Create a healthy routine to achieve your personal best

At the Sport Science Institute of South Africa (SSISA), we strive to help all South Africans become their personal best and that means being as healthy and happy as possible, meeting your personal goals and becoming the best version of yourself.

Establishing a healthy routine is an important step towards becoming your personal best and today’s article is about helping you to do just that.
We are also running a competition this week, so keep reading to find out how you can win a R1 000 Sportsman’s Warehouse voucher for your school.
If you have been following the weekly articles, you will know that we have been talking about health behaviours including exercise (physical activity), sitting time (sedentary behaviour) and sleep. We have provided guidelines as well as top tips to help you meet these guidelines.
Now it is time to think about how we can integrate these health behaviours into our daily routines.
What we can do each and every 24-hour affects our health and happiness, so we need to try our best to follow a healthy routine: making sure we exercise, take active breaks from sitting and get enough sleep.
Forming a new routine takes time as we often need to break old habits and form new ones, but remember, a small start is better than no start at all.
Here are some tips to help you create and edit your own daily routine to become your own personal best.
– Keep a diary: You may not realise how much time you spend sitting; or how much sleep you are getting.
Try and spend two days keeping track of what you spend your time doing e.g what time did you wake up, how much time did you spend sitting today, how much time did you spend being active, what intensity did you do (how hard was your workout)? This will help you to find the areas you need to improve.
– Plan: Spend some time each Sunday to plan your week, if you factor in exercise and sleep into your weekly plan, you are more likely to stick to them.
– Set small, achievable goals for yourself each week: Pick one goal per week to see if you can start to make small changes. Once that change has become a habit, set a new goal. For example, put screens and technology devices away for 30 minutes before bed or try and do 20 minutes of exercise a day.
– Use health and fitness apps: Why not use the technology we have to help you reach your goals.
There is a wide range of free apps that can help you to keep track of your health and fitness, provide exercise and training plans, motivate you to reach your goals. For example, Sleep Sleep-Cycle, MyFitnessPal, Strava, 8Fit and many more.
– Involve family and friends: Everything is better with friends and family, so why not set goals together, challenge each other, and motivate each other.
Looking for your first goal, why not join us in running or walking your first 6km by following a six-week training plan? If you have been following already, here is week number 5.
For those who are reading this for the first time, head to SSISA’s Facebook page to find the full six-weeks training programme.
We are excited for you to get moving with us, as we get closer and closer to the 6km Fun Run/Walk happening in conjunction with the Landmarks Half Marathon at the Western Province Cricket Club on Sunday November 3.
– Calling all schools: preschools, primary schools and high schools.
We want you to show us how you have been moving for your health. Send us your pictures or videos of you and your class or school getting moving and active in the classroom, during your physical education lesson or during break time.
To enter, post your photos or video on Instagram and be sure to tag @sportscience_sa. @woolworths_sa and @myschool_sa and include the hashtag #move4health.
Alternatively, you can enter by emailing your photos to and we will share your posts on social media.
The competition runs until Friday November 8. A team at SSISA and Move4Health will judge the entries and the winning school will be announced at the Woolworths/MySchool Mass Participation prize-giving at SSISA on Friday November 15 at 3pm where the R1 000 Sportman’s Warehouse voucher will be handed over.
We are excited to see the creative ways you are moving for your health. SSISA, Woolworths, MySchool, SANParks, the Claremont Rotary and WPCC are behind you all the way.
Week 5 Oct 21 – 27
Running programme:
Monday: 15 min jog/2min walk. 2min jog/2min walk.
Tuesday: Rest
Wednesday: 25min jog/2min walk. 5min jog/2min walk.
Thursday: Rest
Friday: 20min jog/2min walk. 2min jog/2min walk
Saturday: Rest
Sunday: Brisk 30min walk
Walking programme:      
Monday: Rest
Tuesday: 5400 steps/45min
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 4200 steps/25 min.
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6000 steps/50min
Sunday: 4800 steps/40min (pick up pace for the last 10min)