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Real Women. Real Inspiration.

well i am challenger, Tasneem, is a sterling example of how healthy change can transform your life – well done! This is her story:

 

Before I started on the well i am journey, I was fighting a battle against PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). I was struggling with weight loss and trying to start a family, and was advised by so many to change my lifestyle. I knew I needed to start exercising and change my eating habits, but it was so much easier said than done! I was a whirlwind of emotions. I knew what needed to be done, but it was a hurdle I did not know how to start climbing.

 

I had tried many diets, medications and forms of exercise, but when you do not see results immediately it can make one feel despondent. I then came across the well i am challenge via social media (Facebook). I read what the challenge was about, and took a chance to enter – not knowing this journey would forever change my life. I was determined to win the challenge, especially after featuring on the Expresso Show; I cleaned out the grocery cupboards, went shopping for healthy foods, took out my training shoes and ensured my gym bag was packed every night for the following day.

 

It was very hard in the beginning, trying to manage the routine and adjust to the eating plan, but after two weeks I was in it to win it! I prepacked my lunch bag and ensured I cooked a healthy balanced meal every evening. What made it easier was that my husband had joined me on the challenge and we kept motivating one another each step of the way. Seeing the results each week made it so much easier to continue – changes in the way your clothes fit, the compliments from colleagues, family and friends, as well as how different one looks in photos. It was such an amazing feeling.

 

I felt so much more confident and positive. I actually felt like getting up, dressing up and embracing each day. Just before the last month of the challenge started, I began to feel rather faint after training. I started to crave certain foods, foods which I had cut out of my diet (the bad ones).

 

A friend had asked if I was perhaps not pregnant. I laughed and answered that there was no way. That was the last thing I had expected. I had struggled for years and the chances were slim to none. She encouraged me to take a test, and I was very reluctant. I did not want to feel the sadness and heartbreak which I felt every time I had taken a test over the last few years. I did not want to have to give my husband false hopes and then disappointing news.

 

Then one night on the way home, I bought the test. I did not tell anyone. The next morning, before I hit the gym. I took it. To my surprise there were two lines. Two!

 

I did not know if I was seeing things; was I perhaps still half asleep? I literally washed my face and checked again. There were definitely two lines. I called my husband immediately – he was working away at the time. He thought I was joking, and asked for me to send him a picture. He confirmed there were two lines, but advised to take another test. I went to work that day and later that morning I bought another test. That was positive too. I did not know how to feel, I was so happy, excited and also scared – what if the tests were wrong? I booked a visit with my doctor the same day, and went for a blood test. The wait was agonising – but within 24-48 hours, the doctor confirmed I was already 5 weeks pregnant.

 

Finally – my dream of starting a family and becoming a mother was becoming a reality. I had finally reversed the PCOS. I did what seemed – to me – to be impossible.

 

I would like to thank the well i am manager and team for affording me this opportunity to take part in this life-changing journey. It was a hard one – I will not lie. But the lifestyle change works miracles. If it was not for this journey, I am not sure I would have ever started. I might not have won the ‘big prize’, but the prize I have is something I can never put a value to. It’s priceless, a little miracle. And I intend to show the little one mommy’s TV debut and how ‘well i am’ changed my life.

 

Perhaps I will enter the next challenge after the baby is born, you never know!

 

To the women out there who find themselves in my position, battling with PCOS – do not give up. There is hope. All you need to do is make the sacrifice and change your lifestyle. It is possible. If I can do it, I know you can too.

 


 

To be your own inspiration, join the next well i am challenge (well i am 6) which runs from 5 September to 28 November 2016.

 

Basic sign up of R499 gives you inspiring and easy-to-follow tips for life-long healthy living.

 

Each challenger also stands a chance of being 1 of 4 winners to walk away with R20 000 each! Visit www.welliam.co.za to find out more!

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Help save a species with Project Rhino KZN

Every month in South Africa, rhinos are found dead after being killed for their horns. Last year alone, 1175 were murdered for their horns, which are made largely from keratin, the same protein found in hair, fingernails, and animal hooves. Their horns are used in traditional Chinese medicines, but more recently, their horns are regarded as a status symbol in parts of Asia, where wealthy high-rollers like to be seen sprinkling powdered rhino horn into their drinks.

With China and Vietnam’s ruthless demand for this ‘delicacy’, rhino numbers are dropping at a rapid rate, bringing the threat of their extinction even closer… to within the next decade. And although those fighting the war on wildlife crime keep improving their resources and technology, so does that of the poachers who are funded by international criminal networks. Ending poachers’ path of destruction requires sophisticated equipment, training and support – all of which requires constant funding.

Enter Project Rhino KZN.

Project Rhino KZN was launched on World Rhino Day, 22 September 2011. They have partnered up with the Hawks, as well as like-minded organisations (private and community-owned reserves, rhino owners, leading conservation NGOs and anti-poaching security specialists) across KZN who bring their expertise to protect KZN’s rhino populations.

You can see the video of their ongoing battle here. (WARNING: graphic content).

They have also teamed up with MRP Sport with the sale of rhino print t-shirts for kids, women and men. By purchasing these tees, a portion of the sale of each one goes Project Rhino KZN to secure the technology, awareness and support needed to conserve our rhino populations. Our most recent cheque handover saw the MRP Sport team hand over an amazing R311,123 – all thanks to MRP Sport’s loyal customers.

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Another Project Rhino KZN initiative involves talking to the youth in the universal language of art. The Rhino Art campaign is aimed at schools nearest the reserves where rhino populations are most abundant. What’s most upsetting that less than 2% of the children at these schools have seen a rhino in the wild. If you’d like to get involved and find out how you can sponsor a school, you’ll find everything you need to know about the Rhino Art campaign here.

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To find out more about their initiatives, and how you can get involved, visit Project Rhino KZN’s Twitter and Facebook pages , or shop online at www.mrpsport.com to get your rhino t-shirt today.

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Yoga Book 8 – Staying Motivated

This is your Guide to Staying Motivated and Moving

We know, we know.

Your tyre burst and then you had to bath your dog and then an old friend was in town and you JUST had to catch up, and then you had toothache, and then you had laundry to do… and then, and then, and then.

It’s all too easy to let one excuse pile on top of the other, and before you know it, you’re out of your fitness routine and back to your demotivated, inactive rut. We’ve all been there.

But with our quick little guide to rekindling than motivation, we’ll help you get moving in no time. In this guide, we show you how to:

  • Shift your thinking
  • Make the most of rainy days
  • See fitness and health as a reward
  • Count on buddies to get out and active
  • Get your office involved
  • Find your focus through research

Ready? Let’s do this! Just fill in your details below to get motivated and moving!


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Yoga Book 7 – Sun Salutation

Breathtaking sunrises. Unforgettable sunsets. Sun-soaking with friends. Summer fun in the sun.

All the best things in life revolve around the sun – after all, it is the source of life on Earth. So why not, give our closest star a proverbial high-five with our Sun Salutation yoga sequence. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation – Surya means ‘sun’ and Namaskar means ‘bow down’) is a series of twelve poses, preferably done at sunrise. Morning is the best time to complete a Sun Salutation as it rejuvenates the body and refreshes the mind as we prepare to take on a new day.

In the afternoon, this sequence boosts the body instantly and if done at sunset, it helps you unwind. For an excellent cardiovascular workout, do the Sun Salutation at a faster pace. Just fill in your details below to get the download!


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Yoga Book 6 – Office Pick-Me-Up

When it comes to health and happiness, this recipe is a recipe for disaster:

  • Sedentary desk job.
  • Bad posture.
  • Constant supply of biscuits and coffee.

And it’s a recipe that we can all relate to, too.

Sad fact: sedentary desk jobs have increased by 83% since 1950. This way of working, combined with advances in technology and accessible transportation, are the reason people are becoming less and less active and more and more unfit. But with a few small tweaks to your daily routine, you can overhaul your physical and emotional wellbeing… and by tweaks we mean a few totally easy and completely doable stretches that’ll:

  • Energise you and boost your mood
  • Improve your posture and help you concentrate
  • Improves circulation.                                                  
  • Getting everyone in the office involved will boost morale, make for a few laughs and help keep everyone a little more active

Just fill in your details below to download our easy office yoga sequence for a quick pick-me-up.


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Yoga Book 5 – Running Warm-Up

Nothing beats an invigorating run. Clearing your mind, challenging yourself and re-energising your body are just a few reasons why we keep at it. But there’s more to a run than simply lacing up and racing off – and every runner will know there’s a little more to it.

Every great run starts with a great warmup session, and that comes in the form of dynamic stretching. Dynamic stretching targets the muscles used for running and uses controlled movements to:

  • Improve range of motion
  • Limber up the muscles
  • Increase heart rate, body temperature and blood flow

All these work together to help you run more efficiently. With each of these moves, start off slowly with your focus on form; and as the exercises get easier, you can pick up speed. 

Click here to download our dynamic pre-run warmup routine.


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Yoga Book 4 – Winter Wellness

For the not-so-active, winter isn’t exactly renowned as the season for getting up super early and getting super active. Most of us would agree that winter’s all about pyjamas, TV and of course, staying in bed for as long as what society deems acceptable.

But what if we told you that you could combine what you love most about winter (bed, PJs and TV) with working out?

Well, with our Winter Wellness yoga sequence you can. You can do it in your fave PJs, and you can do it in front of the TV while your favourite series is on, and you can even do it in bed before you officially start your day. The best part, below is a list of a few of the health benefits these moves can offer…. Winter workouts, sorted.

Now where’s the remote and that panda onesie?

 


 

The book contains the sequence of the following poses:

• Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Promotes relaxation, reduces stress and releases tension in the back, neck and shoulders.

 

Spine Wave (Chakravakasana)

Realigns and lengthens the spine, strengthens abs, back, arms and neck.

 

Wide-leg standing forward fold (Prasarita Padottanasana)

Relieves backache, and strengthens and stretches inner thighs, hamstrings and spine.

 

Supported head stand (Salamba Sirsasana)

Decreases stress hormone levels, improves focus and strengthens neck, shoulders and upper back.

 

Dolphin

Aids digestion and drains excess toxins from the lungs and sinuses.

 

Supported shoulder stand (Salamba Sarvangasana)

Helps with digestion, alleviates constipation and increases circulation.

 

Plough pose (Halasana)

Improves flexibility in the spine, balances hormones and releases tension around the head and neck.

 

Revolved abdominal pose (Jathara Parivartanasana)

Helps eliminate toxins in the digestive tract, releases tension in the back and helps tone abs.

 

Legs up the Wall

Stretches hamstrings, front torso and the back of the neck.

 

Corpse pose (Savasana)

Relaxes the body and releases tension.

 


 

What you’ll need to complete the Winter Wellness sequence:

  • A yoga mat
  • Plenty of space to execute each asana
  • A space alongside a wall (Supported Head Stand, Supported Shoulder Stand and Legs up the Wall)
  • Yoga blocks (optional for Revolved Abdominal Pose and Plough Pose)
  • Yoga foam roller (optional for the Corpse Pose)

 

Sign up now to download the Winter Wellness Sequence and shop your yoga gear online at mrpsport.com or at your nearest MRP Sport store.


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Winter Body Weight Workout 

You know what they say about summer bodies… Yep. That they’re made in winter.

But you don’t have to be super-strict with your workouts this season. Even if you don’t have all the time you’d like for your workout, research shows that just ten minutes of exercise can provide important health benefits. A little bit can add up over time so just do what you can when you can and more importantly enjoy it!

 

Training Plan

Duration:

20/30 minutes – depending on your fitness level

Requirements: 

  • Timer
  • A little free space to move

Instructions: 

Complete as many rounds of the given exercises as possible within eight minutes.

Rest for two minutes and repeat for a further one or two rounds – depending on your fitness level. Aim to keep the number of sets you do consistent i.e. if you do two rounds in the first eight minutes, aim to do two rounds in the second and third sets.

Record your results and try better them each week.

MONDAY

Exercise 1: Inchworm 6 – 8 reps

Exercise 2: Jump Lunge 10 either side

Exercise 3: Mountain Climber 10 either side

Exercise 4: Diamond Push-Up 10 reps

WEDNESDAY

Exercise 1: Burpees 10 reps

Exercise 2: Curtsy Lunge 10 either side

Exercise 3: Push-Up 10 reps

Exercise 4: Jump Squat 20 

FRIDAY

Exercise 1: Superman 20 reps

Exercise 2: Skiers 10 either side

Exercise 3: Bicycle 10 either side

Exercise 4: Inchworm 6 – 8 reps

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Exercise Descriptions

MONDAY

Inchworm

Stand up tall with your legs straight, slowly bend forward and let those fingertips and hands touch the floor. Keeping the legs straight (but not locked!), slowly walk your hands forward, lowering the torso towards the floor, and then walk the hands forward. Once in a push-up position, start taking tiny steps so the feet meet the hands. Continue this for 6 – 8 reps.

Jump Lunge

Stand with your feet together and lunge forward with the right foot. Jump straight up, propelling the arms forward while keeping the elbows bent. While in the air, switch legs and land in a lunge with the opposite leg forward. Repeat and continue switching legs. Try to do 10 reps on either side.

Mountain Climber

Starting on your hands and knees, bring the left foot forward directly under the chest while straightening the right leg. Keeping the hands on the ground and core tight, jump and switch legs. The left leg should now be extended behind the body with the right knee forward. Perform 10 reps on either side.

Diamond Push-Up

Place your hands in a diamond-shape (situate them so that the thumbs and index fingers touch). This hand placement will give your triceps an excellent workout. Perform 10 reps.

WEDNESDAY

Burpees

One of the most effective full-body exercises around, start standing up, slowly lower into a squat position and place hands on the floor in front of you. Kick your feet back to a push-up position, complete one push-up, then immediately return the feet to the squat position and stand up. Jump up as high as possible before squatting and moving back into the push-up portion of the movement and continue for the required reps. Perform 20 reps.

Curtsy Lunge

When lunging, step the left leg back behind the right, bending the knees and lowering the hips until the right thigh is almost parallel to the floor. Remember to keep the torso upright and the hips square. Perform 10 reps either side.

Push-Up

Place your hands shoulder-width apart, with toes placed firmly on the floor. Keep your feet hip distance apart, and tighten your core. Bend the elbows until the chest touches the ground, and then push back up (make sure to keep your elbows tucked close to the body). If you are battling you may want to try modified push-ups with knees placed on the ground. Perform 10 reps. 

Jump Squat

Stand with your feet parallel or turned out slightly – whatever is most comfortable for you. Slowly start to sit down by bending the hips and knees until the thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Make sure the heels do not rise off the floor. Push through your heels and jump as high as possible and return to a standing position.

FRIDAY

Superman

Lie face down with arms and legs extended. Keeping the torso as still as possible, simultaneously raise the arms and legs to form a small curve in the body, and slowly lower back down to the ground. Perform 20 reps.

Skiers

Start standing with your feet around shoulder width apart. Push hard off your left foot towards your right side and land on your right foot and lower yourself into a semi-lunge position with your left leg behind you as you lightly touch the floor with your hands. Push up and back off your right foot towards the side you came from and land on your left foot with your right foot behind you in a semi-lunge position and lightly touch the floor. Perform 10 Reps either side.

Bicycle

Lie down on the floor with knees bent and hands behind the head. With your knees in toward the chest, bring the right elbow towards the left knee as the right leg straightens. Continue alternating sides (as if you are pedaling). Perform 10 reps either side.

Inchworm

Stand up tall with your legs straight, slowly bend forward and let those fingertips and hands touch the floor. Keeping the legs straight (but not locked!), slowly walk your hands forward, lowering the torso towards the floor, and then walk the hands forward. Once in a push-up position, start taking tiny steps so the feet meet the hands. Continue this for 6 – 8 reps.

For more items to get you into the winter fitness mood, shop at our online store.

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Winter Training Tips | Part 1

Get Motivated

Many people use winter as an excuse to cover up and put on a little extra weight. People tend to wear a few more layers of clothing to keep warm and cover up, but I see it as the opposite! I suggest you use it as a time to really get stuck into your training and clean up your eating so that you can reveal all your hard work and dedication come summer time.

I really think it is imperative that you set goals as this will give you motivation and purpose for your workouts. I would suggest writing a few goals down to help keep you motivated and keep you accountable as it generally is a little more difficult to get out of your nice cozy warm bed in winter times. Set short term, realistic, attainable goals that you are able to achieve as this will help keep you motivated and keep you on track.

I find that most people need an extra little “push” to get them going in Winter time. I would suggest placing a picture of where you would ideally like to be / look like somewhere where you can see it so that when the time comes for you needing the motivation, you don’t need to look too far.

Mental Fitness

I firmly believe that mental fitness is just as important as physical fitness. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment this winter. Find something that you love doing and stick with it. Pick an adventurous activity you’ve always dreamed of; like skiing, climbing or hiking a mountain. Make a booking so that your workouts have a purpose and focus. Try to find a friend to train with as you will carry each other in tough times. I find it really helpful as you have someone which will hold you accountable and is there with you through your journey.

In all my years of training clients, I feel that early morning workouts have the best adherence rate. It will generally take you a week or two to get into a routine, and once you’ve formed a habit, you’ll love it!

Nutrition is vitally important and I think winter times are generally a lot harder to focus on your nutrition and hydration. I would suggest finding a nice tasting herbal tea to help warm you up and keep your cravings at bay as opposed to snuggling up with a hot chocolate on those cold winter nights.

For more items that will help you get geared to fight the winter excuses, shop at our online store.

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Four Fun Outdoor Activities for the Whole Family

When the winter months start rolling in, it can be difficult to pry the family away from the couch on weekends. While all those warm bodies and blankets make for a nice human lasagne, there are so many great activities to do on wintery weekends. Here are some ideas to get you and your kids outside into the fresh air:

 

 outdoors   Get to Know the Outdoors

The outdoors is a magical place with so many things to explore and learn about, for kids and adults alike. Apart from having fun, venturing out into the wilderness is a good way to teach your children about any critters or plants that they need to be careful of. If you’re in Johannesburg you can pack your tree/bird/plant/animal books and head to Melville Koppies East for an easy hike. Capetonians can do the same at Silvermine Nature Reserve, and if you live in Durban or its surrounds, Butterflies For Africa in Pietermaritzburg will teach you a lot about these winged beauties.

 

3  Teach Them Something New

Remember that first time you learnt how to ride a bike? The fresh breeze in your hair? The tarmac in your knees? What memories! Balance bikes are all the rage these days and they also up your kid’s street cred because they won’t have to get training wheels. Start them out on one of those and then teach them how to add pedaling into the mix. It’s a great opportunity for some bonding and it will also help you tick off a box on the good parent checklist. Get them kitted out with cycling gloves and a helmet so that they develop safety habits from a young age and if they’re old enough, teach them how to repair a puncture.

 

4  Go Geocaching

Geowhatting? Geocaching is like a big ol’ treasure hunt. You can do it anytime, anywhere and all you need to do is download the app. You’re probably a few metres away from a cache right now! The best thing about it is that it’s fun for the whole family (unless you have a fun allergy) and kids will love looking in trees and under fences to find the cache. You may just enjoy following the clues more than them! With some caches you can swap out treasures so be prepared with a trinket or two.

 

1  Hold A Family Sport’s Day

When the days are nice and cool it’s a good time to get active with the family. You could make a day out of it and play a whole range of sports. Fun family games include French cricket, soccer and frisbee, and there could even be prizes for the winners. It’s also a good opportunity to teach your child about being a good sport.

 

As you can see, there are many fun ways to get active in the winter months, and after a busy day, you can all curl up on the beloved couch. If you need to stock up on warm winter wear for the kids, shop online at MRP Sport!