Shed a few kilos, take up jogging

ain't heavy: Fitness coach Thandi Mavuso
ain't heavy: Fitness coach Thandi Mavuso

WE SEE them everywhere on the streets on our way to work. We envy them and wish we could do what they do.

Well, we can.

Jogging has become a great way to keep fit and shed unwanted kilos while improving your health and fitness.

Sowetan spoke to women who say it really isn't as hard as it looks, and if motivated enough, we can all take to the road or the treadmill.

These are their testimonies and the benefits they derive from their running clubs:

IT HAS TONED ME BEAUTIFULLY

Thembi Silindane says she has been jogging every morning since last year, and the results are that her body is toned and trim. She has even lost her protruding tummy.

"It's a lifestyle. I do it every day with my running club, and the results have been amazing.

"It is hard work but it's a state of mind. I have also changed my diet. I don't eat any bread, and have cut out pap completely.

I love my body now!" says the 30-something-year-old.

Soweto-based Silindane has joined a running club with Mamokete Tebakang and Ndileka Mphahlwa.

GYM WAS EXPENSIVE

Tebakang, who is 40, says she needed to lose weight but found gym fees excessive. "I opted to run instead. I run twice a day, at dawn at about 4.30am and in the evening at around 6pm. I have dropped a reasonable amount of weight, and plan to lose more. It's a very healthy lifestyle," she says.

MY GOAL WEIGHT KEEPS ME MOTIVATED

Mphahlwa, a 29-year-old nursery school teacher, says she joined the running club to lose weight, and it is definitely working.

"I had gained a lot of weight, and my clothes didn't fit. I knew I had to do something so I joined the running club. It's hard, but my goal weight keeps me going. I want to see myself fitting into those size 32 clothes again," she says.

I'M NOW A MARATHON FREAK

Sedieketseng Molosi, a guesthouse manager from Kibler Park in Johannesburg, says she is so obsessed with running that she has participated in a lot of races. "I had a baby, and I was not very happy with how I looked. I started running. At first it was tough, I started with running 5km, then I progressed to 10km, which is when I participated in many 10km marathons, and I'm now determined to run 21km."

Molosi says she is now one dress size from her goal weight, and has every intention to reach it soon. "At 40, I know that I have to take care of my body, so running has been an inexpensive, effective way," she says.

While these women have wonderful things to say about jogging, where does one begin? Can anyone run? Can you be "too fat to jog?" What tools would one need?

Sowetan spoke to fitness coach and personal trainer Thandi Mavuso, based in Meyerdale, Johannesburg.

"Everyone can run," she says.

"It's all about maintaining a healthy lifestyle and a healthy physique. If you are a beginner or overweight, you might want to start by pacing yourself, maybe walking long distances before proceeding to jog. It's about letting your body build momentum."

There are major benefits to jogging, as Mavuso states, like burning fat as well as strengthening your heart and building stamina. But there is one major misconception about jogging.

"People think you can jog every day, which is not true. Jogging has an adverse impact on your knees, so you need to skip a day in between your jogging sessions," she says.

Mavuso says there are preparations you have to do before embarking on a run, and you can begin by consulting a doctor to test your fitness levels. She says it is vital to know what physical shape you are in before you decide to jog.

"You need to do health checks on your blood pressure, your cholesterol levels and your heart rate, which will ultimately determine if you should jog, and if yes, how far you can push yourself. Omitting these tests may put you at risk of your body going into shock, and suffering a possible cardiac arrest."

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