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How Mindfulness Can Make Your Workouts More Effective

We tend to do anything to distract ourselves during a workout. Maybe you watch reality TV on the treadmill, hike with your headphones on, or rehash your to-do list as you cycle. Hey, no shame—you deserve a round of applause just for breaking a sweat!

But according to experts, dropping the diversions and adopting a more mindful approach to fitness can pay off big-time—for your body and your brain.

RELATED: 20 Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out

No, we’re not talking about sitting cross-legged and om-ing in the middle of the weight room (though if you’re so inclined, go for it). That’s more of a straight-up meditation practice. Mindfulness while working out is about cultivating present-moment awareness. And when we become fully engaged in the act of exercising, we not only improve our physical results but, research has found, we can also boost our appreciation and enjoyment of the experience—which could ultimately help us stay committed to a fitness routine long-term.

All this said, focusing on the here and now is challenging (especially when you’re working hard and wish you could fast forward to a shower). Luckily our wellness coaches and mental health pros have plenty of tips and tricks to make it a little easier.

RELATED: 4 Genius New Ways to Stay Motivated Toward Any Goal

Get grounded

Yoga teachers often talk about centering yourself at the start of class. Try that before your other workouts, too, by pausing to take a few deep belly breaths. “As you inhale, imagine that your breath is carrying particles of concentration into your body. As you exhale, notice that all the distractions and stress are drifting away,” says sports psychologist JoAnn Dahlkoetter, PhD, author of Sports Psychology Coaching for Your Performing Edge. “The incoming breath is like a sedative that supplies you the peace you need to focus on the present.”

Bringing your attention to the activity (whether it’s boxing or erging) can make it easier to reach a “flow” state, which is when you’re completely immersed in the workout. Once that happens, the workout’s perceived level of difficulty decreases, and you actually perform better, explains Nike master trainer Joe Holder, founder of the Ocho System.

You might also try setting an intention pre-workout, says Sarah Romotsky, head of health and science strategy at Headspace, an app-based mindfulness company. It could be something simple, like “I’m grateful for my body’s ability to move” or “Show self-kindness.”

RELATED: 6 Running Tips to Keep You Safe This Winter

Develop goals

Specifically, process-oriented goals. Say you’re running a race or trying to hit a certain mileage—those are called outcome goals; process goals are the steps you take that help you get there. These might include perfecting your technique, setting your pace, or honing your mental attitude. Process goals direct your focus to what you’re doing in the moment, says Dahlkoetter.

Just make sure you aren’t so fixated on any one goal that you can’t adapt as conditions change. Dahlkoetter puts it this way: At the starting line of a race, you need to widen your focus to manage all that’s happening around you. By the middle of the race, you can be really attuned to your form and your breathing. In the final stretch, you may need to narrow your focus: All your energy should probably be centered on putting one foot in front of the other till you make it to the finish line. Knowing which goals to focus on when will serve you well.

RELATED: The Secret to This Woman's Fitness Transformation Was Changing Why She Exercises

Try not to zone out

That doesn’t mean you should never crank up your power song mid-workout. In fact, research shows that dissociation—or putting your mind elsewhere—can sometimes be helpful. But there are also benefits to going distraction-free. “When people are truly engaged, they are physically and measurably able to do so much more than when they are checked out,” says Bethany Lyons, founder and CEO of Lyons Den Power Yoga.

It makes sense that when your mind is wandering, your performance can suffer. If you’re mentally singing along with Beyoncé—or ruminating about last night’s argument, or rehearsing tomorrow’s pitch—you won’t be focused on keeping form, which means you’re probably not moving as efficiently as possible, and you’re more likely to get hurt.

Catch yourself spacing out? “Bring your attention back to what you’re doing,” says Shirley Archer, a mindful-living coach and author of Pilates Fusion: Well-Being for Body, Mind and Spirit. “The more you practice that mental shift, the easier it will become.” Think of it like flexing your mental muscle. Then, check in with your body. Ask yourself, “What am I feeling, hearing, seeing, right now?”

Picture yourself fitter

Seriously, visualization is a powerful tool. Consider a 2014 study involving folks whose forearms were immobilized in an elbow-to-wrist cast for four weeks. Study participants who visualized themselves flexing their wrists during this time frame lost 50 percent less strength than their non-visualizing counterparts. Now imagine what visualization can do for you when it comes to your fitness challenges. Before your next workout, you might envision yourself running up that monster hill on your route without stopping, or you might fantasize about pushing a heavier weight on the prowler. Athletes use this mind trick to build the brain-body connection before big events, says Dahlkoetter. “The more you mentally rehearse your plan, the more automatic it will become and the less thought will be required in the moment.”

Watch what you think

Whatever your brain is saying, your body believes. As a result, self-talk is a key ingredient for success or failure, says Nicole Detling, PhD, a mental-performance coach and the owner of HeadStrong Consulting. So instead of thinking about how much your workout is going to suck and how you’ll never be able to finish it, replace those negative thoughts with positive ones. Archer suggests repeating affirmations. Tell yourself “I love a challenge!” or “I’m going to crush this workout!” she says. And odds are, you will.

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Mid Digital Designer (Johannesburg)

Remuneration: negotiable Basic salary 
Location: Johannesburg, Linden, Randburg
Education level: Degree
Job level: Junior/Mid
Own transport required: Yes
Type: Permanent
Company: Team Sunday

Job description

We are looking for a talented digital designer to join our team!

You’ll be responsible for conceptualising and creating digital artwork for brands big and small, as well as ample opportunities to be involved in the production of video content: from concept through to post. Your primary role is a split between graphic design and basic motion graphics, so you should feel at home with Photoshop, Illustrator, and After Effects.

We are looking for someone who knows the ropes, so ideally two+ years of experience, with a focus on digital work is preferred. If you’re good, exceptions can be made.

The right person should be nimble, and able to learn on their feet, finding solutions to problems. They should be craft focussed, with attention to detail. You’ll be working within a small team, so being organised, positive, independent and reliable is super important.

Company Description

Sunday is a one-stop shop for video and visual content. We conceptualise, produce, shoot, and edit content for all digital channels.


Must have skills:

  • Two+ years of experience is preferable
  • A creative portfolio to show off your skills
  • Fluent in the Adobe Suite
  • Proven conceptual and design abilities
  • Great command of English and efficient writing skills
  • Sound time management skills
  • A sharp eye for detail
  • Strong communication skills
  • Adaptability – and a desire – to get your hands dirty 

Beneficial skills: 

  • Video editing in Premiere Pro
  • Photography
  • Illustration

Posted on 18 Mar 15:24

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Front-End Web/WordPress Developer (Cape Town)

Remuneration: negotiable Cost to company 
Location: Cape Town
Education level: Degree
Job level: Mid
Reference: #LV43525
Company: e-Merge IT Recruitment

Job description

Our client is looking for a front-end developer with WordPress skills, to join the development team, situated in Cape Town. You must be comfortable wearing many hats, changing direction quickly, and learning new technologies as and when required. You will be working in an agile environment, alongside a young, dynamic, multi-skilled team of developers, designers, and product owners, in order to iteratively deliver sound technical solutions on a suite of web and mobile products across the network.


  • Five+ years of front-end development experience working with HTML, CSS (SASS/LESS), PHP and WordPress
  • Experience developing and delivering products in an agile environment 
  • Developing for mobile handsets using web technologies Bonus skills
  • Experienced in Visual Studio (2012 and higher) 
  • Working knowledge of ASP.NET 
  • Working experience with libraries such as JQuery, Angular and Knockout would be advantageous
  • Previous experience on large internet sites with high traffic load

Duties and responsibilities:

  • Work closely with the UI designers to translate their UI designs into pixel perfect code 
  • Support the C# .Net developers in implementing front-end interfaces across the web and mobile-web platforms 
  • Play an active role in supporting product and system architecture decisions during requirement workshops and whiteboard sessions 
  • Ensure your code is W3C compliant and works across all popular browsers, both web and mobile-web 


  • Bachelor’s degree in a computer science (advantageous)
  • Industry equivalent experience, skillset and the right attitude goes a long way 

The reference Number for this position is LV43525. It’s a permanent position based in Cape Town, the salary is negotiable based on experience. Contact Liza on


or call her on 011 463 3633 to discuss this and other opportunities.

Are you ready for a change of scenery? The e-Merge IT recruitment is a specialist niche recruitment agency. We offer our candidates options so that we can successfully place the right developers with the right companies in the right roles. Check out the e-Merge website for more great positions.

Do you have a friend who is a developer or technology specialist? We pay cash for successful *referrals!

Posted on 18 Mar 14:39

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Liza Van Den Berg
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Turkey-Boursin Wrap

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Food Technologist (capricorn Park, Cape Town)

FOOD TECHNOLOGIST (CAPRICORN PARK, CAPE TOWN) in Western Cape | Other Technical | Job Mail | 4388829

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Please Note:

If you do not fit the specification with the minimum requirements your application will not be accepted for this position. Shortlisted candidates may be required to complete an Assessment or Test to demonstrate your knowledge of this position.


  • B. Tech Food Technology/ B.Sc Food Science or other relevant science degree
  • 2-3 Years industry experience
  • Computer literate
  • Own reliable transport


Applicants must reside in CAPE TOWN or surrounding area.

Only South African citizens, who are suitably qualified, live in the applicable area and meet the requirements of the position are eligible to apply for this vacancy.

Please take note: if you have not been contacted within 14 days, please consider your application unsuccessful.


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Key Accounts Manager (otr Tyres) (riverhorse Valley, Kwa-zulu Natal)


Please Note:

If you do not fit the specification with the minimum requirements your application will not be accepted for this position. Shortlisted candidates may be required to complete an Assessment or Test to demonstrate your knowledge of this position.


  • Minimum Grade 12
  • Sales and Marketing Diploma or Business Degree
  • Strong experience in customer relationship management, managing strategic key accounts
  • Willingness to travel
  • Computer literacy – MS Office
  • Driver’s License


Applicants must reside in RIVERHORSE VALLEY, KWA-ZULU NATAL or surrounding area.

Only South African citizens, who are suitably qualified, live in the applicable area and meet the requirements of the position are eligible to apply for this vacancy.

Please take note: if you have not been contacted within 14 days, please consider your application unsuccessful.


Visit our website to view all of our current vacancies: | Battleground Gauteng will push ANC above or below 60%

2019-03-18 05:00

In 2014, almost 24% of all votes were cast in Gauteng. With almost a quarter of all voters living in this province, it makes sense that they will determine the final composition of Parliament, writes Adriaan Basson.

With seven full weeks to go to the May 8 national and provincial elections, Gauteng is emerging as the clear battleground for the top three parties to significantly influence their numbers.

The ANC, DA and EFF are all counting on the country’s economic heartland to increase their total votes from the last national election in 2014. In that election, the ANC obtained 62.15% of all votes, the DA 22.23% and the EFF 6.35%.

READ: System that allows Dlamini, Mokonyane, Zwane to become MPs flawed

With less than two months to go before we cast our votes, the ANC is in a spot of bother. Despite his best attempts to convince the country that he has invigorated the ANC, President Cyril Ramaphosa has not managed to bring the governing party’s support up to 60%, according to a range of polls.

This week’s release of candidate lists will do Ramaphosa no favours of turning the public sentiment in his favour.

All the polls by political parties and research institutions currently have the ANC around 55%, give or take a percentage point. The DA is polling at 22% and the EFF around 11%.

This is bad news for Ramaphosa, and he will have to turn on his best charm before May 8 if he wants to avoid being the first ANC leader on whose watch the party’s national support dipped below 60%.

Yes, under Jacob Zuma the ANC’s national support in the 2016 local government elections went down to 53.9%, but a municipal election is very different to a national election and traditionally has much lower voter turnout.

According to my information, Gauteng still has thousands of undecided voters who may swing to any of the three parties. Expect Ramaphosa, Mmusi Maimane and Julius Malema to spend a lot of time knocking on the doors of Gauteng residents in the next few weeks.

Let’s look at the numbers. In 2014, almost 24% of all votes (4.4 million) were cast in Gauteng. With almost a quarter of all voters living in this province, it makes sense that they will determine the final composition of Parliament.

I don’t expect any big surprises in any of the eight other provinces. The DA will win the Western Cape, while the ANC will govern the seven remaining provinces again, maybe with a slightly lower majority in the North West and Northern Cape.

But Gauteng is where it’s at.

In 2014, the ANC pulled 54% of votes in this province, the DA 31% and the EFF 10%. If one tabulates the 2016 local election results – imperfect as they may be for a national election – the ANC went down to 46%, losing over 700 000 votes in the process.

The DA managed to increase their percentage of the votes to 37% and the EFF went up to 11% of the Gauteng vote in 2016.

Who are these 700 000+ ANC voters who deserted the party in 2016 and can Ramaphosa get them back?

Popular sentiment after the 2016 local election was that they were middle-class ANC supporters who grew “gatvol” with Zuma’s reign of scandal and decided to rather stay away from the polls.

At the time, the Nkandla scandal and the Guptas were top of mind.

ALSO READ: Will the ANC dodge another bullet on election day?

Their votes didn’t go to the DA or EFF. In fact, both these parties also received less votes in 2016 than in 2014 in Gauteng, albeit not at the scale the ANC suffered.

If indeed their non-voting was an anti-Zuma vote, it follows that the “lost” 700 000+ ANC voters would return to their “home” this year under Ramaphosa. The president built his business fortune in Gauteng and is undoubtedly a much more appealing candidate to Gauteng’s middle-class than Zuma ever was.

But why isn’t this showing in the polls? The ANC struggles to settle on 50% support in the Gauteng polling.

One explanation could be that these former ANC voters now live in metros run by the DA and are quite content with their lives under a DA administration. Another explanation could be that some of them are taking their votes to the EFF, for championing expropriation without compensation.

Or the truth may be something much more obvious; that they are still trying to figure out if the ANC of Zuma has really changed to the ANC of Ramaphosa, or if it’s a case of same bus, different driver.

The inclusion of tainted, implicated, suspected and lying people high on the ANC’s candidate lists hasn’t done Ramaphosa’s cause in Gauteng any favours.

– Basson is editor-in-chief of News24.

Java And Php Developer

Education: IT Degree / Diploma
Experience: 3+ years’ experience
Reference: RDS – PHP
Job Description: Java and PHP Developer
Port Elizabeth
R300k – R400k per annum

Seeking experienced Developers with Java and PHP skills!

IT Degree / Diploma
3+ years’ experience

Skills and Responsibilities:
• Analytical and problem-solving skills
• OO Analysis, Design Patterns and Programming Techniques
• Operate Autonomously

Hight Priority JavaScript, Angular, API skills, Java, Wildfly, SQL, MySQL, servlets, JSP

Any of following skill will be useful, NodeJS, CSS, SASS, HTML

Email your CV to You can also contact any of the consultants on 021 555 0952 or alternatively visit our website at

Correspondence will only be conducted with short listed candidates.
Should you not hear from us within 3 days, please consider your application unsuccessful.

for Rent. R 7 800 : 2.0 BEDROOM APARTMENT TO LET IN STELLENBOSCH CENTRAL… South Africa Property Portal



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  Secure 2 bedroom unfurnished apartment situated next to the Eikestad Mall Ideal for students, very safe. It is walking distance to the campus. Aircon installed. Water included, prepaid electricity meter. Bathroom with bath and shower in bath Open plan kitchen/lounge. Balcony with view over park. Parking offstreet or can be arranged with church to park on their ground.

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