Danica Sims

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Danica Sims


Cape Town, South Africa


Training and Hiking

Danica Sims

“You don’t know what you are able to do until you try."
Hi, I’m Danica (Dani or Nici for short) and am currently a student at the University of Cape Town.

My favourite things to do are eat and exercise (and sleep) which makes my gym obsession a good thing as it balances out my food addiction! Jokes aside, I think that I am like most people who struggle to balance healthy eating and fitness with everyday life – but I remind myself that this is a personal journey and not some sort of competition.

With OTG Active I hope to inspire and encourage others (and grow myself) towards a healthier lifestyle, and, importantly, promoting a wholistic wellbeing too. I am all for creating a supportive and caring community.

What is it that you enjoy most about your active lifestyle and what are your favourite activities to do?

Going to gym and working out is honestly the highlight of my day! Sometimes it is difficult and I don’t feel like it, but I have never regretted a workout – it is the best way to start the day or burn off stress and I always feel so much better afterwards.

A couple years ago, when I first joined the gym, I was completely clueless and terribly self-conscious. I had no plan or any idea of what to do. This lead to me join every gym class I could – it was a great way for me to learn different exercises, grow in confidence and make new friends.

But it was only last year (2017) when I decided to step up my exercise game with some goals – my first sprint-distance triathlon and half-marathon done! If, at the start of the year, you had told me that I would be ticking off a triathlon and half-marathon I would have NOT believed you in the slightest. Those achievements still encourage me today to challenge myself – you don’t know what you can do unless you try!

This year (2018) I have given up the cardio-craze to focus on weight-training for the first time – another new challenge and learning curve. I still have a long way to go but am already loving it and want to teach others the basics.

On the weekends we love to get outdoors and explore all that Cape Town has to offer – hiking somewhere along Table Mountain or open water swimming in Silvermine Nature Reserve are favourites of mine.

In general, I try to adopt a well-rounded approach to exercise; a mixture of weights, a little bit of cardio, stretching and getting outside to breathe in fresh air. A varied approach also keeps me interested and committed.

Share with us your Top 6 Tips to staying motivated?

  1. Everyone is DIFFERENT so do what works for YOU! If you love running then run, but if you hate running, then guess what, you don’t have to do it – try spinning or yoga! If you need a training buddy then grab a friend and head to a gym class or if you love being outside then join your local Parkrun. You are so much more likely to stick with your fitness goals if you enjoy it. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things and mix it up occasionally. 

  2. Don’t worry about anyone else. This is a tough one and I constantly struggle not to compare myself to others; but when you realise that you are on your OWN JOURNEY (with different fitness goals), then it makes it easier to stop looking at others and start loving yourself where you are at. 

  3. There are no such things as quick fixes (if there was then I would be doing it!) and don’t get swept away with the latest exercise craze or diet fad. Change is hard and slow (and sometimes discouraging) BUT if your focus is on sustainable and healthy LIFESTYLE changes, then that longer perspective really does help – lots of small steps lead to big change over time.

  4. You make time for what’s important. If fitness is a PRIORITY for you then you will set that alarm and get up when it goes off (with gym clothes laid out the night before and you work bag packed all ready for the next day). Be kind to yourself but also hold yourself accountable – no more excuses! Also set goals for yourself – the only reason I would do those long, torturous weekend runs was because I had my half-marathon entry stuck up on my fridge, constantly reminding me.

  5. Learn to laugh at yourself. My fitness journey has had many ups and downs, successes and failures; but, ultimately, I’ve learned to not take myself too seriously and rather to just enjoy the ride. Don’t stress so much about the scale or missing a session or embarrassing yourself by falling off a cardio machine (more than once – true story!) – just have fun! 

  6. An extra! I know we share the “perfect” photographs on social media but this fitness journey is NOT PRETTY! I don’t have “body goals” or a six-pack (unless you mean the six-pack of bagels I just ate?), things wobble and shake. Getting up before five every morning for gym isn’t a breeze. I don’t look like those fitness models who are somehow effortlessly squatting 100kg or running a marathon without breaking a sweat. I am red-faced and drenched (and just wanting to eat some chocolate already??) BUT I am there and trying. The struggle is real – you are not alone in this!

“Sims Story” is your lifestyle blog, tell us a bit more about the blog, how it came to be and what you like to feature?

I have always loved to write and use my blog as an outlet. I am married to an IT guy and photographer (which is perfect when you have a blog – he set it up and he takes all my beautiful pictures!)

Cape Town is home for us and we absolutely love living here with all its foodie options and outdoor activities. I usually feature our little “weekend adventures” on the blog – what markets we visited, where we went for brunch, descriptions of our latest hike, my favourite recipes, restaurant reviews and any travelling that we get up to. I just love sharing if we are doing anything exciting to give others ideas for their own “weekend adventures”.

More recently I have wanted to include more fitness related content and so I am thrilled to be sharing that here at OTG Active.

View the Sims Story here