next step and carefully mapping out who I want to be. I want to constantly challenge myself to grow after ticking off a goal and to do everything with intention.”

    8. After A Long Day…

    “My favourite form of unwinding is lying on the couch and enjoying a good series, or being with family and friends, walking my dogs, lying in the sun, swimming at my grandparents’ house or sitting in front of the fire with my boyfriend in winter. It’s really the small things that bring me the greatest joy.”

    9. Don’t Demand Too Much Of Your Body

    “Gym for me was always about releasing endorphins. I really can’t promise myself that I’ll commit to exercising as regularly and as intensely as I did before and during the Miss SA preps – and that’s also okay. My work schedule simply doesn’t allow me to. The smaller things like walking my dogs and hiking with my family will have to do for now.”

    10. Local Is Definitely Lekker

    “I love travelling locally — the Western Cape Winelands and the Kruger National Park being firm favourites. I get PTSD from travelling internationally. My bag is always overweight, I always worry about the possibility of missing the flight and then I’m constipated for four days after returning. When I land back in SA, I always think to myself, ‘I don’t know why I paid that much just to want to be back home [chuckles].’

    Catch our detailed interview with Miss South Africa Natasha Joubert in the January/February 2024 issue of Women’s Health on shelves now, or grab yourself a digital copy. More

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    Boxing Training With Connie Ferguson

    Two-time South African and international boxing champion Xolisani ‘Nomeva’ Ndongeni, also Connie Ferguson’s boxing trainer of five years, meets our cover star twice or thrice a week for some scintillating boxing action at his gym, north of Johannesburg. “She already had a lot of interest in boxing when I met her. Her father was a kickboxer so boxing was easy for her to get into,” he says. He adds: “Connie’s always interested in perfecting her moves and getting her form right.” In short, Connie’s persistence (and commitment) is any trainer’s dream! 

    READ MORE: Connie Ferguson’s Favourite Strength Training Workouts

    A boxing rookie? Nomeva is quick to point out that unlike in conventional exercising, boxing doesn’t have one set move with a name. “In boxing training, we have combos where you have to listen closely to the trainer’s instructions in order to execute and have a basic understanding of the moves and posture required.”  So just how easy or difficult is it to master this sport? On the outside, boxing seems difficult but once you start practising it, it’s quite easy. “All you need is one or two sessions of learning the basics and you’re set,” promises Nomeva. 

    Describing the 53-year-old legendary actress as passionate and consistent, Nomeva says boxing training aligns with Connie’s goal — which is to tone her upper body. Below are a few general tips on boxing and some of the moves that keep Connie’s bod in tip-top condition. 

    Boxing Bennies

    Some people box to release stress or calm down from a hectic day (yes to therapy and fitness in one!), while some take up boxing for self-defence purposes. Whatever your reason, the benefits are immense. “Because you’re using your body,  legs, hands, legs, eyes and also engaging your core, boxing offers a full body workout with great cardio benefits,” shares Nomeva, who adds that it may seem like a waste of time or a game but it’s a fun way of training once you get the combos right.

    READ MORE: What is Pilates?: A Complete Guide for Beginners, Inc. 34 Exercises + 15 Best Online Classes

    Whether punching a bag, running circuits, sparring or practising your footwork, your body requires strength to execute each move. “Boxing also teaches discipline, independence and being able to adjust to so many situations,” adds Nomeva. When preparing for a fight as a professional boxer, you need to understand various situations and challenges and adjust accordingly. 

    Some Connie Flow Drill Combos To Try Below

    Known as a flow drill (see examples below) — or the combo that keeps our cover star in top shape as we’d like to think of it — it helps improve hand-eye coordination as well as reflexes. Flow drills tend to be lengthy, meaning they can also improve overall fitness levels. “Boxing drills allow you to learn a boxing skill or group of skills by repeating that skill or group of skills with a critical eye.  Boxing drills are about precision of execution, with speed of execution secondary to precision and technical accuracy. Lastly, the aim is to train the body and mind to work in a particular way under fight conditions,” according to

    A flow drill usually starts off with a basic combination, then builds up from there. For example, a 232 (cross/left hook/cross) would be the starting point, then more punches that expand the combination will follow.

    Our July/Aug 2023 cover star Connie Ferguson swears by the flow drill, with varying combos added to constantly keep her on her toes.

    READ MORE: 4 Postpartum Exercises That’ll Give You A Tighter Core

    Nomeva has been a professional boxer for 13 years. He is a two-time South African, world and international champion, as well as a three-time African champion. More

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    Connie Ferguson’s Favourite Strength Training Workouts

    When personal trainer Muzzi Zikalala first started training our July/August 2023 cover star Connie Ferguson, together with her close friends, the mandate was clear. Connie wanted muscle strength in her legs and upper body. “She already does boxing and skips regularly. Anyone who loves boxing needs to have muscle strength to be able to maintain a firm stand.”As a group, our focus at the moment is legs and butt,” says Zikalala. He adds: “The exercises vary. On some Saturdays, we focus on quads, glutes and calves and the next time we focus on hamstrings, glutes and calves. And on other days, it’s a round-off of everything.”

    READ MORE: Get Cover Star Connie Ferguson’s Look

    When it comes to exercise, and overall, fitness Zikalala says Connie’s mindset is already on point. “If we’re doing four sets, that’s exactly what she will do — even if it means taking a breather. But she never cheats an exercise,” he says. The point, he reiterates, is to always push past the pain point because that’s when muscles really start to get transformed.

    “The one thing I enjoy about training sis’ Connie is that she never rushes an exercise. She takes things slowly, which is how you attack muscles. The slower you do it, the more painful it is, the more it burns and the more beneficial it is.”

    Below, are some of the moves that Zikalala has curated as part of Connie’s strength training programme.

    Donkey Kicks

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    Fire Hydrants

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    Hip Thrusts

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    Leg Extensions With A Twist

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    Leg Press With A Twist

    (PS: this one almost always brings Connie to tears, warns Muzzi)

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    Squats With A Ten-Count Pause

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    Walking Lunges With Weights

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    Also Worth Noting

    When switching from a cardio-focused to a strength training programme, remember that it’s a different type of fitness altogether. “Fitness in its very nature is varied and wide. You could be a brilliant swimmer but struggle when you get to weight training because now you’re loading the weights on top of your own body weight. Because you’re now pushing with, probably, twice the force that you would when doing cardio,” says Zikalala. More

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    Exactly How To Train Like Kim Engelbrecht

    By Ondela Mlandu

    Kim Engelbrecht is loved and known by many around the world for her impeccable acting. Kim has recently returned from the International Emmy Awards in Los Angeles and she’s also our Women’s Health January/February cover star. Writer Ondela Mlandu stepped into Kim’s prolific shoes to find out how the actress stays fit and healthy.

    Kim made waves in the acting and entertainment industry as early as the age of 12. Her career has led her down several paths such as television presenting days on the teen show Craz-e, youth series, Take 5 on SABC, to her acting role as Lolly De Klerk on the popular soapie Isidingo, to television series such as Reyka and Raised by Wolves.

    Kim Engelbrecht’s Metcon workouts explained

    When it comes to exercising, Kim works out with her trainer Bjorn Bergins from The HIIT Club twice a week. The pair have built a good training relationship over the years. Kim’s training routine includes Metcon/HIIT training twice a week, together with Reformer Pilates.

    Metabolic conditioning or Metcon for short is a combination of strength training and cardio exercises, to increase ones overall fitness levels.  You can adapt almost any exercise to fit a metabolic exercise program, including weight training, resistance training, cardio exercises, compound movements, and even bodyweight exercises.

    READ MORE: 4 Core Moves That’ll Create A Stronger Body All Over

    Train like a pro… at home

    Here’s how you can train like Kim…

    1. Full Dynamic Stretch Routine

    The warm-up routine that Bjorn designed for the morning was called the ‘dynamic’ stretch and it included. Try it for yourself:

    a) Warming up the tendons/ligaments in the joints

    b) Lengthening and activating the muscles

    c) Stimulating the blood flow and energy

    d) Connecting the breathing to the movements (mind/body connection).

    Kim Engelbrecht with her trainer, Bjon Bergins

    The movements particularly go through all the planes of movement (up/down, sideways and rotations). Bjorn sees breathing and movement as the foundation of each session.

    “Not only does this prepare the body for action and more importantly, it also gives you an opportunity to get your mindset ready. This is the way to avoid any injuries during workouts and also to speed up recovery time,” he says.

    READ MORE: Sculpt Your Body With This 15-Minute HIIT Workout

    2. Activation/ Mobility Warm-up

    We then moved into the activation/mobility warm-up part. The warm-up was a ball game that can be done in pairs. You will need a tennis ball and four cones. You will be required to sprint to the cones to leave a ball, whilst the next person removes the ball to place on another cone. This warm-up is the ultimate test of endurance.

    3. Metcon Workout

    The workout started with a 10-meter sprint with sets of the below exercises in between.

    After each workout, you must sprint 10 meters further than you did before e.g. 10 meters, 20 meters, 30 meters and eventually the 40 meters sprint.

    The exercises in between were as follows:

    Full-Body Metcon

    Jumping jacks/plyo jacks (A plyo jack is done by jumping up, opening your arms and legs mid-air into an “X” shape.)

    Commando roll press ups

    Dumbbell squat and press

    Ab twists

    Abdominal Metcon

    This ab workout consists of sets of 10, 20, 30 and 40 exercises, as each set was increased by 10 reps.

    Leg raises

    Super crunches

    Side slides

    Bicycle kicks

    To end the workout, do a cool-down and stretch to recover.

    Kim Engelbrecht’s intentional fasting

    The beauty of fasting is that Kim has adapted it to suit her lifestyle.

    “I usually do a fasted workout and break my fast after training at lunch time. I fast 16:8 – 11 am-7 pm. or 12 pm – 8 pm, although I never really eat after 8 pm,” she says. Kim says one of the benefits of fasting for her, is that once in the fasting phase it allows her to increase her water intake. “I always have to remind myself to drink more water. I drink water and herbal tea (calorie free) and coffee,”
    Kim Engelbrecht

    Fasting makes Kim more aware of how much protein she consumes. “I have started including protein shakes to increase my protein intake. Fasting allows me to turn meal times into an event because I just look forward to meals more now. I set my table because I’ve been waiting 16 hours for a meal and I am definitely going to enjoy it,” she says.

    READ MORE: “Here’s How I Got My Fitness Back After The Pandemic”

    Kim never feels the pressure to look a certain way, however, she does advocate for women to feel comfortable in their own skin. “Fitness is a lifelong journey, and you should enjoy the process and experiment as much as you can. A big secret to a healthy lifestyle is that you can always get back on track,” she says. More