Usisipho ‘Usi’ Nteyi has a unique outlook, choosing to embrace things that scare her to fully experience life, which has sparked her love affair with running.

Running a marathon is something that terrifies me – 42.2 km is a long distance, but that is exactly why I started running.”

Usi wants to embrace the challenge and face her fears in search of personal growth and development – both mental and physical.

She believes facing a daunting task can teach important lessons about failure and chasing your dreams.

Personal stats

  • Age: 27
  • Occupation: Professional stunt performer
  • IG: @usimoves.alot 

“It’s important that you don’t take yourself too seriously. Realise that it’s okay to make a u-turn and start again, and that you don’t need to wait to chase your dreams. You don’t need to wait for the start of a new year, month, or week, or a new chapter in your life. Start where you are with what you have.”

And that is part of the allure of running for Usi – its simplicity. “You really don’t need much to run – just a pair of running shoes, your mind, and your breath. Just put one foot in front of the other and you’re running!”

READ MORE | Usisipho Nteyi Is SA’s New Face Of Fitness

You can follow Usi on her journey to running a marathon by connecting on Instagram and online at

If you need more reasons to start running today (beyond Usi’s inspirational words), consider the following benefits:

1. You’ll lose weight and burn fat

Running is a high impact weight-bearing activity, making it one of the most effective exercises for losing weight.

While many people will tell you that this makes running risky in terms of injury, if you’re strong and supple (and injury free), the impact and the resultant high intensity is actually beneficial.

That’s because the relative effort required to run means you’ll burn more calories per minute than just about any other activity.

2. There are many health benefits

Running improves your health by strengthening your cardiovascular and respiratory systems. That means a healthier heart, better circulation and more efficient lungs. It also boosts your immune system.

3. Your brain benefits, too

Research shows that running can improve your brain function in numerous ways. One of the major benefits is that it improves brain plasticity – it’s ability to change.

This happens as new connections (neurons) develop between cells in various important brain areas. Aerobic exercise also promotes new brain cell formation, which improves various functions, including memory, movement and cognitive function (your ability to think and reason).

4. You’ll feel better

Running releases endorphins – those ‘feel-good’ hormones such as serotonin and dopamine that can elevate your mood.