When did you enter the world of healthy living?
There's a very interesting story behind it. I became extremely unfit during my A' levels, indulging in fast food whenever possible. One day, as I walked up the stairs to our apartment, I became breathless, feeling sick to the core. That's exactly when I realised that I must draw a conclusion to my unhealthy lifestyle, and immediately joined a gym for recovery.
Was it an easy process?
Of course not! I had the hardest time ever. But a talented trainer by the name of Rana, who I am thankful to even to this day, helped me overcome the fatigue and get me back into shape. But determination was always there. I wanted to prove to myself and the rest of the world that it was possible to get back into shape, no matter how unhealthy I had become. I guess that rigid attitude helped.
How important is diet and nutrition in the process of keeping fit?
Keeping fit and healthy is synonymous to regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet. You can't have one without the other. There must be a combination of both. When I began my journey into healthy living, I didn't know as much about adequate nutrition and its benefits. Things were very different back then, and we couldn't download a diet chart with the click of a button. I had to do a lot of research, discover my exact body type and its daily requirements – to be able to achieve what I have today.
For fitness enthusiasts, in general, I can acknowledge that nutrition is extremely important and it differs with every body type. And a proper diet can only be taken from an expert, who will prepare an individualised chart based on every single person's differing needs.
People want their children to become, doctors, engineers, scientists – you became a fitness coach. How difficult was it for you?
My parents have always been supportive. In fact, it was my father who helped me in setting up my first fitness studio in a corner of our apartment, back in 2009. My clients, right from the start, were extremely refined and educated, and already aware about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. But I do agree that other people in general, certainly disapproved of my choice in profession. But I did prove them wrong over time, didn't I? And now, the entire world is obsessed with healthy living. I am proud to be a trendsetter in this respect.
Do you still train people on a 'one-on-one' basis?
It's very difficult for me to train every single client personally, but I keep myself updated on their physique, nutritional and training requirements. Furthermore, I have trained each and every trainer at my studio personally, so they all know my style and follow it thoroughly. There's also one unique thing that I maintain. I never train an already trained fitness coach, because it becomes very hard for them to forget what they had already learned and adjust to my style. I am not saying that there's no alternative to my style, but this is what got me and my clients to where we are today, and I am only comfortable with that.
Ruslan's Studio has re-opened a few days back. What do you have to say to your clients about the safety and security measures during the pandemic?
I encourage healthy clients with no pre-existing, comorbid conditions to come visit the gym regularly, as keeping fit will help increase their immunity levels and ensure direct protection from COVID-19. Clients are also encouraged to be self-aware about maintaining social distance, wearing masks when necessary and leave the premises as soon as they are done with their exercise. Other than that, I can only request everyone to try a bit of stretching every day, get some sunlight whenever possible, take supplements based on necessity, and eat healthy during the new normal. Only a healthy lifestyle will boost our immune system and help us keep the virulent disease at bay.
Any words of encouragement to those seeking to enter the world of healthy and fit?
Yes, Of course! Why haven't you done so already? We all welcome you into this fabulous world, where you feel healthy, fit, and on top of the world, every moment in your life. If age or anything else has been stopping you till now, let me assure you again, there's no age limit to get into this lifestyle. Don't worry too much. If you fear the commitment that is necessary, let an expert handle you and in no time at all, you will discover that there was never an alternative to this very lifestyle.
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Photo: Ruslan Hossain