Sandra paddles, Jacques plays action cricket and Elana boxes.
More and more people are getting fit
by playing outside the gym. But how does a round of golf compare
with a gym workout?
Betina Louw of YOU Pulse magazine asked sports scientist Trevor Allen and
biokineticist Pea Blaauw.
Sandra Prinsloo (actress and director) and Willem Van Riet (ex-Springbok paddler, lawyer and head
of the Peace Parks Foundation).
What: They canoe together at a dam or in the sea.
Sandra also walks every day and does yoga and Pilates.
Why?: "Paddling is more than just exercise, it’s an experience that takes you out of the bustle of the city and lets you connect with nature in a matter of minutes. It’s excellent exercise for the upper arms, back and legs and especially targets your back and stomach muscles," says Sandra.
Photo: Johan Wilke
Willem adds: "I’ve been paddling since I was young but
for me it’s not just a sport or a way of getting exercise.
I’ve explored all of Africa’s rivers in my canoe which
awakened my interest in nature conservation."
When? Sandra and Willem try to paddle three times a
week for an hour at a time. At weekends or on public
holidays they paddle twice a day, mostly at a dam but
occasionally in the sea.
The experts say: "Kayaking, like boxing, is a highly skilled activity. A lot of
concentration is needed in the posture and core
areas. Paddling is a moderate-intensity activity and
to get fit you have to paddle for an hour at a time.
The main benefit is improvement in core stability
Food craving: Sandra’s favourite is samoosas and Willem’s is hot chips.
Kilojoules burnt: If Sandra paddles for an hour at a moderate pace she’ll burn about the same as an hour’s brisk walking: 1 200 kJ. If she paddles at full pace, she’ll burn about 1 800 kJ, the equivalent of a
tough workout at the gym.
Since Sandra paddles three times a week for an hour
each time and also walks every day she can consume
up to five samoosas (150g each) a week in addition to
her usual meals without putting on weight. A single
samoosa contains almost 3 000 kJ.
Because Willem is bigger he can exert himself more
and will burn 2 200 kJ in an hour of intense paddling.
That’s equivalent to an hour’s hard training at the gym.
For every hour he exercises Willem can eat a small
packet (150g, about 2 000 kJ) of hot chips without
gaining weight, provided he doesn’t treat himself to
too many other snacks.
Bright idea: If you paddle at a moderate pace for three hours a week and eat healthily you can lose between 500g and 1kg a month. If you also
walk for an hour each day you can lose an additional
kilogram. Of course the exercise means you’ll also be
able to eat and drink more and enjoy a better life.
Jacques Blignaut (Vince in 7de Laan)
Photo: Francki Burger
What: Action cricket.
Why: "I prefer a fast-paced, energetic sport to
keep me fit. It’s a full-body workout because
you’re always moving around."
When: Team practice once a week for about an hour and a half and a match once a week.
The experts say: "Action cricket is a high-paced and high-intensity activity.
Players are always on their toes and involved
in the game. The main benefits of action
cricket are improved agility, reaction time,
concentration and hand-eye coordination."
Food craving: Chocolate cake.
Kilojoules burnt: If you play action cricket for an hour you’ll burn about 1 600 kJ. That’s the
equivalent of an hour’s exercise in the gym or
jogging at a moderate pace. For the three hours
a week Jacques plays action cricket he can
enjoy two slices of chocolate cake without
gaining. Of course if you
eat two slices of chocolate cake on
top of your regular meals and
don’t do any exercise you’ll
definitely gain weight.
Roxy Louw (model, surfer and
daughter of former Springbok Rob Louw)
Photo: Johan Wilke
What: Surfing and working out in the gym.
Why: "Surfing is a spiritual and emotional experience."
When: About three times a week for two hours each time
– sometimes six hours a day
when she’s on holiday.
say: Surfing is excellent
exercise for all muscle
groups. Roxy uses her arm,
chest and shoulder muscles
while paddling out to wait
for the right wave. The leg,
stomach and back muscles are
used to stand up and balance on
Food craving: Packets and packets of jelly beans!
Kilojoules burnt: Roxy burns about 2 000 kJ with every hour’s
surfing. That means she burns
12 000 kJ if she exercises for two hours
three times a week. She can eat five
150g packets of jelly beans a week and
still stay slim. Each 150g packet of jelly
beans contains about 2 250 kJ but
the fat content is almost zero.
Bright idea: If you surf for six hours a
week and follow
a healthy diet you can
lose up to 4kg
Nico Panagio (actor/TV presenter)
Photo: Aubrey Johnson
What: Cycling and working out in the gym.
Why: "I love spending time outdoors and when I’m
cycling I feel one with my surroundings. It’s good exercise
and you can take your bike everywhere with you."
When: An hour three times a week,
although it’s hard to fit it in
sometimes. Up to two hours every
day when he’s on holiday.
The experts say: "This intensive sport
is excellent exercise for
all the leg muscles. If
you regularly cycle long
distances on uneven
road surfaces you’ll
build up strength and
endurance. Cycling also
strengthens the muscles
in the shoulders, stomach
Food craving: Chocolate ice cream.
Kilojoules burnt: Every hour cycled at a moderate pace burns about
1 280 kJ. If Nico cycles three hours a week he can have four
big scoops of ice cream every week without piling on
the pounds. One scoop (100g) of chocolate ice cream
contains about 900 kJ. If Nico cycles 15km in an hour
he’ll burn 2 016 kJ, which means he could have another
three and a half scoops and still maintain his weight.
Bright idea: If you cycle at a moderate pace
for an hour three times a week and follow
a healthy diet you can lose 1kg a month.
You can lose up to 2kg
a month if you pick up
Elana Afrika (TV and radio presenter; 5FM,
Kwêla and Jip on KykNET and others)
Photo: Aubrey Johnson
Why: "I really enjoy it and it’s great for self-defence.
I’ve had to use my skills twice already. I also have
an exercise bike and a trampoline at home."
When: Usually an hour twice a week when she’s not
The experts say: "Boxing is a great way to improve fitness. The short, sharp movements
require a lot of coordination and the heart
has to work harder. Boxing will build
muscle strength, endurance, balance,
agility and coordination, all at the
same time. The main benefits of
boxing are strengthening of the
upper body and the core or
trunk area and improvement
in coordination. Using various combinations of
punches and footwork will even improve strength
in the legs."
Food craving: Chocolate
Kilojoules burnt: Boxing is by far the most intensive
exercise that uses up the most energy in an hour, almost
twice as much as a good gym workout or an hour-long
jog. Elana burns nearly 3 500 kJ in an hour of
boxing. That means she can have two 100g
Bar One chocolates for every hour of
boxing without gaining weight. If
she ditches the chocolate and eats
only balanced meals she could
lose up to 2kg a month
with twice-weekly boxing
Jannie Engelbrecht (Rugby legend and winemaker)
Photo: Julian Goldswain
What: Golf, paddle-skiing and kayaking.
Why: "I play golf for the enjoyment of the
game and for the chance to socialise. It’s
not really a workout. Paddle-skiing and
kayaking keep me fitter than golf."
When: Every day with gym work on some
days. He also enjoys hitting at least 200
golf balls at the driving range for an hour
at a time. He plays 18 holes twice a week.
The experts say: "Golf is not an activity that’ll improve your fitness
levels as much as cycling or kayaking.
It’s played mainly for enjoyment. The
main benefit of golf is improvement in
flexibility of the upper body and trunk.
You can improve flexibility even further
through a combination of golf, boxing
Food craving: Kalahari lamb chops.
Kilojoules burnt: A round of golf uses up 1 500 kJ for every hour’s
play. Kayaking and working out in
the gym help keep Jannie in shape
but by playing golf he burns enough
kilojoules to indulge in six lamb
chops a week. The golf, kayaking and
gym workouts keep him looking fit
and his body stronger and younger
than you’d expect for his age.
(This article was originally published in the Summer 2007/8 edition of YOU Pulse magazine. Buy the latest copy, on newsstands now, for more fascinating stories from the world of health and wellness.)
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