“Health and fitness was my escape from the stress of being a student”

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Ncumisa Pongoma is her name, but you’ll find her on the gram as @ncum_fit – and the “fit” in her Insta handle is not there by chance. She’s genuinely fit – super-fit.

Once you start scrolling down her Instagram page, you don’t stop. It’s that addictive. The 24-year-old is a recent graduate from the University of Johannesburg and, in the past month, she’s started working. In between adulting, school and a busy social life, keeping fit and healthy is what she does to hold it all together. Here’s a behind-the-scenes glimpse at her life…

Where did it all start?

Ncumisa is no stranger to health and fitness, but leading a consciously healthy lifestyle was once a foreign concept to her. “I’ve always been active – I took part in many different sports throughout my schooling years – but I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to,” she says. When she got to varsity, she joined the gym. That’s where she was also introduced to healthy eating and what she needed to fuel her body properly – and she hasn’t looked back.

READ MORE: "I changed my lifestyle and lost 10 kilos fast" 

What keeps Ncumisa going?

“Being a university student was often stressful. I had to find a breathing space, and fitness was the escape I needed. Be it jogging, going to gym or training outdoors – I couldn’t cope without it,” says Ncumisa. Luckily, the hobby Ncumisa chose comes with more than one benefit. Hello six-pack!

Best part of being fit and healthy?

Let’s start with the most obvious ones: Ncumisa’s amazing body and flawlessly glowing skin. “Even though I was physically fit, I used to indulge in a lot of junk food, hardly drank water and, ironically, I thought I was living my best life,” she says. It was only after she ditched her bad habits that she realised what her best life really was. “I was drinking more water, my body was transforming – I felt different and lighter.”

READ MORE: 9 Things every fit girl should always have in her bag 

The low-down on Ncumisa's routine

Ncumisa admits that it’s not as easy as some people make out on the gram, but it’s definitely doable. “It’s easy to fall into bad habits – you need to be consistent and disciplined,” she says. Before she started working, she would do a five km jog every morning, except Wednesdays – her rest day. After classes, at around 4pm, she’d head off to the gym if her schedule wasn’t too hectic. Around 7pm, she’d start studying. Now she just goes to gym after work and on Saturdays. “I’m still finding my feet and figuring everything out,” she says.

And what does she eat?

“Breakfast is my favourite. I never miss it. I usually have oats with chia seeds, peanut butter and almond milk, and I snack on fruit during the day. I always pack my own lunch – it saves money and reduces the temptation to grab quick, unhealthy grub, so it’s kale, spinach, broccoli, butternut with sweet potatoes or rice every other day. Supper is quinoa or couscous with more veggies.” Ncumisa is vegan, so vegetables and her are on the same whatsapp group.

READ MORE: The best vegan food to eat if you're trying to tone up 

5 Cool facts about Ncumisa

1/ In her gym bag you’ll always find a bottle of water and earphones.

2/ Leg Day is her favourite day.

3/ She’s inspired by people like @QueenFitnass, @Tazzfintnessza and @Letshego Zulu. They’re all constant in their training.

4/ She can do pull-ups.

5/ She has a legit six-pack!

This article was originally published on Women's Health South Africa.

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