You know that working out legit makes you feel good, but it’s easy to forget about that endorphin-fueled post-workout bliss when you’re tired, stressed, or just don’t want to get to the gym for whatever reason. Even top fitness stars — like Nkateko Dinwiddy AKA Takkies — sometimes need a little motivational kick to get themselves going.
So, looking for some hot pro tips to get you through your next tough workout (or to the gym)? We asked Takkies to share what keeps her going day in and day out.
1. Find a routine you enjoy.
Choose a workout that you love so that you won’t make any excuses to not train. You can also draw up a workout plan that is fun — including 2-3 different training methods will keep things interesting so that you never get bored. Remember starting something new is not always easy so be patient, be kind to yourself and stay consistent. If you fail, reset and try again. Show your body love and it will give you love right back.
What motivates me to stick to a routine? Apart from fitness being a part of my career, I love how good I feel after training. I feel energized, happy and ready to take on anything. I’ve been through a journey of self-love and taking care of my body is so important to me.
I hit the gym 3-4 times a week. Besides that, I do home workouts and teach my weekly Rockingnheels dance workout class. My trainer creates most of my workouts and because it’s important to spend your energy where it’s needed the most, he usually alternates days for strength and fitness conditioning. On other days he will make me do workouts that complement both strength and conditioning eg: running/boxing with a few circuit rounds.
2. Listen to your body.
NEVER push through any uncomfortable pain. I make sure I wear the correct training shoe for my specific workout method — this ensures that I protect my feet. While I am always moving, I don’t overdo it and I set aside downtime for my body. Rest days are just as important as working out!
3. Always stretch.
Stretching before AND after you work out will help prep your muscles for exercise and safeguard you against injury. My favourite stretches? Lunges, quad stretch, seated chin-to-knee stretch, down dog stretch, knee-to-chest stretch, ankle twists, body rolls, neck and arm stretch, shin stretch, calf stretch and full-body twists… just to name a few.
4. Pick the correct shoe for your workout.
I always look for a great performance shoe with good support all around. I love that I can run on the treadmill, go straight into the boxing ring, do some strength training, and end with a cool dance workout all in one shoe. It’s the kind of shoe that’s definitely made for the girl boss like me who refuses to be held back.
5. Fuel your body.
At the end of the day, your body is like a machine — it needs good fuel in order to function properly.
If I have a busy week I find that meal prepping works best — it simply allows me to eat the right fuel without having to think about it too much. My go-to is a smoothie or oats and fruit for breakfast. For lunch, I enjoy a good sandwich, a delicious bean salad or a pre-prepped meal which includes quinoa and loads of different vegetables. For dinner, I love a stir fry or hearty bowl with lentils. When it comes to snacking during the day, I grab nuts and fruit. In total, I eat five times a day to make sure I have enough energy.