Healthy 2020: Week 12

Yes, the Covid-19 pandemic is still wreaking havoc – even more so in South Africa because Sunday a national disaster was announced. Hopefully, we can get to the end of the year and proudly say that we survived the Corona catastrophe. However, to get there we need to be as healthy as possible, hence Healthy 2020: Week 12 (also the last week).

Challenge for Healthy 2020: Week 12

Since this is the last week of the Healthy 2020 challenge, I thought I’d focus on exercise.

Obviously, you will keep to the diet tips that have been posted (or at least try to) and feel free to add in more if you feel the need.

Exercise is a bit difficult because everyone is physically different. You will really need to sit and be honest with yourself about your fitness level. If you are super unfit then you can start small and build up your exercise routine and duration. However, if you are reasonably fit and exercise regularly, keep doing that, or bring in more variation into your exercise routine.

I’m going to focus on what to do if you are unfit.

What if I’m unfit?

I think the most important thing to do here is to start making daily exercise a habit.

Choose a time

The first thing you should do is choose a time that best suits you to work out. Put out half an hour a day, even though you will not exercise the whole half hour. This time slot depends on what kind of person you are. Does exercise get you energised? Then you’ll want to exercise in the morning. Does exercise help you relax and get rid of stress? Then maybe decide to exercise after work or in the early evenings.

Very important, keep to this routine six days per week. The reason why I say this is if you only exercise every second or third day it will be difficult to learn the new habit of exercising regularly. Also, you will take much longer to see results.

You can work out from home

Secondly, you don’t have to get a gym subscription – obviously, you can if you want to later, but you can do a full body work out at home. There are so many exercise videos on YouTube – the world is your oyster. TaeBo is a good place to start, but if you’re feeling adventurous you can try something like Insanity from Shaun T (but there are minimum fitness requirements for the program).

Start small and build on it

Thirdly, remember you are going to start super small. In the first week, you can exercise 5 minutes a day, and each week builds upon that. I recommend taking an extra five minutes at the start of the workout just to jog on the spot and do a quick stretch so that you don’t injure your muscles. To sum up, every week you will add five minutes to your routine until you get to half an hour, and then you can decide if you’re willing to spend more time exercising.

If you’re only exercising 5 minutes in the first week, what do you do with the rest of that time? I’ll tell you what you do, you will use the remainder of the half-hour to stretch. In this way you get used to putting 30 minutes a day away specifically for physical exercise – stretching is part of physical exercise.

I hope this makes sense.


Let’s take a last look at the tips from the last few weeks:

Week 1: Drink 2 litres of water per day

Week 2: Eat breakfast within one hour of waking up (it could have been any breakfast – didn’t have to be healthy)

Week 3: Eat a healthy breakfast (there are plenty of suggestions in the post)

Week 4: Add in two portions of fruits or veggies in your diet per day.

Week 5: Eat your biggest meal of the day at lunchtime

Week 6: Your lunch should be a healthy one, and add two more fruits and vegetables to your daily diet.

Week 7: Start following an eating schedule where you have three main meals a day and two snacks in between.

Week 8: Start planning your meals ahead of time

Week 9: Replace refined carbs (like white bread, pasta, etc.) with whole wheat alternatives.

Week 10: Slowly start reducing your sugar intake

Week 11: Reduce your oil intake

Week 12: Find an exercise routine that works for you


I hope the challenge has helped you – it has definitely helped me.

I’d also love to hear from you. My contact details are below.

Thoughtful ‘meh


P.S. If you’d like to contact me, feel free to comment below, send an email to, or follow me on Twitter @M_ClutterBox.

Healthy 2020