Fitness has become an obsession for many Kenyans today, with everyone running, or doing some exercise regimen at home, or hitting the gym; with another bunch participating in one strange gym fast after another. Being fit has become the illusive “it” thing that everyone wants, but not every seems to be able to attain. And let’s face it fitness and healthy eating is not always fun. We sat down with five Kenyan women who seem to have found the fitness secrets that work for their bodie
Joanne Ball-Burgess, 36, mother of three
I do yoga five times a week. I love yoga very much, so much so that I do it twice on Saturday. Also since my work involves dance as I teach dance classes and also do performances, I am constantly doing choreography. So I get flexibility from yoga and endurance from dance.
My last born is 20 months and after giving birth, a mother loses a lot of vitamins and one’s hormones are all over the place. Thus before you get back into exercise it is important to see a specialist to find out which vitamins you should take and how to get back your hormonal balance, because if you don’t you end up work out very hard and even dieting, and not losing anything. I saw a natural doctor, Dr Ameet Agarwal who is a Homoeopathic doctor and he helped me to identify which vitamins in my body needed to be replenished, once everything was back to normal, I was able to get back to my fitness regimen.
After I had my last born, I was back dancing at three weeks, and doing yoga at six. I do not keep fit to lose weight as I naturally have a prevalence to being skinny, I work out to be healthy, strong and to put on some muscle and weight
Lastly, I do not put pressure on myself, I make sure that I get enough sleep and ensure my fitness activity is something that I enjoy. If you enjoy dancing go for a dance class, or go out and dance the night away, but keep off beer.
I do not believe in starving myself and so I do not diet; and yes you could lose weight on a diet but it does not last and your muscle wastes away. Instead I choose to make healthy food choices. I am gluten free, I do not eat wheat products and sometimes I am a vegetarian. I also take vitamin and herb supplements.
Suzie Wokabi, 40, mother of two
I am not really a work out person but my best friend Pinky drags me to yoga classes thrice every week. Then for the other two days I do Zumba (I love dancing) or I go for a walk.
Firstly, I make sure that I cook the food in my home and I cook using olive oil or light oil and this way I am able to regulate the quantity of oil used.
When it comes to food, I used to be a meat person but recently I have been reducing my intake, I have been losing interest in meat, but I still love the soup, which is weird(laughs). Thus, while before I used to enjoy salad with meat, now I will have it with boiled egg. I still have chapati, ugali or rice but at least once a day.
A day in my life will include: a heavy breakfast that includes meat or chicken soup together with yoghurt and fruits, beans and ugali for lunch and salad with chicken for supper. Additionally, I drink a lot of water. However, I do not deny myself and when I feel like indulging, I will go out and get some pizza and have it with wine.
Winnie Atieno Okoth, 26
I do CrossFit and Olympic weightlifting. I began my journey 3 years ago. What I love about CrossFit, is the fact that every day I get to challenge my ass handed to me as every day is something different. CrossFit is a high-intensity fitness program incorporating elements from several sports and types of exercise. It incorporates functional movements performed at high intensity with everything from gymnastics, to weightlifting, to running and more. Thus it enables me to challenge myself every day. I am a CrossFit instructor and it also helps me when training others.
When it comes to food, I do not diet. I eat the essentials (protein, carbs and fats). I just make sure I fuel my body with what it needs. Oh! And also I eat after every 2 hours.
Josephine Simonet, 38, mother of two)
I lift weights, strength training, and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) five days a week, and because I teach Zumba classes, I do Zumba on a daily basis.
I am very strict on my meal plan; in fact, I do not think most people can maintain it. I do not take diary as diary makes me bloated, instead I take vitamin probiotic supplement. I never eat fried meat; my meat is always boiled or grilled. Also, I do not take soda and instead have natural juice, further, I do not eat wheat and I also avoid carbohydrates at night. I usually have my carbohydrates for breakfast and lunch but I always opt for complex carbohydrates. For snacks I have nuts or fruits. My meal plan in a day includes: oats and black tea for breakfast or tea with nduma or sweet potatoes; pawpaw after an hour; ugali, spinach and boiled meat for lunch; and chicken and vegetables for supper, or ndengu and meat, or fish and French beans and broccoli.
Marjolein Nlokland, 26
I work out five days in a week. I do Muaythai (kick boxing), pole dance for fitness, and Resistance Training and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) at the gym. In a day its either kick boxing in the morning and gym in the evening or kickboxing the morning and pole dance for fitness in the evening.
I love keeping fit, I have been going to the gym since I was 14, it not only puts me in a good mood and makes me feel healthy, but it helps in my line of work as a fitness trainer where I work with clients who want to lose fat, or want to gain weight or those who want to gain muscle.
I do not do diets but I do watch my calorie intake. When it comes to food I focus mostly on my protein intake and ensure that I take 20-30 grams of protein in a day. I also try and avoid wheat but I will have a slice of cake once in a while; instead of wheat, I eat potatoes in all form from mashed, to grilled. Wheat for some reason makes me moody and like I am constantly on my period.
Further, on a normal day I have three main meals and snacks in between, but again that is not constant because sometimes I will have even 12 small meals depending on the season and my training.