Strong is the new sexy – fitness guru

Nonhle Ndala has no sympathy for South Africans who don’t exercise and say the daily hustle keeps them stuck behind their desks rather than in the gym.

The celebrity fitness guru, who counts TV personality ­Minnie Dlamini and rapper Da L.E.S among her clients, says a busy schedule is no excuse to let yourself go.

In the Vitality ObeCity Index, Joburg and Pretoria residents particularly revealed that they spent a lot of time sitting down and the latter admitted they weren’t very physically active.

“If you have a busy schedule and you are office bound, be innovative. Use the environment to get your daily work out,” Ndala told City Press during her Saturday morning work-out.

“When you are sitting at your computer typing, do calf-raises. Use the stairs, and avoid the lifts and the escalators.

“You are not limited to a structure. You don’t have to go to gym. During your lunch break, do seated squats. When you go to the bathroom, lunge there and back.”

She’s speaking from experience. The 31-year-old wasn’t always a fitness freak.

She started her journey in 2012, shortly after her aunt told her to stop wearing shorts because she had fat and cellulite on her thighs.

“I took a good look at myself and decided I wanted to transform my body. I consulted a personal trainer and I made a commitment to get a six-pack before my birthday five months away.”

She succeeded, and learnt along the way that an exercise regime had to be accompanied by a healthy diet.

“You cannot out-train a bad diet. People have it in their head that you can eat a McDonald’s burger and you can run it off. It would probably take you, like, five hours to work off that burger and fries.”

A balanced diet and regular sessions at the gym will get you the best results, she advises.

“Don’t spend more than an hour at the gym. But in that hour you must be persistent. You don’t take 20-minute breaks in between your sessions. When you take a break, it must not be for more than two minutes. Push yourself and keep your heart pumping.”

Her advice is to exercise in the morning “before your body figures out what it is doing”.

She says Joburgers are starting to take their health and fitness more seriously.

“Strong is the new sexy. We are stepping out of our typical cultural belief that being bigger is associated with wealth. We are starting to take note and we are taking care of our bodies.”

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