fter years of following a diet that was rich in refined carbs and fat, coupled with minimal exercise, Hobbo found himself in the “worst shape of his life”. He often felt listless and out of breath, and his health was starting to suffer. In September, he partnered with Biogen to shape up in time for the Half Ironman in Durban in June 2019, which entails swimming 1,9 km, cycling 90,1 km and running 21,1 km.
“I had been steadily gaining weight over the last few years, but it recently dawned on me that I was in a bad way,” he says. “Obviously, the older you get, the harder it is to bounce back health and fitness wise and, considering that I am in my early thirties, it felt like it was now or never.”

Diving into the deep end

Hobbo started his diet and exercise regimen in September. He adopted a primarily low-carb diet, with intermittent fasting, which means he usually eats his first meal at around 1pm each day. Lean proteins and vegetables make up most of his meals and he consumes healthy, protein-based snacks and a good amount of water throughout the day.

“The diet has been quite a challenge,” he admits. “Exercise is a struggle, but it’s only for a certain amount of time and then it is over. With the diet, it’s about sticking to a plan and moving away from foods that you are comfortable with, to ones you usually wouldn’t bother with. However, this inspire me to become more creative in the kitchen and I have experimented with many more nutritious ingredients.”

To ease himself into an exercise routine, Hobbo began with slow afternoon walks. Slow progression is important because it lowers the risk of injury and increases your chances of success. He has slowly built up to between six to eight weekday sessions, with one rest day a week. On weekends, he usually goes for a longer cycle with either a short swim or run afterwards. His workouts average about an hour per session. He recently completed his first sprint triathlon, which is a 600 m swim, a 20 km cycle and 5 km run.

“It was tough, but certainly something I found manageable at this stage. In the individual disciplines I can certainly swim and cycle far greater distances. The challenge is to now be able to do my best in each discipline in sequence, which is exactly what the Half Ironman is about,” he says.

“Don’t wait. Just get going as soon as you can. The older you get the more excuses you make about why you aren’t living a healthier, more active life.”

Going for gold

After just five months, Hobbo has seen a dramatic change in his body. Not only is he fitter and faster, he has lost 16 kg. As he gears up for the Half Ironman, the intensity of his workouts will increase and he has signed up for a series of races in preparation for the big event.

“My team and I have always seen this transformation as a long-term process. It all comes down to being consistent with all the elements: from diet to training to stretching and recovery. Healthier living makes me feel better, so I am not as tempted by unhealthy things such as fast food and drinking. Now I’m ready and pumped to do what it takes to ace the race,” he says.

What tips does Hobbo have for South Africans who are looking to get into shape? “Don’t wait. Just get going as soon as you can. The older you get, the more excuses you make about why you aren’t living a healthier, more active life. It’s important to start slow and find your rhythm from there.

“You will surprise yourself with what you are capable of,” he says.

Biogen is currently producing a video series that tracks Hobbo’s #BiogenJourney. Watch the latest episode on www.biogen.co.za.

“I’m ready and pumped to do what it takes to ace the race.”

Build muscle

Building muscle is an integral part of your weight loss journey, as it ensures strength and endurance.

Need a little help?

Try Liquid L-Carnitine

How does it work?

L-Carnitine is a highly bio-available dietary supplement that supports the continued integrity of cells and protects the mitochondrial membrane.

What does it do you for your body?

Fatty acids are one of the main sources of energy for the body and it would be impossible for them to penetrate the cell membrane without the presence of Carnitine. It plays a critical role in the production of muscular energy, particularly during periods of high-intensity exercise.



Get toned

Muscle tone and definition is an important part of weight loss, the more you exercise and burn calories the more toned your body gets.

Need a little help?


How does it work?

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) is a naturally occurring free fatty acid found mainly in meat and dairy products in small amounts. CLA is research-proven to reduce body fat, increase muscle tone and induce an optimum environment for improved health. Through advanced lipid technology Biogen CLA in a convenient and easy to swallow soft gel capsule allows for precise CLA intake at determined time intervals without the high calorie food consumption.

What does it do you for your body?

It mobilises stored fat to be burned as energy. Research shows that CLA is proven to reduce body fat, increase muscle tone and induce an optimum environment for improved health.

Are you getting enough CLA?

Obtaining enough CLA from your diet for the desired benefit is extremely difficult and would require a considerable intake of specific foods, which is not practical and would result in the ingestion of extremely high amounts of calories.



Get hydrated

Drinking water and staying hydrated during your weight-loss journey is important as it lubricates your joints and can ease muscle cramping.

Struggling to get your water intake?

Try Biogen Clear Flavour Water Enhancers

How does it work?

A concentrated liquid used to enhance the taste of water with 1 light squeeze (±12 drops) of Clear Water Enhancer into 100 ml ice cold, still or sparkling water.

What does it do you for your body?

With zero sugar, zero colour and zero aspartame, the water enhancer allows you to drink as much as you like without gaining any calories.



Manage your cravings and hunger levels

One of the main contributors to a successful weight-loss journey is managing cravings and hunger levels to ensure your body stays full.

Need a little help?

Try Lean Whey

How does it work?

Made from cow’s milk and soya (from soya lecithin in whey blend), Lean Whey represents the most advanced female nutrition technology.

What does it do you for your body?

Lean Whey is high in protein to maintain lean muscle mass and contains OatWell™ (Oat beta-glucan) fibre to help maintain blood glucose levels to curb hunger and maintain energy levels. The formulation will supplement a balanced, energy-restricted diet plan and active lifestyle.

Lean Whey is the ideal supplement for weight-conscious individuals looking for an easy to prepare, compact meal replacement/snack.



aintaining a balanced diet can be challenging with the demands of today’s fast-paced lifestyle, especially with the temptation of convenience meals and junk food. But the reality is that a workout routine of any kind will only yield the right results if it is coupled with a nutritious and balanced diet.

Whether you’re after a muscular frame, a toned physique or a lean body, the food you eat often doesn’t have the required nutrients you need to achieve your dream body. This is the reason many people plateau or fail to see results, despite putting in the hard work.
To help with this challenge, many turn to supplements to meet nutrient or dietary shortfalls. With so many different kinds of sports wellness companies offering a range of supplements, it can be hard to find a quality product that meets your needs.


Amino acids

Amino acids assist in muscle growth, prolong athletic endurance and promote workout recovery.








With a range of energy bars for a nutrient-dense top up and protein bars to help with post workout recovery, your needs are easily covered.







Slimming and toning

Conjugated Linoleic Acid is said to assist with dropping body fat and toning muscles. Available in convenient softgel capsule form, these pills can mobilise your stored fat to be burned as energy.







Strength and explosive endurance

One of the most commonly used sports supplements on the market, Creatine is a favourite to help improve recovery and performance.










Mass Gainers

Whether it’s due to a fast metabolism or a lack of protein, gaining the mass necessary to build muscle can be difficult. Mass gainers provide the extra building blocks to add size and see better results.






Do you need an extra push or zap of energy before a workout? This product will help to increase your performance and endurance, resulting in longer, more effective workout sessions.








When it comes to sports supplements, Whey Protein is the uncontested king. Known for its ability to help with post-workout recovery, it will not only help repair muscle tissue but also maintain muscle mass.







A new year represents a fresh start and while most people have the best of intentions, the reality is that only eight percent of people who make resolutions achieve them, according to a study by Nielsen.

Making vague resolutions such as “losing weight” or “saving money” are often ineffective and easily forgotten because they are not specific or inspiring, says executive life coach Pat Roberts.

“Before you choose a goal, reflect on where you are right now. Then consider where you want to go and what you need to do differently to get there. Finally, visualise how you will feel once you have achieved your goals. By consciously taking stock of the present and the future, you will better understand why you wish to achieve a resolution,” she says.

How to choose a New Year’s Resolution

Selecting the right goal is paramount to your success. In order to make a real change in your life, you need to take the time to identify your priorities, choose goals that will add value to your life and then channel your energy into achieving them.

Roberts suggests the following tips for choosing a resolution:

Choose a goal that inspires you

If a goal isn’t important to you then you are unlikely to put in the time you need to achieve it. Also consider the wording of your goal.
For example, reaching your sales target might not inspire you, but you may be driven by what you can buy with the money earned.

Choose a specific goal

Merely saying that you would “like to be healthier” doesn’t really mean anything.
The more detailed the goal, the more you will understand what you need to do to get there. Just like you would with a goal at work, set a deadline with a list of measurable outcomes. For example: “My goal is to be able to run 5 km by the end of the month.”

Choose a realistic goal

Be honest with yourself when you consider how difficult the goal will be to achieve.
Your goal can be challenging, but it must be doable, otherwise you are not going to get started. Setting goals that are attainable builds your confidence and fosters motivation.


“Before you choose a goal, reflect on where you are right now. Then consider where you want to go and what you need to do differently to get there.”

How to realise your resolutions

Gyms are usually full in January because people tend to start the year off strong and lose their motivation along the way.
To achieve your goals, you need to put a plan in place and stay committed, even when it gets difficult.

The easiest way to be discouraged is feeling like you’re working hard but not seeing results. Break your big goal up into mini-goals and set a deadline for each one.
Whenever you achieve a mini-goal reward yourself appropriately as this will remind you that you are making progress and help you to stay motivated.

Focus on the process

List the things you plan to do to reach your mini-goals. For example: “I plan to lose 1 kg per week until I reach my goal weight of 65 kg. I will achieve this through the eating plan I have committed to and support it by doing an hour of exercise three times a week.”

Create accountability

Tell your friends and family about your goals or post about it on social media.

Create the right environment

Ensure that your environment is conducive to success. For example, if you are trying to quit smoking avoid areas where smokers usually gather.

Interact with people who have already achieved your goal

Having a friend or family member that is working towards the same goals as you, can make the journey more enjoyable.
For example, if you are planning to cycle a long race, connecting with other cyclists will help you navigate challenges commonly faced by racers.

Keep the pay off in mind

You are going to have bumps in the road, so it’s important not to be too hard on yourself.
Envision how your life will be better and how you will feel when you achieve your goal and keep going!


Top four resolution ideas for 2019


1. Regulate your sleep pattern

Instead of aiming to get a full 8 hours each night, aim to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Each person requires a different number of hours (usually between 5-9), so find what works best for you.





2. Get Moving

Hitting the gym five days a week isn’t realistic for everyone, so rather aim to move more throughout the day. Try walking, dancing or cleaning.




3. Eat nutritious meals

Avoid the common “lose weight” resolution and rather aim to eat at least two portions of fruit or vegetables in each meal.






4. Have some downtime

Ensure that you take a moment to yourself each day. Whether you opt to meditate, read or go for a walk, it’s important to find time to relax and reflect.




t is possible to change your body and achieve your desired physique but it takes planning, commitment and follow through. Don’t make the mistake of following a generic diet or training programme, without considering exactly what you want to achieve and what food and exercise will help you succeed.

Sharne Stapelfeldt, group exercise instructor at Virgin Active, says the most important factor is your diet. “No matter how much exercise you do, it won’t counter a bad diet. You need to consume a balanced diet with the right amount of protein, carbs and fat to properly fuel your body. Coupling this with the right workout routine will help you achieve the results you are after.”


“No matter how much exercise you do, it won’t counter a bad diet. You need to consume a balanced diet with the right amount of protein, carbs and fat to properly fuel your body.”

Shed unwanted kilos

If your aim is to lose weight then your best bet is to adopt a diet that includes little or no refined carbs, such as bread, pasta and white rice. Try to limit unrefined carbs such as fruit and vegetables after lunch. Also eat little or no sugar and cut back on alcohol.

When it comes to exercise, interval training, such as Tabata or HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) will work best. For optimal results, incorporate at least two weight training sessions per week.

“A common misconception, particularly for women, is that lifting weights will cause you to bulk up. Weightlifting is effective because it burns calories for up to 48 hours after your workout, whereas cardio only burns calories during the workout,” says Stapelfeldt.

A HIIT workout can be done at home and can range anywhere from 20 minutes to one hour. Do a variation of the exercises below, with or without weights, in 30- to 60-second intervals with a 10- second rest in between:

  • Jumping jacks
  • Burpees
  • Jump squats
  • Push-up variations
  • Lunge variations
  • Skipping
  • Sprints

The best way to bulk up

If ripped muscles is what you’re after then your dietary needs will differ. You need to consume a diet that is higher in calories and consists of lots of unrefined carbs, rich in protein from eggs or grilled chicken and good fats.

You should adopt a workout routine that places emphasis on weight training. “Aim to do a weight training workout that consists of heavier weights in lower reps,” says Stapelfeldt. “Cardio shouldn’t be at the core of what you do because doing too much can deteriorate muscle gain and undo all your hard work.

“Remember that bulking up is not just confined to your arms and chest, so don’t skip leg day and work on your lower body too!”

If you want to work out at home consider incorporating some forms of calisthenics in your routine which makes your body the principal source of weight in your training. Try to do a series of exercises in sets of four with 12 repetitions. You can do reps of the following exercises with or without weights:

  • Squats
  • Pull-ups
  • Push-ups
  • Lunges
  • Sit-ups
  • Dips


Consistency is key

Regardless of the body shape you’re after, finding and maintaining motivation is the hard part. Keep setting new fitness goals, find friends who are also into fitness or buy a new set of gym clothes or equipment for that extra push.

Stapelfeldt says it’s important not to push yourself too hard when you are just starting out. “Ease into your exercises and gradually increase weights or reps as you get stronger. If you’ve been working out for a while and don’t see changes consider tweaking your diet or changing your routine. It could just be your body plateauing.”

Having a great body 24/7 is a lifestyle. In order to stay looking great you would have to continue eating healthy and work out regularly. Stay consistent!

Looking for your source of iron?

Plant -based:

  • Beans and lentils.
  • Tofu.
  • Baked potatoes.
  • Cashews.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach.
  • Fortified breakfast cereals.
  • Whole-grain and enriched breads.
  • Foods rich in Vitamin C such as oranges.


  • Leaned red meat.
  • Chicken and fish.

Dis-Chem’s Wellness clinics offer a variety of on-site specialised screening tests including 9HB testing to check iron levels.

To book, call 0861 117 427.


hether it’s a quick hunger buster or something to tide you over between meals, snacking is an important part of your diet.

Healthy nibbles that are packed with nutrients, fibre and protein can provide you with energy in the middle of the day, guard against sugar highs and lows and curb overeating at meal times. But if you don’t plan ahead and pack healthy snacks, they can cause an otherwise healthy eating plan to come undone.


Try our top five nutritious snacks


All that its cracked up to be

Ditch high-calorie potato chips in favour of Life Bake Grain-Free Crackers. They’re 100% grain free and are suitable for people following a low-carb diet. Available in rosemary, cumin, rock salt and chilli, they’re delicious on their own or topped with a low-fat cheese or hummus. They are also free of artificial preservatives and artificial flavourants.



PB and yay

If your go-to snack tends to lean towards the sweet side then you’re going to love Eat Naked’s Peanut Butter cups. A yummy dark chocolate cup filled with a peanut butter and raw honey combination, blends nature’s best treats into a delicious delight. It will satisfy your sweet tooth without affecting your eating plan.




Get your protein in bite sizes

Biogen Protein Bites are not only tasty, they are the perfect way to fill up, with longer-lasting energy when compared to carb-heavy options. They come in three flavours: peanut butter, choc/mint and choc/orange. Made with Biogen Iso-Whey Premium Protein, these snacks are perfect for anyone following an energy-controlled diet.



Nothing corny

Fancy something to satiate your salt craving? Then Bakali Mini Corn Cakes are the perfect snack for you. Made in South Africa, these yummy goodies come in 40g bags and are available in cheese, chutney or original flavour. They are the perfect health-conscious alternative, are gluten free and offer a low calorie benefit.




A different whey

Whey protein contains a range of essential amino acids, which are absorbed quickly and can help increase strength and promote muscle growth. My Protein Pantry Choc Whey Coated Pumpkin Seeds is a bag of deliciousness that will help keep hunger at bay. Made using pumpkin seeds, sugar free dark chocolate and whey protein, not only are these delicious but also highly satiating.




Stocking up on healthy snacks can help prevent you from making poor food choices and
compromising your eating plan when a craving or hunger pangs strike.

All these snacks are available at Dis-Chem pharmacies or visit our website: www.dischem.co.za.

Barre workouts

This energising workout that combines elements of Pilates, yoga, dance and functional training is attracting a larger audience this year. Barre classes aim to work the whole body while targeting specific areas to burn fat and sculpt muscles. The moves are choreographed to high tempo music and a few pieces of equipment, such as the barre, hand weights and a rubber ball.

Visit: www.barrebody.co.za



Wearable technology

Fitness trackers and smart watches are hardly new, but this year more South Africans are set to own some form of wearable technology as it becomes more widespread and affordable. There is a wide range of products available that can help users monitor their daily steps, calories burned, sleep quality and heart rate.



Short and sweet

Gyms across the nation are introducing more compact classes that last 20-30 minutes, as workouts become shorter but more intense. These High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workouts are based on the idea that doing the right exercises, the right way, at the right intensity can be just as effective as a long gym session.



Streaming workout

With the wide array of fitness streaming options available on smartphones and computers, more people will choose to workout at home in front of a screen. YouTube channels such as PopSugar Fitness, Be Fit and Tone It UP make it easy to find a workout that suits your needs, while apps such as My Fitness Pal and Nike Training Club help you track your workouts and progress.



Nature immersion getaways

This year, mental health will be just as important as physical health. To combat issues such as anxiety, stress and depression, wellness retreats and nature immersion getaways are on the rise. These escapes offer guests the opportunity to detach from social media and work responsibilities to enjoy the outdoors, partake in gentle exercise and meditate.



Wake up your inner warrior

Whether you are looking to compete or experience a new challenge, obstacle races are a great, fun way to shape up! There are a number of different races across, but most require participants to run a course and conquer a set number of obstacles. Races can be entered as an individual or a team. The Toyota Warrior Race takes place in Johannesburg on February 2.

Visit: www.warrior.co.za



Fitness programmes for Older adults

More personal trainers and gyms will offer workout programmes for people over 40. It becomes increasingly difficult to build muscle mass as you age, so these workouts focus more on improving flexibility, mobility and strength, which can help minimise the risk of injury.



The birth of Dis-Chem



he end of the year 1978 was a time of great change in South Africa. Records were broken, milestones met, trends set and new partnerships made. It was also the year a company that would one day become our country’s first choice in pharmacies opened its doors.

Founders, Lynette and Ivan Saltzman, remember that year well. Both had qualified as pharmacists at Wits Technikon and were ready to combine their shared dream and create a brand like no other. The couple bought Ormonde Drive Pharmacy in Mondeor, Johannesburg. With a new beginning came a new name. Dis-Chem was born – a play on words, DISpensing CHEMist, or DIScount CHEMist.

Dis-Chem stores

It wasn’t long before the Saltzmans enlarged the store from 75m² to 150m² so they could build on a front shop.

Seeing firsthand the extraordinarily high costs ordinary South Africans faced when it came to purchasing medication, they started cutting prices and adding their own product ranges and categories not previously offered in SA.

As with all great ideas, one pharmacy became two, two became three and the stores continued to grow. Without a clear vision and relying on their gut instincts, Lynette and Ivan took each challenge that came their way in their stride, and admit they didn’t make any long-term plans – they simply grabbed opportunities as they presented themselves.



“Both had qualified as pharmacists at Wits Technikon and were ready to combine their shared dream and create a brand like no other.”


Dis-Chem Benefit Card and Youth Card

By the early ’90s Dis-Chem was known for selling its own private label line of non-pharmaceutical products, as well as introducing its Loyalty Benefit Programme, which encompasses many focus groups including the Baby Programme, 60+ and new YOUth programme. Through the Benefit Loyalty Programme, shoppers receive benefits and information to suit their specific needs and lifestyle.


The Dis-Chem Foundation: Caring for the Community


Dis-Chem went on to establish the Dis‑Chem Foundation, which supports numerous charitable causes. The more customers spend, the more benefit points they earn to spend in Dis‑Chem on their favourite products. A portion of what the customer spends goes directly to the Dis‑Chem Foundation which services the beneficiaries.


Dis-Chem highlights over the years


The online shopping platform was also introduced and offers customers the opportunity to buy their favourite health and beauty products from their desktop or enabled device, while also filing prescriptions and making appointments via the Dis-Chem app.

Dis-Chem has numerous times been voted the best pharmacy chain by The Star Readers’ Choice, Reader’s Digest, Leisure Options Readers’ Choice Awards, Beeld and has been voted best store in numerous shopping centres.

Their first international store was opened in Windhoek, Namibia. It wasn’t long before Dis‑Chem celebrated another milestone – the opening of their 100th store, in Mall of Africa, in 2016!

Two years ago, Dis-Chem took a giant leap. The group listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. It was the second largest public offering (IPO) on the exchange.

Now, 40 years later, Ivan and Lynette continue to lead as Dis‑Chem’s CEO and Managing Director respectively and Dis‑Chem continues to be known as pharmacists who care.

Happy 40th birthday!


orking out does wonders for your health and happiness, but sweating heavily and regularly can have a negative effect too.
Make-up and hair stylist Alyssa Jarman says sweat is a combination of water and salts, as well as protein. “Without taking proper care of your hair or skin, it can lead to dryness and damage.”


Sweaty hair take care

When you hair gets wet, it’s more prone to stretching, damage, colour loss or a change in texture. Sweat can dry out your scalp and this can prevent new hair growth. Jarman offers the following tips for protecting your hair.

• Before a workout:

Ensure that your hair is well conditioned, as this will create a barrier between the sweat and your strands. Avoid pulling your hair tightly into a ponytail, as this will accelerate breakage. Opt for a clean cotton headband or a hair tie that does not crimp and secure your hair in a bun or plait.

• After a workout:

Rinse your hair with cold water immediately after a workout. Dry shampoo is also a good option if you prefer not to wet your hair after each gym session. A good texturising hair spray and a quality hairbrush can help with styling. Also invest in sulphate-free shampoos and conditioners as they preserve the natural oils on the scalp and hair, which maintain more moisture.



Save your own skin

Sweating releases impurities, so if you don’t take heed when you exercise, it could lead to pimples, acne or dry skin.

• Before a workout:

Always remove your makeup before you exercise because a combination of sweat and makeup is sure to clog up your pores. Also ensure that you stay hydrated.

• After a workout:

To avoid acne on your face or body, shower immediately. If this isn’t possible, use a wet wipe to clean excess sweat or dirt. A gentle face wash will also help remove impurities from your skin. Constant and frequent showers can dry out your skin, so try to keep it to less than 10 minutes and use a quality face and body moisturiser, which you should apply two to three minutes after your shower.



Nailing it

It can be especially hard to maintain great looking nails when you’re working hard at the gym, but a simple routine can help strengthen your nails and keep them looking their best.

The best way to avoid chipping and breakage is to keep your nails short and manicured. Avoid fake nails and rather keep your natural nails groomed by pushing back your cuticles and cleaning your nails regularly. Avoid putting your nails into water for long periods of time and use a good moisturiser.







Editor: Farrah Francis Writer: Nazley Omar Photographs: iStock Photography