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What we’ve achieved at the gym

Durane Muriithi
Durane Muriithi working out. PHOTO | COURTESY 

Sticking to an exercise regime year in, year out can be hard. Most people drop out of gyms after months or years.

Others religiously exercise but never lose the weight that they hoped to. BDLife talked to three fitness enthusiasts on what they have achieved so far by going to the gym.

“Believe it or not, I started working out because of idleness. This was about a year after finishing high school back in 2015. My friend and I decided to kill time in the gym before joining campus. Who would have thought that bodybuilding would become a lifestyle? I’ve been committed ever since. My current weight is at 84 kgs. I started at 63 kgs.

I go to the gym five days a week, mostly in the evenings.

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My favourite workouts involve exercising the chest and arms. When I started exercising, my appetite increased. Before, I would eat the standard three meals a day. Now, I eat four or five solid meals a day, which must have carbohydrates, protein, vitamins and healthy fats. Additionally, I drink a minimum of two litres of water a day.

I cut down on sugars and junk foods, but not entirely. I cut down on alcohol intake as well. I am very particular with what I allow inside my body.

Clothes from five years ago don’t fit well. I had to get a few sizes bigger and give away the old ones. My physical appearance changed as I’ve gained muscle.

Mentally, I feel better. I am more confident.

There is no better feeling than someone telling me, ‘you were the reason I started working out’, ‘because of you I didn’t give up’, or ‘I want to look like you’. Such comments motivate me to keep doing what I’m doing.

Exercising allows one to let off stress from work, school or relationships. It also helps with weight loss and muscle gain, depending on your goal, and can reduce risk of chronic diseases.

Nothing worthwhile ever comes easy. It isn’t easy to lose weight and it isn’t easy to build muscle. Be patient, disciplined and committed. As at the end of the day, great things take time. Having started exercising young, I hope to sustain working out into my 50s.”

“I’m a marketer and a student. I started going to the gym in July to get mental clarity. I was at a point where I was tired and unmotivated to do the bare minimum. So I decided to find something that would improve my overall well-being.

I weighed 66 kgs when I started and I have since lost five kgs.

I prefer to work out in the morning from 5.30am. I believe that starting the day with a good workout, makes you feel energetic throughout. I also make a point of going to the gym three to four times a week.

The treadmill is my absolute favourite in the gym.

For dietary change, I reduced my portions and stopped taking dairy. I eat more fruits and vegetables since I started working out.

The gym has greatly helped with increasing my energy levels, which in turn makes me perform my daily tasks better.

I started noticing the physical changes too. Other people did as well and complemented me, something that greatly boosted my confidence. I generally feel healthier and happier. It is a bit challenging at first, but once you get the hang of it, your physical and mental health will improve drastically.”

“I work as a media manager. I’ve been going to the gym consistently since high school. At first, my goal was to be fit to play rugby. But my perception has evolved over the years. I used to weigh 78 kgs. I’ve built a lot of muscle over the years, now I am 91 kgs.

I prefer working out in the morning because I believe it is the best way to kick-start the day. Evening exercises make me tired. I find it easier to wake up early and work out, than look in the mirror each day and not like the excess weight or fats.

I’m at the gym at least three times in a week.

My favourite exercises are squats as they really help with the core muscles.

Since I started going to the gym, I avoid unhealthy foods. Also, I sleep early so that I can get ample time for muscle recovery.

Physically, I am in good shape, which I believe it is one step closer to confidence.

Mentally, working out has taught me to never give up and to push boundaries in all that I do. Emotionally, I am able to release tension through working out. For me, the gym has more than just physical benefits — it is therapeutic.

The gym can help you discipline yourself in whatever you want to achieve and give you a very strong mind set. Once you treat your body well, it will treat you even better.

I’m in my 20s and I hope to sustain exercising into my 50s because it is a lifestyle to me.

It reduces chances of getting chronic diseases when old by improving insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular fitness and body composition, yet decrease blood pressure and fat levels. Who doesn’t want to look good in their 50s? My dad for example, has that drive to work out even in his 50s, he takes gym as an avenue to stay disciplined and young. When you look good, you feel good.”

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