Juanita Khumalo: How gym became my therapy

There is light at the end of the tunnel, and fitness and wellness influencer Juanita Khumalo’s light came in the form of exercise. She opened up to Mohau Mokoena and shared some of her moves with #Trending

Twenty-eight-year-old Juanita Khumalo is a brand manager for a beauty brand.

But to the over 14 100 people who follow her on Instagram, she’s a wellness coach and inspirational fitness figure. With her own bootcamp powered by Fit Life magazine and website Trovewellness.com, she’s a dynamic influencer in the competitive world of fitness coaching.

But it wasn’t always this way. She knows the hardship of falling out of love with oneself. During a toxic romantic relationship in 2017, she needed to find herself, and thought joining a gym could be a start.

“I was going through a dark period in my life ... suffering depression, anxiety and insomnia, and I could not afford therapy. So for me, gym became my therapy,” she tells #Trending during a Saturday morning visit to our offices. During 2017 to 2018 she managed to lose 15kg, going from 74kg to 59kg.

Though hitting the gym was not her only solution. In 2018 Khumalo was forced to go for therapy as she experienced burnout. Therapy and church became more important to her. As she got better at taking care of herself, she left the harmful relationship.

“As you get better you get into a better mental space where you realise this is not good for me. And you want what is best for you holistically,” she adds. Her brand, Trove, speaks to holistic wellness: “My brand is based on being well overall; not just being physically fit but also mentally and spiritually fit. Those are the pillars of wellness and they are connected to each other.”

She promises that her website, which launched earlier this week, will be a treasure trove on many aspects of wellness. “The thing with social media is that my followers would come to me and ask where they could find this and that.

“I felt my content was scattered; Trove will be a central place that talks about fitness and nutrition. There will be another tab on the site for spiritual wellbeing, with a wellness directory to help people on their fitness journey.”

Khumalo’s latest bootcamp is taking place in Sandton this Saturday for all-round wellness. It will feature a dietician on site, as well as a biokineticist, and people who buy tickets will be given goodie bags. It will also cater for mommies and little ones, with a secure play area.

  • Tickets to Juanita Khumalo’s Trove Fitness Bootcamp at Innesfree Park on February 23 are R150 at webtickets.co.za
  • Catch her on Instagram @JuaKhumalo
  • Here’s a home exercise circuit using a resistance band to strengthen your body. The band can be obtained from MRP Sport, Takealot.com or Sportsmans Warehouse for R150 to R300. It’s a fantastic tool for your workout and an added challenge to bodyweight exercises. It also makes for a cost effective piece of workout equipment and is perfect to take along for exercising while travelling too.
  • Do each exercise for one minute, and rest for one minute after completing each set. Repeat three times. If you’re a beginner, do each exercise for 30 seconds and then repeat.
1. Glute KickBack: Place a resistance band around
1. Glute KickBack: Place a resistance band around your left ankle and bring it to loop around the arch of the right foot. Get down on your hands and knees, with your knees slightly raised off the floor. From here lift your right leg and stretch it out as far as possible. Then lower back to initial position Pictures: Tebogo Letsie
1. Glute KickBack
1. Glute KickBack

1. Glute KickBack
1. Glute KickBack

2. Lateral Lunges: Place the resistance band around
2. Lateral Lunges: Place the resistance band around your feet. Take a big step to your right, push your butt back to get into squat pose. From here bend one knee as you straighten the other to get into a lunge position. Hold it for a second or two, and repeat on the other side
2. Lateral Lunges
2. Lateral Lunges
3. Lateral walk Place the loop around your legs, f
3. Lateral Walk: Place the loop around your legs, feet hip width apart. Then lower your upper body as if you are about to sit on a chair to get into a squat. From there take a step to the left, maintaining the squat position and then quickly, but with control, bring the right foot to meet the left one. Take 10 steps to the left and then do the same on the right side
Lateral Walk
3. Lateral Walk
4. Resistance band push up This workout needs the
4. Resistance Band Push Up: This workout needs the straight band. Bring the band around your back and make sure there is enough resistance when you pull on either side. Get into the push-up position and perform the move making sure you feel the resistance when you pull up from the push down
4. Resistance band push up
4. Resistance Band Push Up
4. Resistance band push up
4. Resistance Band Push Up
5. tricep kick back Firmly hold the band at the en
5. Tricep Kick Back: Firmly hold the band at the ends and place both your feet on the resistance band, next to each other. Then bring your upper body to a slight lean over. Pull the band up, then extend and push your elbows and arms all the way back into a straight position, hold for a second until you feel your triceps contract and bring your arms back to resting position
Tricep Kickback
5. Tricep Kick Back
6. Resistance band bicep curl Stand with both feet
6. Resistance Band Bicep Curl: Stand with both feet on the resistance band. Ensure your feet are shoulder width apart. Slowly curl your hands up to your shoulders, squeezing biceps and keeping elbows next to your sides. Slowly release arms back down to the starting position
6. Resistance band bicep curl
6. Resistance Band Bicep Curl


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