I hope your third week of 2018 is off to a good start? Welcome back to episode fifteen of Tizi Talks with Mathangani Kariuki! I am so excited to share this feature because I have known him from high school all through to university and his fitness journey is so inspiring. He is currently based in Sydney as a full time pharmacist but still manages to find time to fix in his workouts. If you follow him on social media or know him personally, you must be aware of his dedication and complete transformation! I had to feature him on this series because through his story, we will see how fitness can be benefitial to the young upcoming professional. We got to chatting and this is what he had to say...
TIZI: How old are you?
MK: I am 25.
TIZI: How long have you been working out?
MK: I have been working out properly, consistently and strictly for about 3.5 years now. I would also say this is the time I have been following a strict diet, routine and a healthy wholesome lifestyle. I started going to the gym in my first year at university when I was 18/19 but this was very intermittent and with a horrible diet and lifestyle.
TIZI: What made you start?
MK: I just wanted to improve my body image and look good. I'd never say I was fat in my later years of life, but I wasn't healthy at all and was never proud of my body. It really didn't bother me, but I wanted to have a body I was proud of and excited to see in the mirror.
TIZI: Do you feel like it has made a difference in your life? If yes, how so?
MK: Yes I would definitely say it has made a huge impact on my life. It has given me a wholesome life and attitude. Exercising is a natural stress reliever and it raises your endorphin levels, which leads to improved mood and general happiness. A lot of people don't know this, but in health care when people are feeling a bit low and seeking help for low or depressed mood, exercise is one of the first behavioral modifications recommended before any drug therapy. I wake up happy and with energy every day and I can attribute this to health, wellness and fitness.
TIZI: Can you please take me through your daily fitness routine on a weekday? And the weekend?
MK: I go to the gym about 5 times a week and do yoga once a week. My gym training involves general weight lifting, progressive hypertrophy, and a weekly hatha yoga class to help with my mobility, flexibility and relaxation. Being a pharmacist requires me to work on some weekends but I still make time to go to the gym. I ensure to do my 5 days and one yoga session a week. I like to have a full rest day where I don't do much.
TIZI: Do you find it difficult to include your workout in your daily routine?
MK: No. Not at all. I just need plan myself well and right.
TIZI: What keeps you motivated?
MK: The gains! Improvements in my body, strength, attitude and approach to life keep me going. I'm also quite fortunate to live in Sydney which is a very fitness driven city. Fitness and wellness are a huge part of the daily life here, so if you are slacking there are always 10 people behind you to give you that push and shove.
TIZI: What would you advise people who want to start their fitness journey?
MK: It takes time.
- Don't look on Instagram and see these 8 week transformation challenge pictures and believe them. You have to be patient. I'm hardly where I want to be in regard to my fitness and wellness goals, but I'm patient and taking it all at a stride.
- Diet is key and crucial. You simply CANNOT out train a bad and crappy diet. So it doesn't matter if you are putting in hours at the gym. If your diet is crap, you won't get the results you want. Also consider that you want to nourish your body and take care of it, a poor diet will not do that.
- Don't drink too much. I feel like alcohol is one thing that people really underestimate; so if you are serious about your fitness and wellness, watch your alcohol intake as it really does affect one's weight, body fat composition and general health.
- And finally, people think supplements are a key essential ingredient; they really aren't. A good diet with all the right nutrients and a good training routine is all you need. Don't get me wrong, supplements can be beneficial, but if you have a great diet, you really don't need them.
There is nothing that inspires me as much as seeing someone in their 20's being this invested in their health. As Mathangani said, fitness has a direct positive effect on your life and attitude. He also accurately explains that exercising is a natural stress reliever which leads to improved mood and general happiness! I hope his story encourages you to keep staying active because the benefits will pour into every aspect of your life.
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” – Jim Rohn
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