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    6 Genius Fitness Hacks From TikTok Sensation Megan Shongwe

    We all know that taking care of our bodies is not just about looking good; it’s about feeling good, too. And who better to guide us on this journey to a healthier lifestyle than the TikTok sensation and fitness guru, Megan Shongwe? With over 5 million views on her videos and some groundbreaking fitness hacks, Megan is here to help us energise our bodies and minds.

    Did you know? Life hacks like #GymTok, which ranks third in South Africa, have an impressive 222 billion views.

    Life can be a whirlwind of work commitments and personal obligations, leaving us drained and with little motivation to hit the gym. But Megan’s unique approach to fitness is all about making it fun and enjoyable. She believes that a healthy lifestyle should be a joyful journey and we couldn’t agree more.

    READ MORE: 10 South African TikTok Fitness Accounts That’ll Give You ALL The Motivation You Need

    1. Schedule Your Workouts

    First up, Megan recommends treating your exercise sessions like essential appointments. We’re all busy, but if you want to make fitness a part of your life, you’ve got to plan for it. Block off specific time slots dedicated solely to exercise and stick to them religiously. This way, you’ll create a routine that’s hard to break.

    2. Consistency and Discipline

    Consistency is key when it comes to building those muscles and achieving your fitness goals. Megan suggests starting or ending your day with 45 minutes to an hour of exercise. Find a time slot that fits your schedule and make it non-negotiable. The results will speak for themselves!

    3. Office Stretches or Light Workouts

    If you’re stuck at the office all day, don’t fret. Megan has a solution for that too. Incorporate exercise into your workday by doing light stretches and going for short walks. These breaks not only improve your overall work functionality but also contribute to your overall health. A win-win, right?

    READ MORE: Here’s How To Make The Viral TikTok Green Goddess Salad

    4. Set Realistic Goals

    Megan swears by setting goals with specific timeframes. Having clear objectives keeps her motivated and on track. So, whether it’s running a certain distance or lifting a specific weight, setting achievable goals can help you stay focused and driven.

    5. Enhanced Mental Well-being

    Remember, a healthy lifestyle isn’t just about the physical gains. It’s also about your mental well-being. Exercise releases those fabulous “feel-good” hormones called endorphins. They’re like your body’s natural mood boosters, helping to alleviate stress, anxiety, and even depression. So, get moving and smile more!

    6. Improved Physical Fitness

    Embracing a healthy lifestyle has allowed Megan to discover her body’s incredible capabilities. She feels stronger, both physically and mentally, which has given her the confidence to tackle new challenges. It’s not just about looking good; it’s about feeling unstoppable!

    READ MORE: Um, People On TikTok Are Eating The Peels Of Fruit & Veggies – And They’re So Good

    TikTok Made Us Do It

    TikTok has become a hub for educational content and users are actively seeking tips and tricks in various categories, from food and beauty to life hacks, DIY and education. It’s a platform where you can learn, grow and be inspired to live your best life.

    Follow Women’s Health to get expert health advice, the latest fitness gear unboxings, #WHToughTalks and so much more. We can also recommend the #TikTokThatsHau hashtag. It’s a gateway to a diverse world of content, a wellspring of invaluable information and a portal to connect with like-minded individuals who share your passion. More

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    Epic Rides From The Comfort Of Home With The New Garmin Smart Bike

    Bring the outdoor world indoors when you train. The newest smart bike by Garmin delivers a realistic road feel and simulated descents — plus virtual shifting to immerse you in your ride. Redesigned shifters change gears easily and precisely with the tap of a finger. NEO Bike Plus adjusts to match the fit of your outdoor bike exactly, with stem and seat measurements in millimetres and five crank lengths.

    Get the feel of a real ride. Anytime.

    Tacx NEO Bike Plus is simple to use and always ready to ride. With accurate power, speed and cadence metrics — even in sprints — and nearly silent operation, you can crush your goals in any room. Plus, simple adjustments make it easy to share with other athletes in your household.

    READ MORE: The Garmin Fēnix® 7 Pro And Epix™ Pro Are Here

    Simulated riding. Precision training:

    Feel different road surfaces, such as cobblestone and gravel, when paired with the Tacx® Training smart-device app or other compatible apps.

    IMPROVED! Tap updated shifters to change gears with the precision and feel of electronic shifting. You’ll find the correct gear easily and quickly with shifters programmable for SHIMANO, SRAM or Campagnolo.

    Feel the sensation of your chain jumping into a different gear while shifting to experience more of your ride.

    Dynamic inertia maintains a sensation of forward motion based on your speed and gradient to make your ride feel more realistic.

    Drive downhill with descent simulation when the smart bike is connected to an external power source.

    Use built-in dual power meters to measure the position of your left and right legs and break down your pedalling technique to help you develop a more effective stroke.

    Keep track of your performance and progress with reliable power, speed and cadence measurements, accurate to within 1%.

    Hammer hard with the well-balanced design, even during the most explosive sprints, up to 2200 watts.

    Make your workout more intense by training on realistically simulated inclines up to a 25% gradient.

    Customizable. To share the experience:

    Ride in comfort with the updated seat post and match your outdoor bike fit with easy-to-adjust seat-post settings.

    NEW! Choose among 5 crank lengths for a precision fit, with your choice of pedals.

    IMPROVED! Ensure correct sizing with easily adjustable seat position and handlebar stem with measurement scale in millimetres.

    READ MORE: Train Brilliantly With The Garmin Forerunner® 265 GPS Running Smartwatch

    Connect with your training program:

    Enjoy the Tacx Training app and track your performance on your Garmin Edge® cycling computer (sold separately) at the same time. Tacx NEO Bike Plus can connect to multiple devices simultaneously.

    Pair with popular training apps such as TrainerRoad and Zwift; Tacx NEO Bike Plus communicates via BLUETOOTH® Smart technology and ANT+® FE-C protocol.

    No device to pair? No problem. In stand-alone mode, it simulates a flat road; the faster you ride, the higher the resistance.

    Experience the rush of riding famous courses in Europe, North America and Asia with more than 250+ high-quality, real-life videos on the Tacx Training app1. You can even join “Ride with the Pros” challenges with exclusive Garmin-sponsored team videos.

    Get help meeting your goals with a structured training plan designed for your fitness level with the Tacx Training app — plus race live opponents, upload GPS data, ride with 3D maps and more.

    Power up your devices with built-in USB chargers.

    Stay cool with built-in interactive fans that are automatically controlled by your power and heart rate. More

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    5 Ways To Spring Clean Your Fitness Approach

    Five ways to get the most out of your workout, from losing weight and reducing stress to feeling great about yourself… 

    1. Phone A Friend

    Women are more likely to exercise if they do it with someone else, so joining a running or hockey club may be the motivational kick you need. “Women are excellent team players because they show a higher degree of cooperation,” says clinical and sports psychologist Dr Robert Heller. “At a critical moment, a woman is less likely to give up so as not to let the team down.” And once you get started, chances are you’ll go the distance.“Women pace themselves better,” says Liz Neporent, co-author of The Fat-Free Truth. “They’ll start at a steady pace and maintain it, whereas men start stronger and faster, then slow down sooner.”

    2. Add Resistance

    Women are naturally more flexible than men, which is one reason why we love yoga and Pilates. But too much flexibility can weaken your joints, especially if you’re slack on the strength moves. Signs that your stretching has gone too far: feeling pain or an ache in the joint rather than the muscle you’re stretching and taking years to develop enough flexibility to reach a specific position (if it takes that much work, your body just isn’t meant to go there). A regular programme of resistance training will keep your joints strong – and improve flexibility.

    READ MORE: 17 Foods That Fight Spring Allergies

    3. Upper-Body Matters

    Women tend to be all about losing fat and toning our lower bodies, which means we often minimise our upper-body work. However, a balanced upper and lower body is key for strength, bone mass and joint stability, not to mention overall tone and shape. So include strength training for your back, arms and shoulders two to three times a week. Choose a heavy enough weight that you feel fatigued by the last few of each set of eight to 12 reps.

    4. Feel Your Natural High

    Women are twice as likely to become depressed than men, probably because of a combination of factors such as hormonal fluctuations, low self-esteem and high stress.

    The good news

    Exercise, especially cardio, can keep these stressors at bay. “Completing a workout has a positive psychological impact and makes you feel better about your body,” says obesity researcher Dr Kelly Brownell. So whether you have the blues, PMS or simply had a stressful day, exercise will almost always make you feel better. “Aerobic exercises like walking or running are the best outlet for high stress,” says sports psychologist Dr Jack Raglin.

    How much should you exercise to enjoy these benefits?

    In one study, participants who did cardio workouts for at least 30 minutes a day on most days of the week felt less stressed and were less depressed over time.

    READ MORE: How To Lose 1kg A Week: Safe & Healthy Exercise & Nutrition Tips

    5. Sweat More, Lose Fat

    Life’s not fair. If a man and a woman both walk for 45 minutes at the same speed, on the same days, for the same length of time, the man will burn more kilojoules than the woman. That may be because he’s bigger, but it’s also because a woman’s metabolism is about 10 percent slower than that of a man the exact same size. In general, women also carry more body fat, as opposed to lean muscle, and have higher levels of oestrogen, meaning fat is more likely to settle on our hips and thighs. Plus, we have more fat-storing enzymes. This may make you want to throw up your hands and just give up on losing weight, but all it really means is that in order to lose fat and burn kilojoules, you just have to sweat a little more and a little harder.

    There are three ways to add to kilojoule burn

    “You can do long-duration aerobic activity, like walking or running for 45 to 60 minutes at a low to moderate intensity at least five days a week, or you can intensify your workout to save time,” says physiology professor Dr. Len Kravitz. For instance, you could move faster by, say, cycling at a race pace for 15 or 20 minutes daily.

    If you’re not up for the killer push, try interval training

    Alternate walking for five minutes with jogging for one minute, for 30 to 60 minutes in total. “Working at vigorous intensities, even for a few minutes at a time, revs up hormones that help your body burn more kilojoules during and after a workout,” Kravitz says. “You can burn an extra 80 to 120 kilojoules post-workout, which adds up to increased fat loss over months of regular exercise.”

    Can’t make it to your usual cardio session?

    Make up for it by moving throughout the day. A minute or two of extra movement here and there may not seem like much, but keeping your body moving can help with weight control.

    The bottom line

    Weight loss is a balance of energy intake and output, so these exercises need to be combined with a kilojoule-controlled healthy diet. 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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    Walking For Weight Loss: Does It Work? Plus, 9 Tips To Get You There

    Sure, cardio, HIIT classes and extra-sweaty cycling sessions are pretty much known for helping you scorch calories and drop kilos…but honestly, can a girl ever just slow TF down? Does walking for weight loss actually work?

    We know that walking can drastically slash your stress levels, says Hannah Davis, personal trainer — and having less stress in your life absolutely makes it easier for you to successfully drop kilos. But what about walking for weight loss?

    Is walking good for weight loss?

    Yup—turns out, walking can definitely help you with your weight-loss goals. “It is important to have a mix of high-intensity and low-intensity workouts—like walking—for optimal and sustainable weight loss,” says Lindsey Corak, personal trainer. Plus, per one study, women who walked lost about 10% of their body fat after six months of consistent effort. According to another study, those who walked more appear to be thinner than those who do not. The study also concluded that more walking means more weight loss over a period of time.

    What are the benefits of walking?

    Since walking is a physical activity, any amount of it helps to bring down the burden of chronic disease, per one study. Plus, studies show that the more you walk, the lower the incidence of disease.

    Walking means you’re more likely to try some other physical activity, according to the same study.

    If you pick a scenic area, consider your mental health improved, according to one review.

    Since obesity can be genetic, Harvard scientists found that walking significantly reduces the impact of those weight-related genes.

    Walking protects your joints and can ease joint pain. It can even prevent joint pain from arising in the first place, if you walk around 8 to 11km a week. Easy.

    That said, there are some guidelines that will make walking for weight loss a hell of a lot more effective:

    1. Aim for at least 15,000 steps a day

    No matter your current step count, increasing it is totally possible. Davis recommends racking up 15,000 steps per day, seven days a week, to lose weight.

    “Don’t worry about slowly increasing your step count. Just go for it,” she says. While you shouldn’t kick up your intense workouts overnight, you can double up your step count quickly and it won’t stress your body and make you more prone to injury, she says.

    Another thing to keep in mind: consistency is key. You’re not going to get much benefit out of upping your step count one day and then letting it fall the next—instead, make it a constant routine (it’ll only get easier the more you do it, too).

    2. Track those steps with an app

    FYI: Your phone has a built-in step counter (just remember to keep it with you). But if you do want an app to help you track, try Under Armour’s Map My Walk (free; available on iTunes and Google Play). This walking app provides feedback and stats (like average pace) for every kilometre you log. Even better? Get a smartwatch for in-depth analysis of your walks, like heart rate values and oxygen uptake. These are both good indicators of how you’re faring in your weight loss journey.

    3. Try to go on three 20-minute walks each day

    How much do you have to walk a day to lose weight? Well, at least three 20-minute-long walks should help you reach your step goal so you can start shedding kilos, says Davis. In fact, research from George Washington University found that people who walked for 15 minutes after each meal had better blood-sugar control (which can crush cravings for more food after you just ate) than those who walked for 45 minutes at any point in the day. That means a lunchtime walk can prevent your normal 3 p.m. slump and the sugar cravings that go with it, she says.

    4. Opt for a 45-minute faster stroll three times a week

    Walking at an easy pace doesn’t necessarily get your heart rate up—which is essential for fat burning, says Corak. Prime fat-burning takes place when your heart rate is at 60 to 70 percent of your max heart rate. (Nail down your max heart rate by subtracting your age from 220—so a 30-year-old woman would have a max heart rate of 190 beats per minute.)

    If you don’t have a heart-rate monitor, think of your effort level on a scale of one to 10, with 10 being all-out like a sprint. You should aim for that six or seven and spend about 45 minutes at this intensity to burn fat, Corak says.

    5. Walk uphill a few times a week

    Upping the incline on the treadmill, walking uphill, or climbing a staircase will help you build more muscle, which increases your metabolic rate, says Davis. That will help you burn more calories even when you’re in your desk chair. Davis suggests adding incline intervals to your walks three days per week and steadily increase from there.

    Klein agrees that hills are the perfect way to turn up the intensity on your walk. “As the terrain goes up and down, you naturally adjust the intensity, and the body naturally emphasizes different muscle groups,” she says. It’s also an easy way to keep your body guessing, so you’ll step right over a weight-loss plateau.

    6. Add power-walking intervals to your routine

    To start increasing your calorie burn, add in some intervals, Klein says—and start short at first. After a 10-minute warmup, push your body to walk at an uncomfortable (but still sustainable) pace for 15 to 20 seconds at the start of every minute. Do that for 10 minutes, and then finish off with a 10-minute cooldown.

    Once you’re comfortable with those short intervals, pick up the pace for one-minute intervals to get your heart rate up and burn more calories, says Davis. After you start incorporating one-minute intervals into your regular walking routine, you can increase the pace and duration from there.

    Another tip: While walking faster, focus on swinging your arms, says Davis. The extra arm movement will help you burn more calories and build strength in your shoulders and core.

    7. Add in bodyweight exercises when you can

    Walking to lose weight shouldn’t be all about walking, says Davis. “Stop every block and do 15 to 20 squats, perform incline pushups or triceps dips on a park bench, and do walking lunges down the sidewalk.” All of these exercises increase your heart rate, help you build muscle, and keep your walking workouts from going stale, she says.

    You can also start or end your workout with strength exercises, especially bodyweight moves. Klein recommends moves like planks, wall sits, or calf raises in addition to squats and pushups.

    8. Keep an eye on your calorie count

    While your exact nutritional needs depend on a lot of factors outside of your steps per day, most women who are walking to lose weight follow a 1,200- to 1,600-calorie diet that’s rich in protein, says Davis.

    “If the main focus of your workout routine is low-intensity walking, your nutrition will have to be on-point for you to lose weight,” she says. “Even though you’re increasing your activity levels, you’ll have to decrease your calorie intake,” she says—that’s because you’re probably still not burning enough calories to add tons more to your diet.

    If you’ve been walking consistently and still aren’t seeing the scale budge (or are seeing it go up), take the time to write down what you eat for a week to see if there are any ways to cut back.

    9. Always take the longer route

    Yep, you’ve heard this one before. But all structured walking workouts aside, integrating more steps into your daily tasks (like parking farther from the door, taking the stairs, etc.) can help you hit your daily step goals and lose more weight, she says. “Over time, the little bursts of movement here and there really do make a difference,” says Davis.

    This article was originally published on More

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    Maximise Your Runs With These Tips From The Pros

    Running, while being a go-to workout for scores of women, can be a tough sport to tackle. There’s the question of how to plan your runs when training for a race, how to cross-train so your runs are faster, and how to score new PBs. But even with all of that, motivation can flag, leading to less running. Since that’s the least optimal scenario, we chatted to the pros on how to maximise your runs.

    And to make it worth your while, why not join #Run4Avos? You don’t have to run for a bag of the fruit – it’s all about getting amped about your runs again. Through the Nedbank Running Club’s #Run4Avos campaign, you can take part in weekly challenges and up your game. Join #Run4Avos on Strava and join in on the fun.

    Here, tips from the pros on how to maximise your runs.

    Meet the experts

    Adele Broodryk is a professional runner and 2023 Comrades Marathon second-place finisher.

    Fikile Mbuthuma is a seasoned Comrades Marathon competitor, having completed a whopping 19 races.

    Get motivated

    Get your kit

    While shopping for new fitness clothes is truly a great way to feel motivated to run again, you don’t have to. “Every evening before a training session, I put all my training clothes out. So when I wake I can just put it on and get going,” says Adele Broodryk, professional runner and 2023 Comrades Marathon second-place finisher.

    Plan your runs

    “As I am a pre-planner, dotting every session to come down on a weekly calendar really helps. This way, I can tick them off as they are completed. And who doesn’t like it when lists are marked off as completed?” says Broodryk.

    Use the 15-minute rule

    “Often we opt out of a session due to not “feeling it” or “feeling tired”, but I have found that when pushing through those 15 minutes, I tend to have my best workouts,” says Adele Broodryk.

    “On the other hand, if I still feel that “zoned out” feeling after the 15 minutes, I will then cancel the workout. This can be an indication of my body being tired or overtraining starting to take place.”

    Maximise your runs

    Get it done

    The best way to make sure you stick to your running plan is to just get it done. “Make your run the first thing you do to start your day,” says Fikile Mbuthuma, 19-time Comrades Marathon finisher. “Morning runs can easily become your important daily task. The run also helps energize the mind and body preparing for the day ahead.”

    Stick to the plan

    “Stick to the pre-planned paces! If a run is set out as an “easy” run, keep it that way!” says Broodryk. Going too hard can result in burnout, which would impede your progress anyway. Keep it simple.

    Get in on cross-training

    Do hill sprints

    “One of the easiest ways to power your legs is to run uphill or on a steep. This is a great way to build leg strength,” says Mbuthuma. Try running upstairs or on an incline on the treadmill in short bursts to power up those quads and glutes. This will help you go farther and faster in your regular runs.

    Add strength training

    “Never underestimate the power of strength training. This will help power you in a run, assisting your running efficiency and speed,” says Broodryk. Looking to add to your routine? Follow these pro-certified tips. More

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    An interview with India’s first certified Pilates instructor, Yasmin Karachiwala

    After training her first celebrity client, the Bollywood actress, Kareena Kapoor in 2006, Yasmin Karachiwala has made a mark for herself in the fitness industry.
    As a personal fitness instructor for all the big names in Bollywood such as Deepika Padukone, Ali Bhatt, Hrithik Roshan and more.
    Known to always prioritise her wellness routine, even while travelling, Karachiwala always emphasises on the transformative power of healing through exercise by practicing consistency and a strict regimen after first visiting the gym at the age of 18 years old.
    By bringing her love for Pilates to Dubai, her niece and her husband launched the PAD Fitness six years ago. Situated in the heart of Dubai in Onyx Tower 1, this fitness studio has revamped the workout game in Dubai with various classes such contemporary dance, Pilates dance, wedding choreography and more.
    To see her journey as an instructor, Emirates Woman sat down to chat with her and understand how it all began.

    Talk us through your career.
    When I was younger, I was a tomboyish, free-spirited young girl flitting through life aimlessly when fate intervened, starting my journey on a fitness pathway that I had never envisaged for myself. My best friend Namrata enrolled me in an aerobics class at the gym, and I assumed it would be really easy. To my utter shock, I made it to being “the worst student in the class.” But I worked really hard and ended up being the “best student.” So much so, that one day my instructor asked me to take the class as she was sick, and that was my turning point. I fell in love with teaching. So I attained my fitness certification from India, and started teaching aerobics and weight training, but I knew I was missing something. That’s when I found Pilates. I travelled to the US and was the first certified Pilates instructor in India. From there, I got my first celebrity client, Karena Kapoor and there was no looking back from there. Today, I’ve been teaching Pilates for over 20 years and I am a teacher trainer with a goal to get everyone in the world to try Pilates at least once.
    How do you begin your morning routine?
    My morning routine begins with meditation, followed by my Butter Coffee. I spend time with my husband and kids as they eat breakfast, and play with my little dog Enzo, who has all of our hearts. And then I head to the gym to train my clients.
    You always manage to incorporate fitness into your routine while travelling – how do you stay disciplined?
    If anything is a priority for you in life, you will make time for it. We make time for our kids, for our holidays, for our meals, right? Similarly, at least 30 minutes of movement a day is a non-negotiable for me, so I always plan my days around it. If we’re starting early on a holiday, I will ensure I’ve done my steps by going for a walk or to the gym in the evening.

    How has it been to break the stigma for men who’ve now incorporated pilates into their fitness journey?
    It feels good when men start to wince and scream when they’re on the reformer because they’ve started to use muscles they’ve never used before! Once a man tries Pilates, I can guarantee they will stand corrected about it being an exercise form only for women.
    Diet is an important part of any fitness routine; tell us about your overall diet?
    I eat what I feel like it, but I have certain rules. I stay away from gluten, and I completely avoid sugar. Sugar is like poison for our bodies, and I never take my body for granted. I love my meats, fish, and grilled vegetables. It’s funny because it sounds boring, but whenever my nieces come home to eat, they always want to eat my food instead of the food that’s made for everyone; it’s really yummy.
    You’ve always trained a host of Bollywood celebrities – name a few and how did your journey with them begin?
    My journey began when Kareena Kapoor started training with me way back in 2006. She really transformed for a song she was doing back then, and then word spread, and today I regularly train Katrina Kaif, Alia Bhatt, Deepika Padukone and Sophie Choudry. I’ve also trained Hardik Pandya and Hrithik Roshan, both of whom are Pilates fans!
    The PAD Dubai celebrates five years since its launch. What are the key workouts offered at the studio?
    Yes indeed, and I am so proud of my niece Shaazia and her husband Abbas. They have really built a community that is thriving and pushes one another to stay fit. What’s unique about the studio is that they offer both Pilates and Dance classes. In Pilates they offer Private, Group and rehabilitation Pilates, and in Dance they offer Bollywood, Bollyfit, Bhangra, Jazz and Ballet. They also specialise in wedding sangeet choreography and corporate wellness sessions.

    How has the fitness industry evolved since you first started?
    The fitness industry has transformed! When I started 30 years ago, people barely understood the importance of health and fitness, it was a struggle to find clients and an even bigger struggle to find a training institute to get trained properly. Today, especially after COVID people have realized the importance of health and wellbeing, they are seeking out good fitness professionals to guide them and walk the through their issues. In addition, you now see a gym or a Pilates studio on every street! That to me is a really positive sign. And it’s trending upwards.
    With a busy schedule and always being on the go – how do you unwind on a daily basis?
    My workout time, family time, and dog time are my unwinding times.
    What’s the biggest myth you’ve seen when it comes to exercising?
    That you need to have an hour every day to workout. In my new book that releases next month, called The Perfect 10, I show you that 10 minutes a day is more than enough to stay healthy. This may not be enough to achieve your goals, but it is enough to stay fit.

    As celebrities are always on the move, how do you manage to maintain their fitness levels?
    Most of the celebrities are very conscious of their own fitness regimens, so it’s not very hard to keep them accountable. Either I travel with them, or I give them a workout schedule for while they’re away. And we always manage to keep them looking amazing!
    Many people believe in calorie counting – what are your thoughts on this?
    I believe in eating healthy. Don’t eat food out of a packet, eat local produce made fresh, and if you are counting, count the right amount of protein, good fats and fibre. All calories are not the same, don’t just count calories, fuel your body with good nutrition.
    What’s next for you?
    We already have our presence in India, Dubai and Dhaka (Bangaldesh), and now we want to expand more internationally, both in the Middle East region as well as beyond.
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    Use These Tips To Get MUCH More Out Of Your Skipping Workout

    Tone your legs, burn kilojoules, up your fitness and improve your coordination with one simple tool you can use in your garden. Here, how to get the most out of your skipping workout.

    Why is a skipping workout so good?

    Like riding a bike, swimming and running, skipping is one of those fun childhood activities that becomes a slog with age. And that’s a pity because, should your fitness goals sit firmly in the camp of cardiovascular improvement and max kilojoule burn, skipping is a form of exercise that comes highly recommended. And unlike those other three (equally healthy) pursuits, you can do it at home and on the cheap – you can pick up an entry-level rope at a very reasonable price.

    Get roped in

    Skipping rope with counter

    This rope, with skipping counter, allows you. to track your skips.

    HS Fitness Heavy Jump Rope

    This heavier rope gives you added weight so you work that much harder.

    Cordless Skipping Rope

    This cordless rope gives you the option to go with or without a rope – and add some weight to the process.

    What are the benefits of skipping?

    Skipping is a calorie burner. Per estimates, you’re looking at around 15 to 20 calories burned per minute. Yeah! If you skip for just 15 minutes, you could burn 250 to 300 calories from jumping up and down.

    Skipping helps shift fat, since it’s a toning workout and cardio in one. By picking up a rope, you’ll tone up your muscles, including the butt, arms, shoulders, stomach and of course, those legs. This makes it one of the most efficient workouts around.

    Using a jump rope can improve your balance and coordination, something that gets worse as you age. A study in the Journal of Sports Science & Medicine looked into the effects of skipping on motor abilities and body balance among football players. They found that people who skipped had ‘enhanced general motor coordination and balance’ compared to those who didn’t.

    Going hard on skipping also means you might score a new PB. That’s according to a meta-analysis of studies which found a correlation between those who skip and faster running times.

    Hop to it – use these form tips from trainer Christa DiPaolo to rope in the gains.

    1. Perfect the jump

    Keep your jumps low to the ground, your knees soft and stay light on your feet to minimise impact. Think, float like a butterfly, not an elephant.

    2. Check your arms

    Your arms should be at a 45-degree angle to your body, elbows pulled in close to your ribs. The further your hands are from your body, the shorter the rope.

    3. Rotate your wrists

    Rotate from your wrists rather than your shoulders – unless you’re using a heavier rope, in which case, rotate from your forearms.

    4. Keep it in the core

    Skipping is an ab exercise as much as anything else, so keep your core engaged throughout. Heavier ropes will force you to do so.

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