Activity: Spinning

KJ BURNT: 2,100

Description: Description: Carla Calitz – Features editor

Carla Calitz – Features editor

"I'm training for my first Old Mutual Two Ocean's Half-marathon, so my cycling's taken a backseat. But I still ensure I turn my legs by attending a spinning class once a week.

"Thankfully the Virgin Active Cape Town is just a five-minute dash from the office, so I race out the building at 12.50pm for the 1.05pm session.

"While I walk, I snack on an energy bar. ! also book a bike online the week before. It takes six minutes to kit up, after which I skid into the spinning studio where I quickly adjust my bike's set-up.

"Then it's 45 tough minutes of interval training on varying resistance levels with both hills and flat stretches. Thank goodness for the instructor's five-minute cool down.

"Now it's time to get rid of the sweatiness in the showers. I'm back at my desk at 2.10pm, furiously lunching on a tuna, feta and avo­cado salad I prepared the night before, as well as two glasses of water.

"I'm one of those annoyingly energetic and sunny people for the rest of the afternoon, thanks to the endorphin rush.

"I think my editor prefers me this way ­ she also knows I'm good for the extra lunch time, as I start at 7.30am on my spinning days instead of 8.30am to make up for the lost time."

The expert says

According to Donovan van Gelder, a former international triathlete, one of the first spin­ning instructors in SA and owner of online coaching website cybercoach.co.za: "An intense lunch-hour spinning session will increase your metabolic rate. This'll result in your body burning more fat stores — even when you're resting.

"It's also a great way to exercise your cardio­vascular system and strengthen your calves, thighs and Glutes with little to no impact on the joints, like your knees."

Top tips

1.    Do a spinning class 2-3 times a week at most, and incorporate some weight-bearing exercises, like running, walking or an aerobics class.

2.    If you’re using spinning to supplement your cycling training, you’ll also need to get out for longer periods on the road. A 45-minute class won’t develop the kind of endurance you’ll need for events, such as the Cope Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour.

Activity: Vinyasa Yoga


Description: Description: Activity: Vinyasa Yoga

Ashlin Simpson – Online Editor

"It's 12.50pm and I send off a last-minute email before I dash to Jai Yoga studio — which, lucky for me, is a stone's throw away from our office. It's a 5-7 minute brisk walk. I change in record time. By 1pm I'm on my mat, flat on my back, my mind racing. I try to focus on the moment by closing my eyes and focusing on my breath.

"My yoga instructor often reminds us that the hardest part of yoga is just getting to your class. But after you manage to get there, the next challenge is keeping your mind in the room.

"The hour-long class is done in a heated room. After 10 minutes my mind is clear; my body responds gratefully to the flowing movements and a downward-facing dog has never felt so good.

"When the class nears the end, I feel a little disappointed. The cool air is soothing on my skin as I leave the hot room, and then it's a quick shower and dress before I trek back to reality. At 2:10pm, I'm back at my desk feeling happy and rejuvenated."

The expert says

Yoga instructor Brian Bergman says: "Because most jobs involve sitting for long periods and doing mostly mental activity, yoga during your lunch hour is like first aid for your spine.

"It gets the body's energy flowing again and helps you become more focused, alive and vital. Over time it unleashes your full creative potential. While most people will be passing the afternoon growing more and more unpro­ductive, you may become super-productive and enjoy the work you're doing.

"Yoga is a discipline that works not only on the physical body but the mind, emotions and spirit as well. The physical benefits are considered beneficial side effects to its main aim, which is to bring you into an experience of your own true nature."

Top tips

1.    You can do as many yoga sessions as you like (practise daily for optimal results).

2.    Include yoga breath work to balance and boost energy and yogic meditation to unleash your creative potential.

3.    Not many people who are new to yoga can keep their minds focused in the prat tice. But practising this awareness — and coming back when the mind wanders ­ gradually puts you back in charge. It takes time, but it's really worth it.
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