because life's an adventure

JoJaffa gets fit and healthy

- and he does it the easy way too (well, he is a cat!)

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Why....Health & Fitness?
Getting started
How do I get started?
Kit and caboodle
Recommended reading
Spoil yourself
Holidays and Vacations
Getting more out and fitness
I've got the basics, what next?

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Why....Health & Fitness?

The secret to building health and fitness is to…

… enjoy yourself

Really fit and healthy people just go out and enjoy themselves - playing football, going for walk, doing some gardening, whatever.

If you're about to embark upon a new adventure, your health and fitness will be key to maximising the benefit and enjoyment that you get out of your new activity.

So, give it a go and see if you can get fit and healthy - without really trying.

Tell us what got you interested in health and fitness.

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Getting started

Here are our top 4 tips on how to get started

  • Review the activities that already build your fitness – and spend longer doing them
  • Get into motion by switching to a more active life style:
  • Take up a new and social activity that involves movement:
  • Write a plan

Remember, the fitness level you need to participate in any activity is dependent on how you approach the activity. Some people want to ski at a moderate pace – in which case, the following activities should help you prepare. If you want to ski vigorously, then you should build in vigorous activity so that your body is in good condition.

Review the activities that already build your fitness – and spend longer doing themWrite a list of all the activities you did in the last week that warmed you up and made you breath slightly heavier than normal (these will counts as moderate activity).

Can you increase the number of times that you do these activities? Or can you increase the length of time?

Here are some typical examples of fitness building activities:

  • Carry the shopping home (even lifting in a family food shop from the car can count).
  • Running after the kids
  • Walking to work or catching public transport (with at least 15 minutes of walking plus 3 or 4 flights of stairs)
  • Moderate gardening
  • Moderate DIY
  • Moderate dancing
  • Moderate swimming
  • Moderate cycling

Tick any of the above that you do on a regular basis.

Which of these could you spend more time doing?

Get into motion by switching to a more active life style:

Switch to fitness;
Discard the lift - walk up as many stairs or escalators as you can. You’ll be amazed at how much this can help. Remember, that walking up stairs is one of the best ways to build up leg muscle for skiing, hill walking, trekking and so on.

Take the train instead of the car. The car is a great cause of poor fitness as you are required to sit very still for long periods of time. Even if you catch a cab to the station, you spend a lot more time moving about on a train so that you’ll end up feeling a lot fitter and a lot better.

If you work in an office, set an alarm so that every half an hour get up and walk to the water cooler and just stretch a little.

Make a decision to run up all stairs (even if you just do this at home you’d be amazed at how this can increase your fitness and energy levels).

Special projects

Why not take a weekend to paint a room in your home? You’ll not only get a great result, but you’ll also build fitness too!


How about getting the saw out and chopping down those dead or ugly bushes and trees in the garden? Throw in a little digging and you’ll be in for the best of workouts.


Discard the car for at least two days (or more) per week. Walk, cycle or go by public transport. And if you’re brave enough, walk home with the shopping (after all our grandmothers did it all the time!).

Tip:Remember to make it sociable too by inviting a few friends or family to help you. (Tell them you’re on a fitness weekend and may be they’d like to build some fitness too!)

If you are going Skiing – try this out! Build your upper thigh strength with the wall crouch:
Crouch down and place your back against a wall so that your knees are bent at a right angle. Do this three times a day and measure the amount of time you can do this. After a week slowing increase the amount of time spent in this position by 5 seconds per day. (When you start you might only be able to manage half a minute).

Take up a new and social activity that involves movement: Swim twice a week - swimming is an excellent way to build overall fitness and suppleness. You’ll be surprised how many muscles skiing will use. Find some one to go with or join a club at your local pool. Lunch time swim – go for just 20 minutes – you’ll be surprised how much more effective you are in the afternoon, and how much better you’ll feel too. It’s also excellent for managing stress and building your fitness. Join a dance class – like Ceroc or Biodanza, it’s not only great fun – but you also get good moderate exercise. Start your search for a local class at Salsa Jive (you can also find lots of Salsa, Jazz, Calypso events here too). Dust down the bike and make a point of switching from the car to the bike – especially for short journeys. Buy a child seat from the local shop or encourage a friend to join you. Find out about your local cycle paths – here’s a great place to start.

Write yourself a plan

If you don’t plan to succeed, you plan to fail

You’ve just got to have a plan – even if it’s just a scrap of paper pinned to your notice board, you’ve just got to do it. So get writing now.

Keep the plan modest and focus on weekly goals. Then e-mail it to a few friends (ask them to encourage and support you). If you really want to get fit, make you plan public by posting to the fitness discussion board. That way you’ll have to stick to your plan.

Top tips for your fitness plan

  1. Set yourself small short term (ie weekly) goals and make sure these are challenging, yet realistic and achievable.

  2. Make sure you congratulate yourself when you have achieved your goals. What small motivating rewards could you give your self at the end of each week?

  3. Keep it sociable – ask your friends if they would like to join you

  4. Use activity cues to help you to stick to your planned activity. Try placing reminders around the house or office – stick one on your computer screen right now saying ‘I am a FIT and ACTIVE person’

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Getting more out and fitness

Vigorous FitnessIf you’re looking for the adrenalin rush or you want to participate at a high activity level, then you’ll want to build some vigorous fitness into your plan too.

Take at least 20 minutes or so of high activity at least 3 times a week. Build up to a figure of 5 or more times a week as soon as possible.

The following would typically count as vigorous:

  • Running
  • Fast walking
  • Fast cycling
  • Strong swimming
  • Squash
  • Tennis
  • Team sports

What happens when the plan all goes wrong?

There will always be times when your schedule changes and your activities drop out of the plan. Don't worry, these small setbacks are only temporary and you will soon be back to being active.

Be prepared for small setbacks - write down a plan 'B'. For example, if you choose to ditch the lift in favour of the stairs and are unable to do it because you are on holiday, or away from work etc.. then have a plan of what other activity you feel you could do instead (eg.. take a brisk 20 minute walk every day). Remember choose an activity you ENJOY.


If you’re not sure about your current fitness level or want some more advice – complete a questionnaire at active for life

Alternatively, go to the gym, buy all the fitness videos, work out like mad for one week and then give up. Yes, we know that’s what happens. So go back and write that plan.

The stairs – the greatest free piece of exercise equipment you’ll ever get!

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Kit and caboodle

Need a good book, video or more advice? JoJaffa has picked out the best for you. For each book/ video just click on the amazon link find out the price and get more information.

If you can suggest any good books about health and fitness, let us know.

Recommended Reading

Book : Fitness for Dummies
by Suzanne Schlosberg, Liz Neporent
Suzanne Schlosberg and Liz Neporent have done the seemingly impossible: they've not only written a book that tells you everything you need to know about starting and maintaining a fitness program--getting motivated, choosing a gym, building strength and and so, but they've made it fun too.

Amazon UKin association with...Amazon US

Book : The Fitness Instinct
by Peg Jordan
This book shows you how to "tap into your seventh sense--your natural instinct for movement--which, once awakened, will guide your every stretch, run, jump, dance, pushup, and crunch and help you develop your own, personalized program of "holistic fitness.

Amazon UKin association with...Amazon US

Well, if makes you feel any better, why not dress up a bit in the latest gear before you dive into that fitness routine.

Check out the latest fashions and best prices at

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Spoil yourself

Hmm. I suppose you could go to a health farm to spoil yourself, but that's not really fitness, is it?

Can you spoil your self and still get fit? That's an interesting question. The answer lies in doing something you enjoy, ..... about going....

..... or just go swimming ......

By the way, here's a complete A-Z list of all the adventure things you might do. Many of them will help you get and keep fit too.

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Open Outcry

Got a question? Get an answer!

Post a message to the fitness discussion board.

You might just

  • have a general question about health and fitness?
  • want to make a comment
  • want to share tips and advice with fellow JoJaffa-ers?

... Then why not use our health and fitness chat board

Maybe someone has already asked that burning question you're longing to find the answer to ...

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If you are interested in health and fitness, you'll probably also enjoy some or all of the following

Skiing or
Trekking or
Sailing or even
Scuba Diving or even
Aloe Vera for natural health!

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