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6. Pain in my ass

Standing in the scullery post dinner, sorting out the dishes, when I reach over to place the dirty dishes in the sink. I feel a tingling, unbearably painful sensation in my lower back. This happens on a daily basis. Sounds familiar? I am no stranger to lower back pain. It is something I have experienced from the time I was a teenager and, many of my clients are facing the same problem.

Non-specific lower back pain is a health problem that has been on the rise, and to prove this point I did a poll on my Instagram which revealed that 90% of my followers suffer from this condition. After headaches, it is the second most common pain reported.

Lower back pain USUALLY is as a result of a problem with your ligaments, muscles, nerves or vertebrae. The good news is that there are ways to treat this pain. Even better news: it doesn’t have to be treated medically.

In the olden days, the treatment would be to “lie down”, “rest”, “stop doing so much” and this is still common in our community. The real treatment: EXERCISE!

You’re probably wondering what the cause of this unbearable pain is?

It’s our current lifestyle. Prolonged sitting. We sit when we’re at work, when we drive, when we’re relaxing. There is rarely a time when we aren’t seated. When we are seated, we use very little energy, and this leads to a decrease in muscle power and strength. Another disadvantage of continuous lack of movement is that our vertebral discs are unable to maintain a normal concentration of water which can lead to degeneration and overload lesions on said discs. All of the above contribute to the development of lower back pain.

Lower back pain is one of the most prevalent musculoskeletal conditions, and up to 60% of adults experience lower back pain at some point in their life. It results in significant restrictions on usual activity and is among the common causes of disability. Who would have thought that something as common as backaches could lead to a physical disability??

[blockquote]There are a number of exercises and stretches you can use to treat this pain, including improving posture and strengthening the muscles of the back and the abdomen (core muscles). I have put together a quick video to demonstrate some of the exercises.[/blockquote]

You can view the full video here.
Lower Back Strengthening Exercises By KhadijaK

Let me know your comments and thoughts and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel and like the video, this helps me produce more content.

1. Partial Crunch – Pelvic Tilt Exercise for Back Pain

The pelvic tilt is generally the first exercise recommended for recovering from back pain and developing spinal stabilization.

How to Do the Partial Crunch

  • Lie on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the floor.
  • As you exhale, contract your abdominal muscles and press the small of your back into the floor.
  • Lift your head and shoulders slightly up off the floor as you reach toward your feet with your fingertips.
  • Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  • Relax and return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 5 to 10 times.

2. Bridges:

  • Lie on the ground with your feet flat on the floor, hip width apart.
  • Place your hands by your sides, press your feet into the floor and slowly lift your buttocks off the ground until your body forms a straight line. Your shoulders must remain on the floor.

3. Plank:

  • Start on the floor with your hands and knees.
  • Lower your forearms to the floor with your elbows positioned under your shoulders and hands shoulder width apart. Your arms should form a 90-degree angle.
  • Maintain a straight line from heels through the top of your head, looking down at the floor.
  • Tighten your abs and hold.

4. Bird Dog:

  • Go onto all fours, place your hands directly under your shoulders and your knees directly below your hips. Keep your spine straight (do not curve).
  • Lift and extend your right arm and your left leg at the same time and hold it for 10 seconds. Repeat with alternating limbs.

5.Dead Bugs:

This is a fantastic way to enhance motor control and engage the lumbo-pelvic-hip stabilizers to do their job.

  • Begin lying on your back on the floor. Bring your knees up to form a 90-degree bend at your hips. Arms outstretched over your shoulders.
  • Brace your core (see exercise #1) and slowly lower opposite arm and leg – controlled, in an effort to resist extension – while exhaling. Many don’t think of this part, but with all the air exhaled out, you now have nothing to help stabilize your spine exceptthe muscles themselves.
  • Hold the end position until you have fully exhaled, then inhale as you bring your arm/leg back to the starting position. Repeat on the other side.
  • Common mistakes are moving too fast, an excessive arch in your lower back, and your rib cage flaring out.
  • Aim for 2-3 sets of 5-8 repetitions per side.

6. Swimmers:

Swimmers is an effective stretching exercise and has been designed for all those who would like to learn how to balance themselves. In order to do it the right way, use the following steps:

  • Place your mat in front of you and lie down on your stomach again. Keep your legs together. Don’t bend them.
  • Don’t bring your shoulders near your ears. Keep the blades in your back. Your arms should be over your head now. Stretch for a few seconds.
  • Make sure your abs are tight. Bring your navel above the ground.
  • Now stretch out your arms, legs and spine as far as possible. But this should be in opposite directions. Make sure your face is down.
  • Now, alternate your hands and legs and pulse for a couple of seconds.
  • Breathe in and hold for 5 seconds.
  • Repeat 2 to 3 times.

7. Prone Back Extension

This is a slightly more advanced and intense back stretch. Here’s how to safely perform it:

  • Begin in a face-down position on the floor.
  • Slowly lift your torso up; place your elbows under your shoulders and your hands firmly on the ground. Your lower back will be slightly arched.
  • Push into the ground and slowly straighten your elbows to increase the extension in your lower back. Go only as far as comfortable and stop if you experience any pain. You should feel a comfortable, gentle stretch.
  • Hold the position for 15 seconds.
  • Return to the starting position.
  • Repeat 5 to 8 times.

Lower back pain is a condition that has a good prognosis, if you follow the exercise regimen religiously. Exercise does more than just weight loss, it boosts self-esteem, increases your energy, and IT CURES LOWER BACK PAIN!!

There are other methods of treating back pain, although they are not as effective as exercise. These include:

  1. Ice therapy which relieves discomfort and lessens inflammation IN ACUTE PHASES OF LOWER BACK PAIN!
  2. Warm compresses relieve pain when inflammation has subsided.
  3. Warm salt baths allow your body to absorb minerals from the salt bath, which eases aching muscles.

There are also ways to prevent lower back pain:

  1. Improve your posture which will decrease the pressure and strain on your spine.
  2. Work the muscles in and around your abdomen (core) to reduce the chances of pain, damage or strain on your back.
  3. Change your shoes from high heels to sneakers or pumps every now and then.
  4. Stretch regularly to improve circulation in your muscles and to decrease the risk of lower back pain and damage

If you require medical help I have listed a few of my recommended physio, bios etc  in the comments section below and i have tagged them on my instagram post.

If you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover send me a shout below or email me.

Planks and kisses

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5. Why your belly is getting bigger..

Most people admit that when they’re under stress, healthy eating habits can be difficult to maintain. Whether eating to fill an emotional need or grabbing fast food simply because there’s no time to prepare something healthy, a stressed-out lifestyle is rarely a healthy one. But weight gain when under stress may also be at least partly due to the body’s system of hormonal checks and balances, which can actually promote weight gain when you’re stressed out, according to some researchers.

Cortisol is a critical hormone with many actions in the body. Normally, cortisol is secreted by the adrenal glands in a pattern called a diurnal variation, meaning that levels of cortisol in the bloodstream vary depending upon the time of day (normally, cortisol levels are highest in the early morning and lowest around midnight). Cortisol is important for the maintenance of blood pressure as well as the provision of energy for the body. Cortisol stimulates fat and carbohydrate metabolism for fast energy, and stimulates insulin release and maintenance of blood sugar levels. The end result of these actions can be an increase in appetite and can cause cravings for sweet, high-fat, and salty foods. With elevated cortisol levels, the body also produces less testosterone, leading to a decrease in muscle mass. With less testosterone to build muscle mass; your body starts to burn fewer calories.

Cortisol has been termed the “stress hormone” because excess cortisol is secreted during times of physical or psychological stress, and the normal pattern of cortisol secretion (with levels highest in the early morning and lowest at night) can be altered. This disruption of cortisol secretion may not only promote weight gain, but it can also affect where you put on the weight in the body. Some studies have shown that stress and elevated cortisol tend to cause fat deposition in the abdominal area rather than in the hips. This fat deposition has been referred to as “toxic fat” since abdominal fat deposition is strongly correlated with the development of cardiovascular disease, including heart attacks and strokes.

No independent studies published in respected, peer-reviewed medical journals have shown that any supplements have any value in cortisol reduction or weight loss. In fact, exercise is the best method for lowering cortisol levels that have risen in response to stress and has the added benefit of burning calories to stimulate weight loss. Practices such as meditation, yoga, and other relaxation techniques can also be used to keep cortisol levels in check.

In short, when you are stressed out your brain tells your adrenal gland to release the stress hormone cortisol. … Over the long term, chronically high cortisol levels lead to a series of changes in the body that make you gain belly fat.

Carrying weight around your gut (aka “love handles”) is worse than fat around your hips or thighs and this is in part due to insulin resistance.

It is also indicative of an imbalance in cortisol levels. Cortisol is also known as the stress hormone, which, if chronically high, can result in increased fat around the gut. Feeling stressed out or depressed about this may even worsen the problem by promoting overeating, particularly of refined carbs.

As mentioned before, cortisol secretion varies among individuals. People are biologically ‘wired’ to react differently to stress. One person may secrete higher levels of cortisol than another in the same situation. And this tendency can change at different times in a person’s life. Studies have also shown that people who secrete higher levels of cortisol in response to stress also tend to eat more food and food that is higher in carbohydrates than people who secrete less cortisol. If you’re more sensitive to stress, it’s especially important for you to learn stress management techniques and maintain a low-stress lifestyle, this is a great way to get cortisol secretion under control and maintain a healthy lifestyle at the same time.

I will be sharing a cortisol reducing workout and tips out during my 60 day BeachBody Challenge via my app. You can do the workout anywhere in the world just follow the video. For more information:

If you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover send me a shout below or email me.

Planks and kisses

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4. 3 Healthy Breakfasts On The Run

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We’ve been told this countless times yet we still manage to neglect having a healthy breakfast. Studies show that a healthy breakfast can give you a more nutritional diet filled with vitamins and minerals, help with concentration at work or the classroom, give one more strength and endurance to engage in physical activity aka torch or bootcamp with me 😉, lower cholesterol as well as help with weight control. Therefore the myth of just having a coffee in the morning in order to lose a few kilos, is nothing but a myth. There’s no excuse for having an unhealthy breakfast or even skipping breakfast.

For the lady on the run; save precious time in the morning with these irresistible healthy, grab and go, make-ahead breakfast recipes! Breakfast has never been so easy!

1.Peanut butter oats


5g chia seeds
20g oats
1 tbs sugar free peanut butter
20g blueberries

Soak the oats overnight in water with the chia seeds. Cook the oats and chia mixture with water or milk. Thereafter wait for it to cool down. Layer oats and chia, then blueberries and lastly add the peanut butter. Enjoy!

2. Green eggs on the go


1/2 cup baby spinach
2 scrambled eggs
80g Avocados Cubed
1 tsp hemp seeds.

In a Mason jar layer the raw baby spinach, then eggs and avocado. Sprinkle with hemp seeds.

3. Strawberry Dream


2 tbs Greek yoghurt
8 Strawberries
7 Almonds

Layer strawberries, greek yoghurt, repeat the layer and add the almonds on top.

I often prepare these jars the night before so I am ready for the next day. I use mason jars as I am not fond of plastic, but you could layer it in a plastic or throw away container for convenience, this takes just a few minutes to prepare and the benefits are life long, therefore think twice next time you’re about to grab your sugar filled cereal bar and head out

If you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover send me a shout below or email me.

Planks and kisses

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3. How much weight can you lose in 30 days?

How much weight can you lose in 30 days?
It’s been a month of adjustments and setting up new projects at work in addition to getting used to different training routines.I am pleased to report that I have made reasonable progress in a month following the #KkJumpStartJulyChallenge. I was further pleased by all the positive feedback I received from everyone on the challenge.
I found the eating plan quite simple and user friendly. My fitness routine was very basic; I mainly followed the wildcard workouts posted on the challenge with a leg strength training routine twice a week. All workouts were high intensity.

Below is my progress after a month on the challenge. Now comes the hard part of cutting, and fine tuning whilst improving my fitness levels drastically. I will keep you posted!

People often ask me how much can they lose in 30 days? I have put together a set of simple rules to follow. Most of these were incorporated in our challenge.

How to lose weight in a healthy, sustainable way
In order to lose weight safely and in a way that you will actually be able to follow for more than a week, I recommend the following.

  1. Be realistic with your weight loss goals

A guide to follow for safe and sustainable weight loss is to aim for 0.5–1 kilogram per week. In order to lose one kilogram per week, you would need to burn and reduce your dietary intake by approximately 1,000 calories per day,
If you’re thinking 1,000 calories per day is completely unachievable, it equates to a one hour HIIT session (around 800 calories) and eating one less snack (around 200 calories).
Having said this, it is also important that you create as much food variety as possible so you don’t put yourself at risk of malnutrition or nutrient deficiencies. Good food will mean good skin and more energy.

  1. Avoid dieting and skipping meals

Not only is skipping meals bad for your mood, energy levels and overall health, but it can also affect the way you eat later on. If you do skip meals, you are more likely to eat more when you do eat, and this may lead to a larger stomach capacity.
Crash dieting is a short term solution that will increase your body fat levels in the long term due to your body lowering its metabolic rate as a result

  1. Exercise regularly

Train four times per week for 45-60 minutes per workout. For best results do combination of resistance (weight) training and cardiovascular training.

“Think of strength training as the main course at a restaurant -cardio and yoga are all the equivalent of an entrée. So strength training is the foundation of health and fitness”

  1. Cut down on the refined carbs

Refined carbohydrates such as cake, biscuits, cookies, muffins, chips, cupcakes, soft drink, fruit juice and most supermarket breads will make you store fat if not burned off.

  1. Watch your portions

I often encourage my clients to not eat a full stomach; you should try leaving 1/3 of your stomach empty. Even the healthiest of foods eaten in large amounts will cause weight gain.

  1. Avoid drinking your calories

Don’t drink your calories — avoid beverages that contain ’empty’ calories and don’t fill you up such as soft drinks, large fruit juices and energy drinks.

Try these guidelines for a month and drop me a note on how you doing!

Planks and kisses

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2. 80kg and counting……

2017 has been a discovery for me. An adventure of sorts, my life changed in many ways and I found myself exposed to new ideas, people and naturally new problems. I spent the first few months adjusting to all this. Throughout this blog I will touch on many subjects from health and fitness to life in general.

2016 was a bad year, health wise, I lost too much weight, and I had more stress than I could manage. Come 2017, I decided to take a break from my usual gym routine and healthy eating. I had a few reasons, which I am going to share with you along the way.

When I got on the scale I laughed as the numbers looked up at me. I’ve never been a weight obsessed person and have never owned a scale. I have always weighed a lot. As a teenager whenever I used to get on the scale, people would look at me and say; I think the scales broken. I got used to this, as I am much heavier than I look. My doctor used to joke that my dad put gold in my bones.

As a trainer I understand the few benefits to using a scale but I mostly believe in using a measuring tape and calipers to measure body fat. If you have a goal that’s aesthetic driven then sure go for it. But in general the scale will never measure fitness or good health (I will attack this topic in another post). For the purpose of this blog, I am weighing myself and I will check in with you on a regular basis

On the 1st July I joined my challengers on the #KKJumpStartJulyChallenge .

What is the challenge all about?
The #KKJumpStartJuly challenge is the kick start to your perfect summer body. This challenge focuses on losing weight and incorporating a few good habits into your life. This plan is suitable for men and women.

And if you need serious motivation, you are getting paid to lose weight as the 30 Day Weight loss Challenge winner walks away with the cash prize of R3000.

Who can do this challenge?
Anyone! Whether you want to lose 5 kg or 10kg. This specific challenge focuses on weight loss.

Where is the Challenge?

Unlike other fitness challenges, you do this one right in your own home! You don’t have to worry about getting to the gym or storing bulky equipment.

How does it work?
I signed up for the challenge on the website , after confirmation of payment I received my booklet with the plan. I was also added to a closed Facebook group. The booklet contains all the necessary diet and workout guidelines and tips for 30days. Khadijakhealth has also teamed up with Fitdeli ( to bring you ready cooked meals for your convenience at a discount (use coupon khadijakhealth). Once a week a #wildcardworkout is posted on the group. This is a high intensity workout and aimed at speeding up your metabolism.

My starting weight and stats: Weight: 80kg  – 1st July 2017

I have a few long term goals, my short term goal for the duration of this challenge which is one month, is to drop a few kilograms of fat so I can run faster and to get back into a healthy eating routine. My usual weight varies from 62 – 74 kg (on the higher side if I’m doing more lifting) and I am most comfortable with my body fat percentage around 15 – 17.
Join me on my journey; I post regular updates on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

In my experience body measurements vary greatly according to what your goals are. Don’t expect to run long distance marathons on a regular basis and have your cleavage intact and squatting heavy will no doubt increase your leg and glute size.
My advice to you?  Don’t focus on the looks, get fit, get strong, and be confident.

The scale doesn’t measure sexy darling!!

If you have any questions or topics you would like me to cover send me a shout below or email me.

Planks and kisses

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1. Let the games begin…

“My name is Khadija Kadodia, and I run a swimming school ( and a fitness centre ( I spend my days coaching swimming, fitness consulting, training and cooking healthy and delicious meals. OK, I lie…. I run around in my swimsuit blowing a whistle and screaming “give me 50 push-ups” 🙂

It’s taken me a good few years to finally start blogging. The number of drafts I have in my inbox since 2012 will attest to that. I guess I am a very expressive person and putting how I feel into words just couldn’t do it for me. My hands wave, eyes roll and my head shakes, often too animated for paper. I have written on many topics that I felt were relevant regarding health and fitness, what stopped me from publishing them was the simple problem of; how do you start a blog without introducing yourself? So I finally decided to put that aside and I will get someone to write my bio, but in the interim I am starting this blog. My purpose is to inshallah (god willing) inspire myself and others towards a healthier, fitter life.

One of the first questions people ask me is, how did you get into fitness?  Fitness and sport is encoded in my dna and I was truly born with this passion for movement, running, lifting and jumping. I come from a very strong athletic background. Both my parents were fit and sports orientated.

I personally was fortunate enough to have been brought up by one of the most amazing women on earth whose knowledge still never ceases to astonish me. My mother had always ensured that we had eaten healthy, nutritious and tasty foods from day one. This upbringing is the cornerstone of all the work I do.

Being the only sister amongst five brother’s meant soccer, rugby and cricket were the order of the day. From climbing trees to riding make believe horses; exercise was a natural part of my upbringing.
Being a fitness trainer for many years, I have always been passionate about promoting a healthy attitude to life. I truly do believe that living a healthy lifestyle has an impact on every aspect of an individual’s life in a beneficial way.

Feeling and looking amazing is a LIFESTYLE that needs constant yet simple maintenance. By no means possible does this healthy lifestyle include taking unnatural injections, starving your-self or popping pills that promise the world and more. There are no quick fixes.
My aim and wish has always been to inspire people to get fit, healthy and confident. Seeing people grow in confidence, skill and happiness has always appealed to me.
It was recently brought to my attention that I cannot expand this without connecting to people outside of my gym. A fact I am aware of, but video, tv, radio and photos have always been something I stayed away from, not very wise if you are a personal trainer as essentially you are selling yourself. The most common question I get asked by people on social media who have never met me is, what do you look like? Are you really fit? A valid question I suppose. Whilst don’t expect a full on photo shoot from me, I am going to share snippets of my journey with you. What’s the journey you may ask?

To make the world a fitter, healthier happier place one person at a time!

Planks and kisses