In a strategic move to enhance its member rewards program, Virgin Active has recently announced a promising partnership with The Sneaker Shack, a prominent sneaker care outfit. The collaboration aims to provide added value to Virgin Active’s nationwide membership base of approximately 600,000 individuals while promoting an ethos of holistic wellness.

Image: The Sneaker Shack

An article shared by Primedia announced the partnership, highlighting Virgin Active’s commitment to expanding its cross-sector wellness ecosystem through meaningful collaborations. Patrick Hardy, Head of Strategic Partnerships at Virgin Active, emphasized the significance of the collaboration, stating, “This new collaboration with The Sneaker Shack not only gives Virgin Active members another great reason to lace up their sneakers and hit the gym, but reinforces all of the benefits of maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle”.

Strategic Planning and Preparation

In an exclusive interview with Primedia’s Motheo Khoaripe, Lolo Ndlovu, the Founder and CEO of The Sneaker Shack, shared insights into the genesis of the partnership and its potential impact on both parties involved. Ndlovu revealed that the groundwork for the collaboration had been laid over the course of 6-12 months, indicating the thoroughness and dedication invested in the alliance.

For The Sneaker Shack, access to Virgin Active’s extensive membership base represents a significant opportunity for growth and exposure. Ndlovu expressed excitement about the prospect of enhancing the rewards experience for Virgin Active members, underscoring the strategic advantage of tapping into such a vast network.

Image: My Broadband

Navigating Challenges and Ensuring Scalability

However, with growth comes challenges, and Lolo acknowledged the importance of scalability for his business. By implementing measures to manage a potential surge in demand, The Sneaker Shack aims to ensure a seamless and gradual expansion process. Lolo emphasized the importance of viewing increased demand as a positive challenge, one that propels the company towards accelerated growth and operational excellence.

As the partnership between Virgin Active and The Sneaker Shack takes shape, it symbolizes more than just a business arrangement. It reflects a shared commitment to promoting wellness, fitness, and self-care within the community. By offering members the convenience of sneaker care services as part of their fitness journey, Virgin Active continues to reinforce its position as a holistic wellness provider, catering to the diverse needs of its clientele.

A Promising Future of Mutual Growth

The collaboration between Virgin Active and The Sneaker Shack holds great promise for both parties, offering mutual benefits and opportunities for growth. As they embark on this journey together, they pave the way for future collaborations that prioritize the well-being and satisfaction of their members.


Azosule’s commitment to women’s health emerges from the personal journey of Tamara Magwashu, a woman of many dimensions. She is an entrepreneur, a philanthropist, an enthusiast, and an alpha female who is breaking barriers. Tamara’s upbringing in the Eastern Cape painted a vivid picture of the challenges faced by women due to poverty. Instead of accepting these circumstances as immutable, Tamara was driven to redefine them with her femininity.

Azosule Sanitary Products

The Birth of Azosule

“The motivation behind starting Azosule comes from my own experiences of sanitary pads being a luxury in my household. Witnessing women like myself forced to choose between purchasing pads or basic necessities hit a nerve within me,” shares Tamara, founder of Azosule Feminine Hygiene Products.

Established in 2021, Azosule Feminine Hygiene Products has achieved significant milestones and gathered recognition for its commitment to women’s health. The brand was featured on BBC News, bringing national attention to the issue of menstrual hygiene. This exposure on Menstrual Hygiene Day catalyzed further investment in women’s health from companies like Siemens Energy, pushing Azosule’s mission forward.

Azosule Pantyliners

Azosule’s Impact on Breaking Barriers and Creating Change

What sets Azosule apart in the market is dedication to affordability, accessibility, and inclusivity. Their products are affordable and free from added scents. This is to ensure safety and comfort for women across all socio-economic backgrounds, particularly those in side-lined communities.

Tamara highlights that at Azosule’s commitment to women’s health is pivotal. At Azosule, they pay attention to safety and effectiveness. They guarantee that quality control measures are implemented. This is to ensure that their products are manufactured in certified facilities that undergo thorough audits. By prioritizing safety and well-being, Azosule instills confidence in its customers.

Challenges Faced

Tamara also adds that the building of her brand was a not walk in the park.

“Despite the success, building, and scaling Azosule has not been without its challenges. A lack of funding has hindered growth. However, my team and I remain steadfast in our dedication to overcoming obstacles and expanding our reach,” she says.

Azosule Sanitary Pads

Azosule’s Positive Impact and Future Plans

However, the positive impact of Azosule’s efforts is evident in the stories of those who have benefited from their initiatives. To date, over five hundred thousand pads have been distributed for free to schools across South Africa. Their aim is to positively impacting countless lives. The ripple effect of Azosule’s work has even reached beyond borders. They have inspired individuals like Caity Cutter, a 12-year-old girl from Germany, to donate generously to the cause.

“Looking to the future, I aim to establish a manufacturing facility in my hometown. I want to create employment opportunities for young people and furthering the brand’s impact on women’s health and well-being”.

Through their initiatives to donate to schools, Azosule is committed to ensuring that every girl has access to hygiene products.

Azosule products can be purchased through their website and at Makro.

Planet Fitness launches PumpHIITup™-

Planet Fitness PumpHIITup

Planet Fitness has officially launched their long awaited pumpHIITup™ studio alongside their newest Club in Sandton (Sandton Gate).

This class will elevate your workout to the next level, it’s all about High-intensity interval training combining science & tech offering a fitness experience unsurpassed. Not only will you TORCH calories, you will have so much fun in the process!!!!

  • The pumpHIITup™ experience is based on four high intensity interval training programs with the focus on heart rate zones all while catering for a variety of fitness levels, while enjoying the unique soundtracks and beats mixed by DJ Ryan Dent.
  • The pumpHIITup™ Coaches are highly skilled to deliver each program that integrates components of aerobic and anaerobic cardiovascular training, functional training, agility training, muscular endurance, and explosive power to create a full-body workout experience.
  • HIIT, or High-intensity interval Training, is a training technique in which you give all-out, one hundred percent effort through quick, intense bursts of exercise, followed by short, sometimes active recovery periods. This type of training gets and keeps your heart rate up and burns more fat in less time. 
  • If you are the competitive type, you can compete with other people in the class, and yourself to ensure you are always pushing it! You will receive a device that tracks your heart rate and there is a screen with the heart rate zones in the studio

Why You Should Join Hike With Pat


Hike With Pat (#HikeWithPat) is an initiative by Pat onBrands aimed at getting people to start living an active and a healthy lifestyle through hiking. The hikes are hosted every last or first Saturday of the month. The people who #HikeWithPat are dynamic individuals who share a common interest of being active and enjoy taking time off from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg.


If you’ve been looking to be part of a hiking community look no further than #HikeWithPat.  

Here’s why…

1. It is better than hiking alone

Hiking is better done in a group. When the hike gets tough there are people who will encourage you to soldier on. Furthermore, hiking in a group provides greater safety especially in remote areas and minimises the possibilities of getting lost. If you get injured there will be people who can offer aid.

2. Great for networking

#HikeWithPat attracts people with various backgrounds, from university students to professionals and entreprenuers. Unlike formal networking events, during the hike people are more relaxed and open-minded. This therefore presents you with the opportunity  to engage with new people and exchange contacts.

Hike-With-Pat Walter Sisulu
#HikeWithPat at Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

3. Not based at a single hiking spot

There is no base for #HikeWithPat. Every hike takes place at a different hiking spot which means will get exposed to different hiking spots in Johannesburg and surrounding areas.

4. Time out

The majority of people who stay in a city rarely get the opportunity to have a workout outdoors and get in touch with nature. Hiking provides the opportunity to reconnect with nature and get some fresh air whilst burning some calories.

5. You don’t have to be fit

There’s no level of fitness you need to be at to #HikeWithPat, whether you are starting your fitness journey or you are a fitness bunny. You can hike at your own pace whilst having a good chat with fellow hikers or embracing nature. At the end of the hike, you will however feel fitter as hiking strengthens your core and works on your legs.

6. It is Flexible

There is no fixed membership for #HikeWithPat. Therefore, you don’t have to attend every single hike. You only attend the hikes that are most convenient for you.

Now that you know the reasons why should #HikeWithPat , why don’t you join us for our next hike. See details below:

When: 12 October 2019

Time: 7am

Where : Hennops Hiking Trail, Pretoria

Cost: R180* including VAT

*The cost covers refreshments and access to the hiking trail. Payments can be made to the following banking account:

Account Name: Pat onBrands (PTY) Ltd

Bank Name: FNB

Account Number:  627 993 716 39

Use your name as a reference.

Follow @PatOnBrands on social media or send a WhatsApp to 0742375118 for more information on the hike.

10 tricks to keep warm during your winter training

How to keep warm in winter

Working out during winter is challenging for as obvious reason – it is cold. You’d rather stay at home and indulge in comfort food than going to gym. The problem with this is that you might not realise your summer body goals.

To help you boost your mojo Planet Fitness has come up with some winter training tricks and motivation to help you stick to your personal goals this winter:

1. Allow time for a thorough warm up 

Warming up before your main exercise is always important no matter what time of year you are training but even more so in winter , spend time warming up and stretching to avoid injury. Warming up is also a great way to ease yourself into those early morning workout sessions

2. Dress Properly

The quickest way to lose body heat is to get wet through sweating which this will leave you cold and bothered. We suggest, layering up and making sure your workout clothing is made from materials such as polyester and nylon which are designed to dry quickly and take away moisture about 50 percent faster than cotton.

3. Training Buddy 

When nobody is waiting on you it is much more tempting to roll over and press snooze on the alarm than spring out of bed and lace up your trainers. Find a training buddy and set some summer goals.

4. Mix it up 

Repeating the same workout over and over can become tedious. Try different classes and training to keep you motivated and having fun. Try something new. (Planet Fitness has loads of variety)

5. Prioritise your workout 

Flexibility can be great but when it comes to planning a workout schedule it’s a good idea to set specific days and times and stick to it. This will help prevent other plans taking priority and will also help to establish a routine.

6. Eat well – When you are cold and tired grabbing an unhealthy snack or pre-made dinner
can be tempting. Stock up on vegetables and protein based food so you are less inclined
to snack on junk food. Pre-pack nutritional meals ahead of time to avoid starch and sugar
loaded temptations.

7. Set your goal – fitness, toning and energy, whatever it may be , START NOW, the cold
is no excuse.

8. Perk up your mood: Low light levels in winter can reduce the feel-good hormones in our
brains, which can make many of us feel down in the dumps during the colder months.
Exercise can boost your mood during winter, sending those all-important feel-good hormones soaring, and keeping the winter blues at bay. Research has shown that a good workout can be up to four times more effective than taking antidepressants, for improving
symptoms of depression. As well as being an effective mood booster and pick-me-up.

9. Boost your immune system

During cold weather, there tends to be more bugs and viruses doing the rounds, and few of us can escape the winter without succumbing to a cold or even the flu. Exercising during winter can boost your immune system, helping to fight off common winter infections. Some studies have concluded that training in cold weather may reduce your chances of getting winter viruses by up to 30%, compared to those who shun sport at this time of year.

10. Boost energy!

Charmaine Giani , National Group exercise manager says “ after training so hard to look good for summer ; people often lose the motivation to sustain their hard work, training in winter not only helps you maintain your hard work, it will keep you in shape for the summer months to come and keep germs and winter blues at bay, luckily Planet Fitness offers such a wide variety of indoor group classes and activities for everyone to try out that are amazing for winter such as Hot yoga & Bikram yoga, stay motivated and have fun”.

Introducing the New NESTLÉ MILO Breakfast Energy Drink with 26% Less Sugar

Milo 26% less sugar
  • One is five kids do not eat breakfast even though statistics show that it is the most important meal of the day.
  • New NESTLÉ MILO recipe contains 26% less sugar, more malt, more cocoa and more milk.
  • NESTLÉ MILO hosted A Champions Breakfast Day on Saturday, 13 April in Nasrec, Johannesburg where South Africans had the opportunity to engage with nutritionists and dieticians from NESTLÉ

A balanced diet provides energy that a child needs to grow, yet parents often struggle to meet this nutritional requirement. Findings from the latest South African National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (SANHANES) show that one in five children do not eat breakfast even though statistics show that this is the most important meal of the day. This number is of grave concern as it highlights the nutritional energy gap that exists as a result of skipping breakfast.  

Not having breakfast can make kids feel tired and restless as their bodies need to refuel for the day ahead after going without food for hours during sleep. Their mood and energy levels drop if they do not eat a proper morning meal. It is for this reason that NESTLÉ MILO, is committed to nourishing our nation’s children with the energy they need to go further and reach their potential.

According to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Africa Region, the continent will not be able to address under-nutrition and obesity-related diseases or meet global nutrition goals if the quality of our food does not change.

“In recognition of this fact we have developed the new and improved NESTLÉ MILO recipe with 26% less sugar, more malt, more cocoa and more milk to give the right nutrients that children need to be energised for the day. This is part of our commitment to meeting the ever-changing consumer demand and providing healthier and tastier choices,” says Adedoja Ekeruche, Business Executive Officer – Dairy at Nestlé. 

The new NESTLÉ MILO Breakfast Energy Drink has 26% less sugar, which equates to less than a teaspoon of added table sugar in a glass as compared to the original recipe. The rest of the sugar comes from lactose in dairy based ingredients and barley malt extract. The product also contains Carbohydrates, proteins, fat, vitamins and minerals to support children’s growth and development.

While the energy needs of children are different, it remains pivotal to ensure that they consume a healthy intake of calories along with essential nutrients. Educating and encouraging parents and caregivers to realise the importance and value of breakfast in the development of our future leaders is a priority for NESTLÉ MILO. 

To achieve this, NESTLÉ MILO hosted A Champions Breakfast Day on Saturday, 13 April in Nasrec, Johannesburg where South Africans had the opportunity to engage with nutritionists and dieticians from NESTLÉ. This gave the nation the opportunity to have breakfast and nutritional myths debunked.

“With over 800 friends and families gathered at this event, we had the unique opportunity to demonstrate how one serving of NESTLÉ MILO provides nutritionally balanced nutrients and teach parents how to overcome the challenges they may have with preparing breakfast. We recognise the role of product innovation to encourage parents to establish healthy breakfast habits with a taste that their kids love,” concludes Ekeruche.


Planet Fitness took over Nelson Mandela Square this past Saturday (2 March 2019) for their well attended SWEAT Workout Party, 800 people flocked to the square to for a fun-filled day of working out! The party started out with a warm up of yoga, followed by an exciting line-up of group exercise classes.

Platentfitness aerobics marathon at Nelson Mandela square on Saturday 02 march 2019. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/Backpagepix

We saw the crowd getting their “Zumba on” and dancing up a storm in the square followed by a Planet Fitness exclusive Brazilian Booty Blast™ . The Brazilian Booty Blast focuses on booty sculpting with a variety of lower body exercises performed to upbeat Brazilian music. The MC Siv Ngesi encouraged all to “burn and shake that booty, in his words, if it wasn’t burning-it wasn’t working”, we are certain it was working!

Platentfitness aerobics marathon at Nelson Mandela square on Saturday 02 march 2019. Photo: Christiaan Kotze/Backpagepix

One of the highlights of the day was the newest addition to the Planet Fitness schedule which was unveiled at the end.

“We were extremely happy with the turnout and energy at our SWEAT Workout Party, a success through and through and we hope to build on this success and do this again, possibly in other regions, so that everyone gets the chance to experience a unique day of exhilarating workouts, pumping music, expert trainers and lots of fun” says Planet Fitness CEO, Manny Rivera.

All classes part of the event are available in selected Planet Fitness gyms nationwide. Visit clubs & schedules to find out more or follow Planet Fitness:

Sugar: The Enemy of Progress

It’s the beginning of the new year and a number of people have set health goals that involve good or clean eating. “Cut down on carbohydrates and reduce sugar” is the first thing you get told when you want to lose weight or adopt a healthy lifestyle. However, how many of us eat foods that ‘seem’ to be healthy only to find that they have the very ingredients that we are trying to stay away from?

Reducing sugar sounds very simple right? You just need to stop buying sweets and sweet food like cakes and cookies, pour less or no sugar in your tea or coffee and stay away from fizzy and sugary drinks etc. Well it’s bit more complicated than that. Did you know that sauces, salad dressings, spices and spreads have hidden sugar that you may not be aware of? Ever noticed how sweet fruit-flavoured yoghurt is? According to The Clean-Eating Diet excessive sugar consumption can lead to weight gain and health problems such as diabetes and heart disease. An article in Popular Science states that based on American guidelines, the recommended daily amount of sugar for women is 25 grams,  38 grams for men and under 25 grams for children. I have compiled a list of top 5 foods that contain sugar, some you may be aware of and some you might not.


A lot of people add yoghurt to their cereal or choose it as a healthy snack during the day, adding it to fruit or enjoying it as it is. I stopped eating fruit-flavoured yoghurt when I realised how sweet it tasted (and I added it to my muesli almost every day). Now how many of us check the nutritional label when buying yoghurt? Flavoured yoghurt contains about 10 grams of sugar per 100 gram serving, which is almost half of the recommended sugar intake for women, in one snack. The alternative to flavoured yoghurt is plain yoghurt, which contains about 5 grams of sugar per 100 gram serving.     

Packaged Fruit

Canned fruit is loaded with sugar because of the syrup that is used to preserve the fruit. Dried fruit is “dehydrated” which means its nutritional content (including sugar) is concentrated. It’s easy to get carried away eating dried fruit because it is a healthy snack, but fresh fruit is the best alternative because it has natural juice that keeps you hydrated and it’s generally better to eat fresh fruit.


We assume that kids’ cereals are the ones that are loaded with sugar. That’s obvious because of how colourful they look and how sugary they are. However, there are cereals that really look healthy, but you are not aware of how much sugar they really have. Take muesli for example, a lot of people like to buy the variant that has fruit and nuts and all that ‘good stuff’. An article published on Live Strong advises that we avoid muesli brands that contain added sugar, syrup, honey and sweeteners. Rather add fresh fruit, seeds and nuts to plain muesli (no sugar added options) to avoid the unnecessary sugar. 

Sauces and salad dressings

We all enjoy pasta and salad (which is healthy), but have you checked the sugar content in your sauces and salad dressings? Many pasta sauces contain about 6 to 12 grams of sugar per half cup serving, something that may be hard to believe because pasta sauce doesn’t taste sweet right?  When it comes to salad dressing, WebMD highlights that sweet salad dressings like raspberry vinaigrette and French to mention a few, have the most sugar. These dressings contain up to 7 grams of sugar in 2 tablespoons, now that’s shocking. Rather opt for home made dressings made with ingredients like vinegar, olive oil, lemon or lime juice or look for dressings with lower sugar content.

Energy drinks

Sometimes we turn to energy drinks for a boost, which we think we’ll get from the caffeine, but do you know how much sugar there is in that drink? A 440ml can of Play energy drink has 51.5 grams of sugar, that is about 10 teaspoons of sugar in 1 can. Now that is way above the recommended daily intake of sugar and while it might give you an energy boost, it is definitely detrimental to your health and progress. Consider healthy alternatives of boosting your energy because they will be more sustainable in the long run. 

On a final note, just a word of caution, foods that are low fat or fat free usually contain more sugar than full cream options because they need more added sugar to make up for the loss in flavour. Make sure you read the labels on the food packages to ensure that you know just how much sugar is added to the food that you consider as healthy, you might just change your mind and seek alternatives. Tell us about other foods with high sugar content that you were not aware of but are now trying to cut down or cut out altogether.

Five things you need to start running

At the beginning of each year people usually set goals for themselves for the year ahead. Everyone has different goals, some people set goals for the number of books they would like to read before the year ends whilst others set fitness goals.  Whatever goal you set for yourself, it is valid and you should go out there and smash it.

A lot of people ask me what is it that they need to start running because they are unfit or they have never ran before. Some want to have all the “right things” in place before they start running or some simply don’t know how to start. Below are some of the tangible and intangible things that I think people need to get from the couch to at least 5KM.

1. A Prepared Mind

Most people fail to run before they even start. Starting something for the first time is usually challenging and requires a shift in the mindset, you got to tell yourself that you can do it. This might sound a bit cliché but it’s true, many marathon runners will also tell you that you after the half way mark it is your mind that will carry you through the race when your body fails you. Being mentally prepared is equally important as your physical preparation.

2. Comfortable Clothes

The beauty about running is that it a low-maintenance sport compared to cycling for example.  To ensure that you have the best experience running, you need to wear comfortable clothes that are suitable for different weather conditions e.g track suits, shorts, tights, vests etc. Nylon and polyester fabrics are usually good because they are sweat-wicking, breathable and non-absorbent. Ladies would need supportive sports bras.

3. Good Running Shoes

If there is one thing you need to invest in for running is a good pair of shoes. You need to get the right shoes for you because a good shoe for me may not necessarily be good for you. Wearing the wrong the shoe whilst running can cause you injuries. To find out which shoe is good for you, visit specialist active gear store such as The Sweatshop where experts can evaluate your foot and running style and recommend the right shoes for you.

4. Watch/Phone/App

When you run you might want to keep track of your pace, heartrate, the amount of calories you burn and the distance. There are various devices that you can use like smart watches, smartphone, chest straps, optical wrist sensors etc. If you can’t afford any of these devices you can simply use your smartphone and download a running app like Strava which keeps track of the distance, elevation gain, calories and your pace.

5. Running buddy or Running Crew

Running alone can be a bit a challenging. Izaak Walton once said “good company in a journey makes the way seem much shorter”. You need to find yourself a running buddy that you can be accountable to and that will be accountable to you on days where you don’t feel like running or the going is getting tough. You will motivate each other. You can also join a running crew, for example #RunWithPat if you are in Johannesburg.  #RunWithPat caters for both novice and professional runners.

By considering the above mentioned things you should be fine to start running. Remember you feel minor pains after running, don’t be discouraged it is normal because your body would have done something out of the ordinary.

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