Activity: Running

KJ BURNT 1,260

Description: Description: Kassabaine Petersen – Deputy/Managing Editor

Kassabaine Petersen – Deputy/Managing Editor

"At 12.50pm I snatch my gym bag and make a beeline for the door. I get into my running gear — if changing were a race, I'd win a medal! Working out at lunchtime means I have to be organised, so I pack everything I'll need for my post-run shower at the nearby gym. To make every minute count, I use the lift ride to stretch, but only if I'm alone...

"Once on street level, I trot across the square outside our offices and make my way towards the gym — a three-minute run — where I safely deposit my bag in a locker. At exactly 1.05pm, I run in the direction of the V&A Waterfront. I time my run for a total of 35 minutes, which is around 5km.

"While I'm out pounding the pavements, I catch a glimpse of that famous flat-topped mountain and the water at the harbour's edge. If I weren't running so hard, I'd think I was on holiday. Instead, I focus on my form. Before I know it, it's time to head back. About 16 min­utes to shower and get back to my desk, where a home-made salad and sandwich await.

"I feel alert, invigorated, and able to tackle any project — as long as I can do it while seated. The downside? My beet-red face! Note to self: avoid scheduling meetings after 2pm on run days!"

The expert says

Andrew Bosch, a professor in the University of Cape Town/Medical Research Council Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, says: "Running, in particular, is a great stress reliever, improves your sense of wellbeing and is a great cardiovascular exercise. And it can be done anywhere.

"It's also time efficient in terms of burning kilojoules. For example, a 60kg person running 10km will use 2 5204 But they will use only about 750kJ playing volleyball for an hour and 1 510kJ cycling for an hour. Running is also relatively cheap."

Top tips

1.    Aim to run weekly 4-5 times, 30-40 minutes, for general health.

2.    Once accustomed to the training, do one run where you push the pace a little, so that you're breathing quite hard. This will make you into a faster runner.

3.    Get fitted for a good pair of running shoes. It'll help prevent injuries to your knees, back and shins. A good pair of running shoes should be bigger than your normal size shoe fit (try one size bigger).

Activity: Zumba

KJ BURNT: 2,400

Description: Description: Sara Mould – Junior Features and Online Writer

Sara Mould – Junior Features and Online Writer

"The gym is a six-minute walk from the SHAPE offices and I need another five minutes to get into my dancing kit. Class starts at 1pm.

"Zumba is a high-intensity aerobic workout to salsa and merengue music — I took dancing lessons at school, so I always knew I'd enjoy it. This hip-wriggling Latin-inspired dance class is all about learning the step sequences — and takes 45 minutes. While I enjoy every second, I'm out of breath afterwards. So I sit down and take a five-minute break to get my breathing under control before hitting the shower. This re-energises my worked muscles and I'm rearing to go. Within 15 minutes I'm dressed and out the door.

"I grab a quick bite to eat on the way, which I have at my desk; that adds another five minutes to my time.

"My lunch workout takes a total of one hour and 21 minutes, which is way over my allotted 60-minute lunch hour. Luckily, I have an understanding boss and I make up the time at the end of the day.

"I've become a Zumba convert. I can have the bluest day, be depressed, hormones rag-ing, whatever — but once I get into that class, I recharge my life and soul. I say ditch the workout—join the party!"

The expert says

Certified Zumba instructor Robyn Tserpes says: "A lunchtime Zumba class is going to energise you for the rest of the day. It's a high-intensity cardio workout, so you'll be burning kilojoules instead of piling them on. It also includes toning moves so you get an all-round cardio/toning workout. It's great for weight loss and it's a fun type of exercise, so you won't even realise you're working out."

Top tips

1.    It's recommended that you take a class three times a week.

2.    Make sure there's a warm-up and a cool-down stretch in each class – this brings your heart rate back down and stretches your muscles to prevent stiffness. Incorpo­rate some form of abdominal workouts too – Pilates is an excellent way to supple­ment the Zumba workout.

3.    There are never any wrong moves in dance. As long as you keep moving, it doesn't matter if you don't grasp the routines straight away. Have fun, lose your inhibitions and feel the music.

No More Excuses!

Description: Description: Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Walk briskly for 10 minutes

Do you feel like you're missing out on an opportunity to get fit because you're office-bound? Use these strategies to get your exercise fix without affecting your daily schedule — that's if you're not able to participate in any of the workouts the SHAPE team tackled:

1.    Walk briskly for 10 minutes. Take a stroll through the office building or around the block in your lunch break or at teatime.

2.    Move while you wait. If you added up all the time you spend waiting in a day, you'd be surprised — so use that time to move. Do sidekicks while you wait for the kettle to boil or squeeze your abs while your emails download.

3.    Turn off technology. Rather than emailing your colleagues, walk to their desks. Go for a walk to meet up for lunch instead of chatting on the phone.

4.    Take the stairs. In 10 minutes of climbing the stairs, a 60kg woman will burn almost 336kJ. (That's more than a slice of bread!)

5.    Put your multitasking talent to work. While chatting on the phone, walk around, climb stairs, do squats, lunges, sidekicks or calf raises.

6.    Step it up. Get a pedometer to track your paces. Aim for 10 000 daily. Increase your steps by, for instance, parking further away and walking.
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