dog watching tv

Photo: Adobe Stock

Jürgen Roos: Get a grip on those #lockdownlife love handles

My lockdown love handles are starting to annoy me. This is how I’m culling the calories…

dog watching tv

Photo: Adobe Stock

In the midst of my bout with cabin fever, I seem to have developed a particularly nasty side habit: Trips to the refrigerator.

Now you could argue that at least I am getting a bit of exercise in, but the problem is that it’s one trip to the kitchen, which takes all of five minutes, followed by three hours of internet TV. After all, what is a good binge watch of the latest series without chips and a cold drink, a bowl of butter popcorn, or a slice of homemade cake with tea?

I can feel how my gluteus maximus (aka my bum) is developing a delicious layer of subcutaneous fat. I reckon if you had to chop me up into pieces and stick me in the oven, I would make for a very tasty pork roast, complete with a rump of crackling.

So here are the measures I have decided to try and employ in my mission to fight the battle of the bulge, be it stage 2, 3, 4, or stage 10 kilograms heavier:

Homemade Zumba

Even if the gyms do re-open, I don’t want to risk it, so I have taken to turning off the laptop TV watching, attached my speakers, and started dancing: Rock, freestyle, tango, cha-cha, mambo, whatever. I try aim for 22 minutes a day, seven days a week.

This helps me meet the minimum threshold suggested by scientists: 150 minutes a week of moderate exercise.

Barbara Woodhouse ‘Walkies!’

My beautiful big Labrador girl has a penchant for table scraps, so on days when I don’t feel like dancing, I will take her and the other dogs for a brisk walk around the garden.

As South Africans, most of us enjoy a little bit of space in a home or a complex, so this is a great activity. And even in the midst of the winter blues, the weather is usually still rather palatable during the day, with loads of sunshine (unless you’re in the Western Cape and there isn’t a drought).

‘The Garden Route’

Even with restrictions in place, I have a big enough garden to still get out and never leave the property. I recently discovered a host of garden tools I had completely forgotten about.

I also discovered a whole bunch of muscles I didn’t know I had, as I attempted to clean up the paving and remove the excess grass. Ow!


The mass handwashing of miners’ clothes in dusty Johannesburg during the Gold Rush Days have inspired me to leave my washing machine off and do a few clothes by hand. The washing, rinsing, wringing and hanging all add a few extra calories burnt.

Of course, the world will never be the way it was. But hopefully, we can keep those extra kilograms at bay as we continue to keep our social distance.