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Genevieve Vieira
3 minute read
24 Feb 2014
6:00 am

Get the most out of your fitness regime

Genevieve Vieira

New and improved exercise programmes are constantly being created. Relentless marketing campaigns try to convince people that one technique is better or more effective than others.

Maps Maponyane and Lisa Raleigh offer some healthy living tips.

With media continuously sending messages about ways to improve, wipe away flaws and become the “new you”, it’s not surprising that trainers are trying to find fresh ideas to reel customers in. After all, the same old thing time again can become monotonous. A positive step regardless, there comes a point when you have to sit back and ask: is investing your time and money in expensive dancercise classes or keep-fit programmes really worth it?

In her new television show, 101 Exercises To Try Before You Die, Lisa Raleigh, along with model Maps Maponyane, travel to glamorous locations around the world to discover the latest exercise trends celebrities use to keep themselves in top condition. Together, the duo discover a number of stimulating and sometimes strange workout methods.

One of the more obscure ideas is “Prancercise”. Created by Joanna Rohrback and defined as a “holistic fitness method based on a springy, rhythmic way of moving forward”, Prancercise has become a YouTube phenomenon.

The premise of the show as a whole is to encourage an inclination to get off the couch and move around. As long as there are different kinds of people on the earth, with different body types, needs and goals, there will be a variety of fitness methods on offer.

“People need to know their body and their objectives, researching and attaining knowledge of the pros and cons of each particular exercise programme,” says Raleigh.

“Find something that is convenient for you. If you pick a yoga class on the other side of town, that will be your first excuse.”

Having been in the fitness game for over 12 years, Raleigh notes that the best exercises are still the basics.

“Use what you can, where you are, and what you have,” she says.

“The more complicated the method, the higher the risk of injury.”

Maps Maponyane and Lisa Raleigh show off with hula hoops

Maps Maponyane and Lisa Raleigh show off with hoola hoops

Here are her suggestions:

Skipping

Jumping rope can help you to increase your stamina and fitness. It strengthens your muscles, sculpting your shoulders, chest, arms, and legs all at the same time. Jump 2–3cm, giving the rope just enough space to slip under your feet. Only the balls of feet should touch the floor. Stand up straight, tighten your abs and tuck the butt in. Keep your elbows close to the body, turning the rope with your wrists.

Lunges

Exercises that use your body weight to strengthen muscles are extremely effective. Lunges work almost the entire leg and buttocks. Stand up straight, with your legs a hip width apart. Placing your hands on your hips, step forward with your right foot, bending both of your knees and stopping at a 90-degree angle, and vice versa. Flex your abdominal muscles.It is important to keep good spinal posture throughout the lunge.

Push-ups

Exercises like push-ups and pull-ups are good for both strength training and cardiovascular health if you do several sets at a time. You require no equipment other than your own body weight and your arms.

Position your hands palms-down, approximately shoulder width apart. Raise yourself using your arms, resting your body weight on your hands and feet. Then lower your torso to the ground until your elbows form a 90-degree angle and repeat.