HZ: We caught up with prominent Zimbabwean model, entrepreneur, philanthropist and now fitness trainer, Teurai Chanakira, to get some tips about how she keeps fit. So well is her new enterprise, Fitness To A Tee, going that Chanakira currently boasts the Australasia representative for Mrs Globe 2013, Kylie Tsiafogiannis, as one of her clients.
Here are her tips and facts;
1. It’s important for everyone to drink water every day. Our cells and bodies are made up largely of water so we need it for so many bodily functions, including reaching our weight loss and/or fitness goals. To calculate the correct amount of water for your weight, multiply your weight in kgs by 0.033.
2. It is the biggest myth that you cannot eat sadza and have a ripped body! You can! You can! You can! It’s just about eating the right portion for your fitness goals.
3. If you want to lose belly fat, you cannot do it just by doing abs exercises and/or sit ups. It has to be a combination of using energy with all the muscles in your body so as to lose weight evenly; and eating healthily.
4. Muriwo and all other dark green vegetables such as tsunga, grown in Zimbabwe, are excellent for reaching fitness goals as they contain vital nutrients such as iron. For weight loss goals, ensure you have double the portion of muriwo on your plate than your sadza and meat.
5. A simple secret to getting flatter abs is to ensure that every time you’re exercising, walking or running, you ‘activate your abs’. To do this, draw your belly into your spine and keep that tension there as though you’re wearing a tight dress or shirt, whilst breathing normally.
6. A great weight loss and toning tip is to do interval training. Although there are many variations, an example of this is when you vary the intensities of your run. So warm up with a steady jog for 5 mins, sprint for 1 min, run at a medium pace for 2 mins, sprint for 1 min and so on for a maximum of 20 – 30 minutes. This is more effective than a 1 hour jog.
7. Using weights or body resistance (e.g. push ups) for women when exercising is the most effective way to lose weight, tone up, prevent osteoporosis, increase brain coordination, enhance mental alertness and increase body strength! It will not bulk you up unless you’re using weights extremely excessively.
Facts about Teurai
8. I love teaching myself something new to do with my body all the time; I’m good at pushing myself to the limit. At the moment, I’m challenging myself to do 10 bodyweight pull-ups. This is when you find a sturdy bar and pull yourself up using your body weight strength. So far I can do 5, ha ha.
9. I do 3 -4 times a week of 45 – 60 minute weights and body weight training sessions and one 20 -30 minute run every week. I like to combine things that teach me flexibility, strength, coordination and speed. All these factors are important to me.
10. I stick to a 90% vs. 10% rule with my nutrition. I eat healthy 90% of the time. My favourite naughty treat is chocolate trifle pudding or egg fried rice and sweet ‘n’ sour chicken. Yum!
Photographs are courtesy Teurai.