“I think I got my love of exercise and fitness from my mom,” Letshego Zulu reveals. “She was a runner, and played netball, basketball, squash and tennis. She never forced me into exercise, but she always asked me to watch her train.”
She says this was because her mother couldn’t leave her on her own while she trained.
“When I was seven or eight, we were living at Fort Hare University, as my mom was a lecturer and house matron. We lived opposite the sports grounds, so whenever she went out to train, she would tell me to come with her and bring something to entertain myself. I would watch her run around and around on the athletics field, and eventually – curious to see what all the fuss was about – I would join her. On other days I would bring my netball and shoot some hoops to pass the time. Over time, my love of exercise grew.”
By the time Zulu started primary school, sports sounded interesting to her. “I tried out everything and was lucky enough to have a mom who supported me. After that I just never stopped exercising.”
What’s Her Favorite Form Of Exercise?
“It’s hard to say, because I’m always busy with different fitness activities. In 2016 I was training for Half Ironman, so I was swimming, road cycling and running. Last year I completed joBerg2c, a 9-day mountain-bike race, and this year I completed the Absa Cape Epic, an 8-day mountain bike race. Both of these races were done in my late husband’s honor. I typically plan my fitness program a year in advance, and I m already working towards next years goal.”
What Does Health Mean To Her?
“It means living a long life. It’s a natural stress-reliever. I’m happier. I feel lighter. I feel I am able to conquer the world. If a week passes and I haven’t done any exercise, I feel down, heavy and tired.”
What Does She Eat?
“I follow the basic food guidelines. I know that low-fat protein and vegetables are safe. I have the discipline not to eat junk food all the time. I’m a firm believer in moderation. There’s a food pyramid for a reason, and we need to eat all of the food groups in the correct proportions. Simply put, I choose to eat healthily.”
Letshego Zulu’s Top 4 Fitness Tips:
1. Figure out what you enjoy. “Don’t do something that’s a chore. Do something that you love and you won’t even notice that you are exercising.”
2. Always set a goal, “whether it’s a race that you want to do or a time/ distance you want to achieve”.
3. Get the buy-in of people around you. “It always helps to have the support of your family and friends.”
4. Exercise with a friend. “This will keep you exercising on days that you don’t feel like it.” Click here to find out how you can stay active – right in the office!
Zulu co-owns Pop-Up Gym, a project that encourages people to exercise anytime, anywhere. Her dream is to ensure that every South African learns to exercise and experience good health.
It’s easy to get the benefits of exercise – you just have to start. Want to know how to sculpt your waist, thighs and belly? Click here to find out.