This & That

When you get Fitness Tips from Mrs South Africa…

When you receive some fitness tips from an actual Mrs South Africa, you need to pay attention! Jip, you have heard (actually read right) Nicole Capper, Tammy Taylor Mrs South Africa 2018 shares some really awesome fitness tips with us today!

This mommy is a functional medicine pharmacist, model, presenter, ambassador for Rare Diseases SA and an advocate for women’s rights. Nicole uses her fitness to raise funds and social consciousness for causes close to her heart by participating in extreme outdoor adventures around the world – all the while liberating courage in others to do the same. For Nicole, being Mrs South Africa is about so much more than notching up Instagram likes – it’s about having purpose, making a real difference and leaving a legacy of significance.

Fitness tips

Building Balance, Resilience and Vitality through Exercise

When my daughter, Tatum, was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at age six weeks I had a choice – To allow a disease to steal my family’s purpose, and use it as an excuse for complacency; or to consciously go after my dreams despite it, and in so doing, show my children that nothing can hold them back from achieving their goals.

It’s important to add that when I train and participate in outdoor adventures – I am not the fittest, nor strongest in the room or on the mountain. I always push myself harder than anyone else because I have a burning purpose that drives me from within. My daughter’s health struggles as a rare disease warrior inspire me daily. Her fight to breathe is managed with a four to six hour a day therapy routine. For that reason I have learnt to no longer complain about exercise. It is a privilege. Because my mobility and health is precious beyond words and I have a responsibility to use it to its fullest so as to advocate for others. I ask my kids why mommy climbs mountains and they answer: ‘So that I believe I can go on brave adventures too.’ And that right there – is everything.

With time a commodity in short supply I sought out a form of training that maximised my results in a limited period of time every day. I need exercise that builds strength and fitness but need my training to be fun and stimulating. For me, Crossfit was a perfect choice as my primary exercise. I train for an hour a day – four to five times a week. To cope with trails runs and mountain climbs, I build greater distance running capacity by squeezing in 5-10km trails twice a week.

These fitness tips are winners

  • Make sure you know WHY you are training – it helps you stick to your goal.
  • Find a work out that SUITS YOUR LIFESTYLE, available time and keeps you interested.
  • It’s a mental battle first and foremost so you need to ENJOY your choice of exercise.
  • Trick yourself into success by creating a ROUTINE every day that you can stick to.
  • Invest in the RIGHT EQUIPMENT for your chosen discipline – if you need to.
  • Find someone you can be ACCOUNTABLE to. It will make you train harder and ensure you show up and stick to your regime.
  • Give yourself PERMISSION TO FAIL. You won’t be as strong everyday – so just do your best.
  • You won’t start out running 10km – it’s a process and requires commitment. SLOW AND STEADY wins the race.
  • DOWNTIME is also important. Recognise you need off days – there’s no point overdoing it and getting injured.

Fitness Tips

Of course if you are going to be training – you need to eat properly or you won’t be able to sustain your routine and you’ll throw in the towel for all the wrong reasons. You have to sustain your blood sugar when you are getting fit and this means nutrition becomes as important as the exercise itself. I love cheating, trust me… pizza is life and wine is a food group. But the morning after meals like that, are pure hell when you’re training. Sure I have days off. Everyone needs to enjoy life, and I have two cheat meals a week. Cherish your cheat days and work hard on all the others.

Practically this advice really helps me stick to a healthy eating plan

  • REMOVE TEMPTATIONS from your home and keep junk food to a minimum. – What’s in the cupboard is what gets eaten.
  • Choose kiddie snacks that they love and you don’t trick yourself into health.
  • Never shop hungry and always shop with a list and only buy what’s on it.
  • Establish a food routine. In the morning for example – when you are rushing – if you have a routine you won’t be template to opt for something easy or nothing at all. My go to is 50g of oats, a teaspoon of peanut butter and boiled egg. On the weekend I splash out with a fried egg and smashed Avo on seed bread when I have more time to be adventurous. So stick to a healthy meal you love and have a fall back meal – like a shake or Future Life with protein powder.
  • Meal prep is a huge part of healthy eating – try and prepare for three days at a time. Sunday nights after my two cheat meals for the week I prepare and cook my chicken breasts, veggies, and cut up my salad ingredients. I own more plastic containers than matching socks, and it pays off. That way, if there is no choice involved, it’s far easier to stick to a healthy eating plan. The meal is already selected so you just eat and enjoy.
  • Eat plenty of raw foods and salads – add olives and seed sprinkles to keep things interesting. Roasted Mediterranean vegetables drizzled in olive oil with roasted chicken breasts and rosemary is a delicious dinner option with enough protein for training.
  • Make food fun and an adventure – choose delicious snacks like dark chocolate with different flavouring and different flavoured nuts. I don’t like kale but you can still be healthy without kale.
  • Hunt down cool healthy ingredients – cocoa, date bars and nut butters. In time your tastes will change and you will start to crave healthier foods.
    • When all is said and done – my best advice is learn to love food and your body at the same time. I never eat to lose weight. If I have body shape goals, they need to be interlinked with my training and lifestyle goals. Body shape is a result of lifestyle. So choose your lifestyle and be satisfied with the body type that goes along with it. There is absolutely no shortcut to a perfect body or perfect health. As a “beauty queen” I want to show people that they don’t have to fit a prescribed mould, and true beauty comes in many forms. Life is so much more than “instagramable” beauty. It is about the beauty of the raw human spirit.

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      Instagram: @_nicolecapper/
      Facebook: @nicolecapperza

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Karen Kelly is the founder and editor of She is a creative at heart and passionate about all things DIY. Learn more about her here and connect with her on social media on the links below.

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