Women in Zimbabwe have adapted to the millennial lifestyle of fitness training that has over the years been seen as an elitist culture.

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Many are now thronging gym sessions around town in pursuit of that toned body, as well as healthy living lifestyle.

In a wide-ranging interview with Newsday Life & Style, internationally certified and award-winning fitness guru, Evonne Mudzingwa professionally known as Eve explored the various facets of the fitness training world.

A firm believer that a life style of continuous body exercise helps in boosting confidence in women besides the health benefits that comes with it, Eve is now a household name.

“Fitness training builds confidence in women. Besides the obvious weight loss, improved body image, there is just an endorphin high that results from exercising, making one just a happier person. Then there are the health benefits, which make women healthier and stronger,” she said.

The trainer, who owns a predominantly women fitness studio, said a number of women, however, suffer from demotivation when they do not get the results as quickly as they expected and lack support from family and friends, who usually make negative comments about their bodies.

Eve encouraged women to join fitness programmes and make it their way of life not to achieve magazine celebrity features.

“Women should be realistic in the time frame required to achieve their goals to avoid disappointment. Join a fitness programme to make it a lifestyle not for a particular goal, the desired results will eventually come. Our programmes are designed to shed excess fat and create lean muscle tone and people need to also understand that magazine covers are airbrushed,” she said.

However, with the economic situation prevailing in Zimbabwe, Eve said despite the demand to look good and have celebrity bodies by most modern women, gym fees remain a luxury for a number of people and therefore limit others from joining her classes.

“In Zimbabwe where the economic situation is very tough, unfortunately gym fees become a luxury and are the first to be chopped by most people but, however, the good news is that one doesn’t necessarily have to belong to a gym to exercise. There are various home exercises that one can do and there is always the free running,” she said.

Eve said although there was fear that a fitness culture demands that an individual confines themselves to a certain diet, she believes maintaining a balanced diet is what is important.

“I personally do not believe in restrictive diets. All one needs to do is to maintain a balanced diet, comprising of natural organic foods, plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean meats and high fibre unrefined foods. These foods do not have to be fancy, so people can eat the affordable foods.
Generally, our Zimbabwean basic foods are healthy if eaten unrefined,” she said.

Eve, who is also an avid biker, added that getting back to basics, walk wherever possible, take stairs, do some housework, gardening and playing with the kids is the best way to integrate issues of fitness in their day-to-day lives which many modern women now do less.

Eve’s fitness studios, which have become home to celebrities, models and ordinary people also partners with corporates by providing fitness sessions for their employees at their premises and facilitate team building events.

Eve also hosts and manages lifestyle runs namely Eves Wine Dash Series, Eves 10km Obstacle Race Series and Charity Awareness Runs through their Running Club, Vainona.

The woman, who successfully competed in several marathons and ultra-marathons has won several awards which include, Women Excel Successful women of 2018, Divas Inc Roar Awards 2017, ZNCC women in service Award 2018 and Shero Women’s Awards 2018.