How do you motivate yourself to exercise, despite your busy schedule?
Tell us a bit about your blog and what people can expect to find on it.
Anything you're currently working on?
My name is Kodjo Hounnaké, and I manage the health blog full time, and work at a Hedge Fund as an investment analyst, also full time (life’s short so multi-tasking is what get you to accomplish your goals faster).
My story is a bit a typical. I’m originally from Togo, a nice little French-speaking country off the coasts of West Africa (grew up there most of my life), and decided to come to America years ago, to attend college and broaden my opportunities. So I took it upon myself to learn English (believe it or not by watching the Oprah Winfrey shows, lots of CNN, CSPAN, Cartoon Network, you name it). I bought a ton of English self-learning audio tapes, and through self-discipline and impregnable resilience, conquered the beast, against all odds!!
So with English now part of my arsenal, I came to the United States and started off in Atlanta, Georgia, attending Morehouse College (this is the same school Martin Luther King graduated from years ago). In any event, I studied finance, and later moved to New York City to work as an investment banker. I later migrated into the world of private equities, and now work at a hedge fund trading stocks and helping manage a multi-billion dollar portfolio of assets.
Working so many hours, it is so easy to unearth plenty of excuses to skip a workout for a day (make it a week; Nah, actually just shut it down completely). Being busy would have been an excellent excuse! But I realized soon enough that I was only fooling myself. Because without health, there’s no paycheck, for without health, there’s no work to go to…Sigh!! So I took it upon myself to devise a strategy to keep me motivated to exercise, and eat healthy.
I thought, a gym was a great way to work out in an environment full of other like-minded people, BUT… a gym could give me an excuse to skip workout (especially in the cold winter months). So I decided to learn a few home exercise routines called bodyweight workout, that I can easily perform at home, and that would be challenging enough to yield effective results. Also, these routines had to be done in less than 30-min because of my busy schedule.
So in the course of working on my new goal, I realized that 1) your body is your best and most reliable gym equipment and 2) your mind is your strongest muscle. Armed with this knowledge, I began to design workout routines that would focus on short-burst, super high intensity segments that push the body to its limit.
But it doesn’t stop there; you also have to incorporate healthy eating into your daily life, so I began to learn to understand the healthy, the not-so-healthy, and the downright junk! As a result, I quit eating McDonald’s (cold turkey), several years ago. It only took a documentary called Supersize Me, to give me enough willpower to break my ties with the red & yellow McDo’ clown!
Then I learnt that soda was toxic due to its aspartame content; and I learnt to stay away from white flour, and to drink at least half my body weight in ounce of water (that means at least 75 oz of water daily, since I weigh about 150lbs). I also learnt to walk more, and drive less, and take regular stairs instead of escalators. I learnt to watch less TV and sleep more.
These are just some of the positive things I learnt on my road to wellness, and I am looking forward to taking in as much more knowledge as I can handle. To all of you out there seeking to make positive healthy changes in your life, ask yourself the following question: If not now, then when!? Be healthy for the people that love you, but most importantly, be healthy for YOU! If you were wondering what some of my home workout routines look like, the below video is an example! Stay well and good luck!