“DO not let the national lockdown prevent you from keeping your body active.” These are the words of the Norman Mosebetsi Mokoena, who is a dynamic fitness instructor and a personal trainer. With the national lockdown that has been in place for over a month now, most people have found it difficult to keep themselves fit and to exercise while at home. Echo spoke to Mokoena to find out what people can do to keep their bodies fit and active even if they can’t go to the gym. Mokoena has been in the fitness and personal training industry for 15 years, and said it is important to always keep your body active especially if it is used to going to gym or exercising everyday. “When you stop going to the gym or exercising, many physiological changes occur. Your body changes. Your muscle mass will start to decrease, fibres will lose their fat-burning capabilities, and you will begin to lose that strength you took so much time to develop.“Keeping your body active at all times improves your health and reduce the risk of developing several diseases like type 2 diabetes, cancer and cardiovascular disease. Physical activity and exercise can have immediate and long-term health benefits. Most importantly, regular activity improves your quality of life. “You should train at least three times a week if you want to achieve your health and fitness goals in a reasonable amount of time, and stay fit and healthy,” he said. Mokoena said the most important thing is that people must first understand is that exercising should become a lifestyle. He said going to the gym or exercising at home should be considered on the basis that the main goal of doing it, is to keep your body active.“Exercising at the gym is well organised because of its environment. On the other hand, exercising at home can be easy if you are prepared to put a little time and effort into your workout as well. It can be just as effective as a gym workout. Further, exercising in the comfort of your own home is much more appealing.”Mokoena said as a child, he was very active in sport and as a result, he developed a passion for fitness.“ I did not have any weight problems. However, I wanted to help people to reach their health and fitness goals. “Most individuals seeking the guidance of a personal trainer want to improve their general fitness, reduce pain, improve their athletic performance or lose weight.” EXERCISES YOU CAN DO AT HOME • SKIPPING ROPESkipping with a rope is a truly fantastic cardio exercise, challenging a lot of muscle groups and working your hand, eye coordination and timing into the bargain. Of course, you do need a bit more space for this but if you can, it’s a brilliant way to get the heart rate up and fantastic particularly for runners who can’t get out. Skipping reduce the body weight fast. If you can skip at least a minimum of 20 minutes a day. You exercise in the morning and in the afternoon.• PLANKFirstly, clear a little space, push back chairs or tuck away things from the hallway. If you have a yoga mat, set that up somewhere. It’s not essential, if you have carpet you don’t need anything, if it’s a hard floor maybe put a towel or two down just to protect your arms. Get into position that is, lie on your front with your forearms on the floor (parallel to each other), toes tucked under, then push up your bodyweight so you are resting on your forearms and your feet. Keep your body in a straight line, brace your core muscles, don’t sag in the middle. Hold at least for 30 seconds. Do at least five reps a day.• STEP UPThings you can use for this, a step, a low bench, a toddler’s chair or anything that won’t move and can comfortably take your weight. Stand in front, step up with one foot, bring the other up stand up on the step. Step backwards using the same leg. Repeat on the other side. So basically it’s a constant up-and-down but each time you are alternating your ‘lead’ foot. Try to keep your back nice and straight again and your core braced. Do as many reps as you can until you feel like your form is starting to go a bit. Maybe keep a count of how many that is, and aim for a few more next time.• FREE WEIGHTSTime to unpack again! Get some of those tins or bags out of the suitcase and use them as weights. There’s almost an endless list of exercises you can do, from simple bicep curls, squats, jumping jacks to deadlifts. For more information and exercises you can follow Mokoena on Facebook ; PMB Mosebetsi Fun Fit Wellness and Lifestyle.