Talking health & fitness with author & businesswoman Jesmane Boggenpoel

Jesmane strongwoman feature image

Author and businesswoman Jesmane Boggenpoel is a dynamic #strongwoman – she has experience in investments and private equity and was the former Head of Business Engagement for Africa at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland.

She has also served on multiple company boards, is a chartered accountant and holds a Masters Degree from Harvard University’s JFK School of Government.


Fitness bug bites at bootcamp

What you may not know is that she is also a keen boxer and fitness addict.

“It all started three years ago when I attended a health and fitness bootcamp in Croatia organised by the Young Global Leaders of the World Economic Forum.

“I was living in Switzerland at the time, so Croatia was not that far to travel and I jumped at the opportunity,” says Jesmane.

“At the bootcamp there was a fitness trainer, a physiotherapist and an Irish nutritionist, who worked with various Irish sports teams, who enlightened us on different ways of eating and the benefits of having a consistent sports regime.

“We also did workshops on behaviour change and how to prime yourself to train and eat better – such as having a water bottle on your desk and next to your bed to encourage you to drink more water.”

Although already doing the occasional CrossFit class, when she returned to Switzerland Boggenpoel became more disciplined with the exercise regimen as she found it really helped with cardio and strength training.

Fighting fit

After coming back home to South Africa, Boggenpoel signed up for Fight Club which, she says, is a combination of boxing and CrossFit.

“The trainers at my club are current or ex-professional boxers and the classes they hold are really intense and they push you. The trainers are tough – and told me there is no such thing as a ladies’ push up, forcing me to do the standard push ups. But I love it.”

It’s not only the physical aspect of the regimen that Boggenpoel follows, as she also supports her lifestyle with a healthy diet, which includes reduced processed carbs, healthy snacking and water, herbal tea without sugar and milk and the occasional freshly squeezed fruit juice for liquids.

“I start the day with warm water with apple cider vinegar – it helps me cleanse my system. Then I have muesli and Greek yoghurt. I find muesli to be a healthy carb that fuels me for the day.”

Boggenpoel is most proud of the fact that she is sharing her story with others and becoming an inspiration for others to change for the better.

Inspiring others

“Kego, a petrol attendant at my local garage recently told me she has changed her diet according to what I eat as she could see the results of my lifestyle for herself. That sort of feedback is truly inspiring and encouraging for me to not only keep going but to spread the word.”

Boggenpoel’s new book, My Blood Divides and Unites: Race Identity, Reconciliation, offers a universally powerful message, providing readers with a roadmap to self-discovery, reframing their personal stories, and becoming inspirational leaders for others so that all individuals, groups and nations can, as one, look toward the future with hope.

Now it seems she is set to do the same when it comes to her commitment to sharing her health and fitness message to her fellow South Africans.

Author: Pedro van Gaalen

When he’s not writing about sport or health and fitness, Pedro is probably out training for his next marathon or ultra-marathon. He’s worked as a fitness professional and as a marketing and comms expert. He now combines his passions in his role as managing editor at Fitness magazine.

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