The five W’s of fitness

Picture: iStock

The simple mistake many people make is from the start – they don’t know their who, what, why, when, where when it comes to their fitness journeys.

Fitness should be a lifestyle, not a chore. For those who understand the benefits of keeping active and are keen to exercise, it really should be something that comes easily to you.

For many people that is not the case because:

1. They do it for the wrong reasons, i.e. wanting to drop a few dress sizes in a short space of time for a special life event.

2. They choose to engage in an activity that doesn’t interest them and after a few weeks or months interest declines and they drop it.

3. They don’t have the necessary support to keep them motivated. A training partner or support from family and friends can get one very far.

The truth is there are so many people who want to make fitness a lifestyle. They give it a try but over time they fall off the bandwagon.

The simple mistake many people make is from the start – they don’t know their who, what, why, when, where when it comes to their fitness journeys.

Picture: iStock


Who are you doing this for? Yourself? Your spouse? The public?

It’s not easy to stick to the plan when you are doing this for anyone other than yourself. The motivation is almost guaranteed to run dry at some point.


What is your choice of activity?

Is it something you particularly enjoy or have you chosen to join a group of friends on whatever activity they are involved in?

Is it an activity you can partake in for at least 30 minutes five times a week or at least 45 minutes three times a week? These are the guidelines from the World Health Organisation to maintain health and fitness.

I have experienced that it is more sustainable to choose an activity that one specifically enjoys or has a keen interest in. It is much easier to stick to that activity for a long duration.

Picture: iStock


Have a purpose and know why you need to keep active.

Having a “why” keeps you accountable because you remind yourself of your “why” when you fall off the fitness bandwagon.


When do you want to achieve your set goal by?

Ensure your set goals have realistic achievable dates. For example, aiming to lose 10kg or to gain 10kg of muscle in two weeks is not achievable.


Be specific about where your desired destination is with your choice of physical exercise.

Where do you want it to take you?

This links directly to the what, why and when because it is the end point with regards to where your choice of fitness activity will ultimately take you.

Picture: iStock

Benefits of making fitness a lifestyle

  • It helps to combat health conditions and reduces your risk of chronic diseases
  • It controls body weight
  •  It improves one’s mood
  • It boosts one’s energy levels
  • It promotes better sleep
  • Once fitness fits easily into your lifestyle, it becomes an effortless part of your day

Zulu is a qualified biokineticist and co-founder of PopUpGym. Follow her on Instagram: @letshego.zulu; Twitter: @letshegom; Facebook: Letshego Zulu

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