Covid-19: Top athletes weigh in on how we should respond to coronavirus

JOBURG – Top athletes share advice and encouragement while training at home.

South Africans need to take the coronavirus pandemic seriously and do their best to ensure the safety of others.

So say two of South Africa’s top sporting icons, South African sevens rugby captain, Siviwe ‘Shakes’ Soyizwapi and International Boxing Organisation cruiserweight champion, Kevin Lerena, two Under Armour-sponsored athletes.

“We are in a tough situation as a country and the whole world at large,” said Soyizwapi.

“There have been challenges from the citizens of SA in them taking the pandemic very lightly as not adhering strictly to the regulations and restrictions that have been put out, which has been very stressful and, I also feel, very selfish from their part, but it seems as though people are starting to see the severity of the situation.”

South African sevens rugby captain, Siviwe ‘Shakes’ Soyizwapi shares tips about training at home. Photo: Supplied

He said the rules put in place by authorities have been good.

Lerena also said this was a sad time to be in but the lockdown is necessary.

“[The lockdown] has affected me, but a real champion will always find a way! As we speak, I am currently setting up an assault bike from Mifitness in my garage,” he said.

“It is possible to keep in shape and easily so. Follow online training tutorials. I think the key to this isolation is maintaining a good diet because your movements are limited even if you are working out at home. I’ve spotted great online training programmes on Instagram.”

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Soyizwapi said his training programme had been turned upside down by the lockdown. “Where we would be together as a team, we have to be away from each other. I will be training at home. Even in a personal capacity, I cannot make use of the local gym facilities that I normally would which has affected my strength and muscle endurance.”

He said training at home has ‘tapered down’ all areas of usual training, however, he can still maintain fitness and will be at a good level to get back on track when the lockdown is over.

South African sevens rugby captain, Siviwe ‘Shakes’ Soyizwapi shares tips about training at home. Photo: Supplied

He suggested other athletes stay fit and healthy and do body weight training and high-intensity interval training.

Above following online training tutorials, Lerena also suggested athletes watch their calorie intake.

“Increase proteins, reduce carbs and try work towards that calorie deficit if you looking to lose weight. If you want to maintain, then a balanced diet for 21 days is good enough.”

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