Start a fitness journey during quarantine, it’s got lots of benefits

Mohau Mokoena exercising in the comfort of her home.
Mohau Mokoena exercising in the comfort of her home.

Let’s start with the truth: fitness isn’t a seasonal hobby, it is a lifestyle. But creating a habit of working out regularly is hard.

Perhaps this national lockdown would be a good time to challenge yourself to start some exercising routine. We all have our journeys which start somewhere right? Won’t it be great to look back and know that you benefited from the five-week national lockdown?

Even though I have a good track record of exercising for more than five years, my initial stages were hard AF.

Of course I was motivated by the aesthetics of it. Being fit looks good. But looks aren’t everything.

One of the most important things to bear in mind with a fitness lifestyle is the reason you want it. Personally, looks weren’t my motivation.

The longer I stayed on it, the more benefits started showing – my mood improved, I had clearer skin, less back pain and even my menses became less dramatic.

Then one day I got fed up with certain things that were happening in my life and the lack of control I felt. So the next morning I decided to go for a run.

The Rosebank area where I lived at the time was glorious for running.

I recall that I didn’t even have running shoes. What I had was a pair of Island Style skater sneakers. But I didn’t care! I told myself that if I can make fitness a part of my life that was something that I surely could control.

More than five years down the line, I have managed to keep that promise to myself. But I must confess, it hasn’t been easy.

I constantly remind myself why I started working out. Wanting to take control of something in my life gave me the energy to stay on track.

The longer I stayed on it, the more benefits started showing – my mood improved, I had clearer skin, less back pain and even my menses became less dramatic.

Be that as it may, all this took time and the journey continues for me. Since I started exercising, my biggest struggle has been dealing with my eating habits. At times, control is not a problem but I do have days and weeks when I am terrible.

But because I enjoy the physical sweating part of my fitness journey, I will admit that bad eating habits can and will hinder the whole process.

Junk food drains you of energy no question about that. And I am a sucker for baked goods.

When you are feeling drained the last thing you want is to get physical. Given that now most of us are at home – working or in isolation – our eating habits have surely changed.

Two weeks ago I jokingly told my little sister that I had officially moved into my fridge. It felt like that because I don’t recall the last time I have opened the fridge door so much.

Luckily, for my fitness journey I have made goodish food buying choices, in terms of having more greens in the fridge. And for my sanity, I have been baking a whole lot more. This journey has to have balance bathong!

Once we get out of this quarantine, I hope a lot more people would have picked up the habit of working out.

Seasons come and go and taking fitness along with you through those seasons can surely be a good and long-term beneficial habit. Happy sweating!

* Mokoena is City Press’ resident fitness and exercise enthusiast. Follow her fitness journey on Instagram @mohard85.


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August 2020

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