When it comes to fitness and wellness, most people are aware that exercising is good for one’s health, however intentionally implementing physical activity into one’s routine is an entirely different battle on its own. Having the motivation and discipline to regularly break a sweat regardless of your body type, is a recurring choice you have to constantly make, which is easier said than done. Nonetheless, there are endless benefits to working out, whereby improvements can be seen in the physical, mental and social realm of one’s life, to mention a few.
So, to set us off into the world of physical wellness, I reached out to two fitness enthusiasts with completely different styles of working out.
On the one hand we have Jicky Amunyela who is a gym fanatic and can probably deadlift your current mass with ease [trust me he can], whilst on the other hand we have Joseph Ndozi-Okia who embraces the outdoor terrain. They’ve both come a long way and continue to grow on their fitness journeys and perhaps something about their passions and motivations will get you started on yours.
Jicky Amunyela – The Gym Fanatic
Besides the physical aesthetic that tends to be emphasized from exercising, people sometimes forget to mention how beneficial it can be for your mental health. Individuals who regularly find or make time to exercise do so because it makes them feel good and provides a sense of well-being. One feels more positively about themselves and their thoughts may drift away from their own negative criticism. Jicky can attest to this as he too once wasn’t content with the state of his health and that generally puts a damper on your everyday life, if you’re not too careful. And with that he decided to make a life-changing decision, which was to be the best version that he could be and show up for himself with these three simple steps:
- Visualize your goals
- Plan on how you can achieve your goals
- Execute your plan and consistently do so until you see results
Ever since embarking on his fitness journey, a single word that would describe his entire experience is cinematic. People only get to see the success of his efforts, without realising that with it came a series of falls, bad days, injuries and various setbacks. However, those very challenges allowed him to grow, accomplish more and break personal records within his own right. An experience he describes as addictive.
Motivation is fuel, and fuel will always eventually run out, hence identify your Why. Once you know Why you’re doing something and how important your Why is to you, you will not stop! You may slow down, but you will keep finding a reason as to Why you just have to get it done. That will create a different type of discipline in you that won’t necessarily need motivation anymore. – Jicky Amunyela
His training philosophy is to Record, Review, Repeat and Improve. Jicky’s top three gym workouts include traditional compound exercises, which work multiple muscle groups simultaneously and stimulate overall muscle growth. These are:
- The Squat
- The Bench Press
- The Deadlift
So, if you ever needed a sign to get that gym membership you’ve been putting off, this is your sign [winks].
Joseph Ndozi-Okia – The HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) Enthusiast
Joseph’s approach to training consists of a lot more high-intensity interval training (HIIT), which are combinations of short bursts of intense cardio exercises, with short periods of rest or lower-intensity movements. In addition to that, he does strength training, stair conditioning drills and overall explosive movements.
Doing a HIIT session improves your general mood for the entire day, this is no surprise as exercise triggers the release of hormones and neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine, endorphins [happy hormones] and norepinephrine. Hence, we already witness the emotional and psychological benefits of working out, imagine making it a lifelong lifestyle. Furthermore, performing HIIT workouts does not require equipment, thus you can be physically active in the comfort of your own home and best of all, adapted to your level of fitness.
Perhaps you have a busy schedule and a lot of tasks to get done on your to do list. Thankfully, HIIT workouts can be done in less than 30 mins. Jumping rope is an example of a cardio/HIIT workout one can perform almost anywhere, at any time and is great for beginners. If you don’t want to be in the same spot, perhaps you could try running in the form of high-speed sprinting followed by 1 minute of walking and repeat this for at least 10 minutes. Other forms of cardio that Joseph also enjoys are hiking and long walks, of which anyone can do.
In addition, with fitness comes nutrition. In order to maintain your physical well-being, there is a 70/30 rule whereby 70% is from the food you eat, 30% is from exercising and 100% is from dedication [Ha, got you]. Consequently, nutrition plays a vital role in achieving your fitness goals and the saying you are what you eat comes to mind. An aspect similarly expressed by both Jicky and Joseph. Nonetheless, we all have our cheat days and after those, Joseph recommends that one stays hydrated by drinking plenty of water and doing cardio like running or taking a walk.
My fitness journey has been the best thing that I have ever embarked upon. Looking back at how far I have come, I am glad that I made an intentional change. It has been and continues to be life changing!– Joseph Ndozi-Okia
Ultimately, there are a multitude of benefits which result from maintaining or simply trying to attain overall wellness of one’s health. Exercising increases your metabolism and depending on your personal goals, you can lose weight, build muscle or simply maintain your size, either way you have nothing to lose. As witnessed, working out helps improve one’s confidence, self-esteem and general outlook on life. It is also a perfect outlet to release accumulated frustrations occurring from everyday life. And with that dear reader, I hope you seek to physically challenge yourselves, establish what works for you and to just keep it moving.
Find your WHY.