Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Africans Bringing Fit Back!

Welcome to the segment of Eights and Weights called 'Africans Bringing Fit Back!'. Today, our fit African is Kelechi Opara who is an Aviation Engineer that moonlights as a model in San Diego, California.

Eights and Weights: Hi Kelechi. So let's get right into it. I believe everyone has a different idea of what fitness is. So please explain our readers what fitness means to you.
Kelechi: When I first started working out, fitness meant being healthy, strong, and looking good. Now, fitness to me means staying healthy and maximizing my full potential. I believe that fitness does not just stop at the body, but includes the mental aspect as well; we need to align our minds to think a certain way. People separate physical from mental, but that is a mistake.

Eights and Weights: Just so most of our readers understand your point of view, did you grow up with the awareness of working out and eating right? And did you grow up with a healthy body image?
Kelechi: I grew up like many people did without any real drive or awareness about staying healthy. But I would say that I had a healthy body image. I did not have negative view of my body growing up.

Eights and Weights: So you grew up like most of us: eating unhealthy food with no real drive to stay physically active. How did you get into staying trim and healthy then?
Kelechi: When I took a break from college, I was idle and out of shape, and so exercise was a good outlet.

Eights and Weights: What are your work hours like, and what is your advice for someone working crazy hours and trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle?
Kelechi: Sometimes, I work as much as 80 - 90 hours per week, but I always make time to exercise. I believe people who say they don't have time to work out are making excuses. The most effective way to stay on track with a busy schedule is to plan ahead of time. Plan your workout routine and your meals ahead of time. You would be more efficient in the gym, avoid junk food, and see better results.

Eights and Weights: I have to ask. You told me you survive or carbohydrates and meat. Since most of us are afraid of carbs, and think meat is the enemy, can you give a little detail on your diet so we can change our way of thinking and try to apply it to our own lives?
Kelechi: My diet is non-linear, which means I eat different amounts of carbohydrates each day depending on how much I plan to work out that day. i.e. if I plan to work out more, I eat more carbs. I try to eat non-refined carbs, rather than carbs from processed foods. I also always have at least one gram of protein per pound of body weight (which is about 2 grams per kilogram). If people understood how food is utilized by the body, they wouldn't panic so much. When a person eats food, it is either converted to energy, stored as fat, or used to feed the muscles. I eat carbs early in the morning, about an hour before, and an hour after I work out. If you eat carbs about one hour before you work out, a lot of it would be expended as energy. If you eat carbs up to an hour after you work out, it would get oxidized as heat  and/or shuttled into muscles, depending on how hard you work out.

Eights and Weights: Finally, Kelechi, do you have any simple advice for our readers? I love simple practical advice because when it's realistic, people find themselves easily applying it.
Kelechi: One, plan your meal for the week ahead of time. Two, plan your workout schedule ahead of time. Three, when you eat is just as important as what you eat.

There you have it people! I hope you learned something new!

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...