Many people start out a new year feeling energized to make the changes they need to love their best lives. However, a few months into the new year, that initial burst of energy may be extinguished, and healthy habits put in place may become difficult to maintain. Especially in our busy modern lives, where work and family take priority, leaving little space for self-care.

“Maintaining my mental, physical and spiritual health is so important if I am to maintain the breakneck pace of modern life, work pressure, juggling home-life, family and friends” says Alex Brits, Managing Director , Intouch Relocations, Africa. “Our cities, their dwellers and their culture are changing, making it easier and more fun than ever to achieve our personal health goals and live our best lives, by providing a wide variety of excursive and outdoor opportunities, as well as convenient healthy eating options. Somewhat counter-intuitively perhaps, technology can help us support these goals too”

It is important that whatever healthy changes you choose to implement, are sustainable, fitting easily into your existing lifestyle and routine, but also impactful enough to show results and keep you motivated.

Dubai and Johannesburg are two cities that have fully embraced the health craze! Here are some ideas to keep your “New Year” enthusiasm all year long:

1.Get out into the great outdoors:

One of the main benefits of Both Africa and the Middle East, is the mostly sunny and warm weather conditions all year round. Take advantage of these by finding activities that take you into the outdoors, giving you the benefit of a heart elevating workout while also being restorative, good for the soul, not to mention those Vitamin D levels! In Dubai in particular, take advantage of the ocean and the many opportunities it offers for water sports such as kite surfing, surfing, wake boarding as well as a 14 km beach path, perfect for walking, running or cycling. There are several outdoor gyms, which take advantage of the temperate winters in Dubai:

Dubai outdoor Fitness

Johannesburg, too, has a fabulous climate, offering many opportunities for outdoor fitness. In spite of its lack of ocean frontage, Johannesburg has several beautiful nature strips and green belts within the city which are great for walking, running and cycling, but for safety reasons it is important to walk in groups or join a running or cycling club:

Johannesburg Outdoor Fitness

2. Find your fitness tribe

There are so many fitness classes and gyms to choose from, that it is possible to find your fitness kindred spirits and build a support network that will motivate you to achieve your goals. This is also a great way to build connections in your community, which is vital to good mental health. Here are just a few:



3.Learn a new skill

Taking up a new hobby or learning a new skill can help to keep you motivated, improve mental health, keep your mind shark, meet new people and make sure you stay on top of your game in 2020 and beyond. Take an online course, learn a music instrument, take a cooking or dance class or join a sports club. The options are endless.

4.Make healthy food choices easy

By planning ahead, you can make choosing the healthy option easy and convenient.Bring healthy snacks and meals to work or have them delivered. Food deliver apps such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo (Dubai) and Mr D (South Africa) make finding and ordering healthy ‘take-out’ easier than ever. And there are many purveyors of everything imaginable from healthy ingredients to ready-made meals that we are spoiled for choice!


Health Food Shops:
  • Organic Foods & Café: Several stores located across Dubai and a delivery service (order online or through their app). Stocking everything from organic produce, bakery, frozen foods, meat, fish and poultry, dry goods.
  • Organic & Real Vegan and organic specialty store
  • Food 4 Life: Organic produce and essentials delivered to your home or office
Cook at home food box services
  • Hello Chef: home cooking made easy. Fresh ingredients and recipes delivered weekly to your home including low-carb, family-friendly and vegan recipes.
  • Cook A Box: fresh ingredients and recipes delivered weekly. Choose meal plans from classic, honest, family or vegetarian
  • Best Mode Nutrition: monthly diet plan includes 3 meals and snacks for 20 days delivered 5 times per week catering for paleo, ketogenic, gluten free, lactose-free, vegetarian and plant-based with. Best for athletes.
  • Kcal Extra: breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks delivered daily to your door and a wide variety of meals to choose from.
  • RightBite: Each day, you’ll receive breakfast, lunch, dinner, two snacks, and two sides to go with lunch and dinner from an array of meal plans which include a weight loss option, low carb, fuel up, simple healthy eating
  • My Sixpak: designed specially designed keeping in mind your gender and your goal. The four packages include ToneUp and CurveUp for women, and LeanUp and BulkUp for men. paelo, dairy free, gluten free, allergies, intolerances
  • Detox Delight: Delivered 24-hour meal and juice plan, predominantly raw and vegan. Good for occasional detox but not full time.
  • Live’ly: Meal programmes are based on a weekly changing menu published on its website. All dishes are free of animal fats and butter, whilst desserts are prepared with natural fruit sugar, fructose
More food delivery options
  • Essentially: liquid cleanse diet
  • Fruitful Day: communal fruit boxes delivered to your office.
  • Munchbox: healthy guilt-fee snacks, such as nutty mixes, energy balls and protein pebbles.
  • Ripe: as well as the well known markets, Ripe is an organic farm shop with a walk-in store and online delivery. Order a Ripe Box and it is packed with all manner of fruits and vegetables as well as some eggs and dairy for Dhs229.
Healthy Restaurants


Health Food Shops:
Cook at home food box services
  • UCOOK: weekly meal subscription box. Choose from Health Nut, Easy Peasy and Vegetarian
  • Daily Dish: Daily Dish delivers a range of dinner boxes and wine boxes every week. Perfectly-portioned, quality ingredients and recipes in refrigrated boxes
  • Day To Day: ingredient and recipe delivery service with a fresh menu developed each week using free range and locally sourced ingredients
  • Harvest Box: recipes and ingredients for up to 4 dinners per week including family, classic and vegetarian plans
Healthy ready-meals
  • Frozen For You: designed by Chef Karen Short of By Word Of Mouth fame, these delicious ready made meals come frozen, ready to be heated and served to either family or a dinner part of guests. Available in stores or delivered
  • Plated: ready-made meals delivered to your door. Order online. Choose from various diet plan options
  • Daily Dietitian: dietitian approved, chef prepared freshly made meals delivered
  • Fit Chef: ready made meals for a variety of diet plans, and snacks, drinks, supplements, delivered weekly.
  • Fit Food 4 U: Order packages on line, delivered in 24 hours
More food delivery options
Healthy Restaurants

We hope that you have found this a valuable resource, especially if you are a newcomer to Johannesburg or Dubai. Please feel free to share it with your friends in the spirit of #PlentyTwenty

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