As a part of our Thinking Big interview series, we spoke with Pakistani writer, Sarah Kamal Muggo, who recently wrote her first book, Fitness Fun, Nutrition and Lifestyle in Pakistan! This book is a great resource for people who want to improve their health and lifestyle choices. It is a compilation of carefully vetted exercise tips, fitness goals, and nutrition advice. It also includes interviews with personal trainers in Pakistan who talk about their fitness and health routines. Sarah Muggo pretty much wrote the first of its kind book about Pakistan’s fitness landscape. The book's official release date is April 19th!
1) What inspired you to write a book about fitness and healthy lifestyles?
I was always searching for an optimal combination of exercise and diet that would enhance my health and happiness, not make me miserable. After a lot of trial and error, I stumbled upon my own personal formula for weight change. When I say weight change, I mean weight loss, weight gain (yes, some people need to gain), or weight maintenance. I want to share my knowledge, research and experience with Pakistani females struggling to achieve their own unique goals. Professionals have also backed these insights and suggestions.
2) What steps did you take to gather research and information for your book?
I initially planned to pursue a career in medicine, but ended up with a Masters in English. Since I wanted to stay connected to medicine and biology, I decided to get an ICS Diploma in Fitness and Nutrition. My own background in fitness and nutrition, coupled with guidance from health and fitness professionals, helped me gather research for my book. Professional trainers from Kenya who work in Lahore, and Pakistani nutritionist, Dr. Kanwal Saba, edited the book. A lot of research is built on the western experience. However, since Pakistan's food and lifestyle are very different, I've made sure the research also caters to a Pakistani-Asian audience.
3) What are some current health and fitness trends you’ve observed in Pakistan?
Pakistan has a fast developing fitness industry. International level fitness classes like HIIT, Cardio-Kickboxing, Yoga, Pilates and Boot Camps (e.g. the 42DAYCHALLENGE) are all the rage. Qualified trainers in major cities are offering post and prenatal classes. Organic food has also planted itself in a big way.
4) What purpose do you want the book to serve for your readers?
The purpose is simple: highlight the correct and practical way to achieve a healthy lifestyle while keeping Pakistani conditions in mind. People can do effective workouts and eat well without depriving themselves.
5) What are your top three health and nutrition tips?
• Drink enough water and stay hydrated, at least 2 litres daily. Water helps boost your metabolism, keeps your skin soft and detoxifies your body.
• Cardio and weightlifting are one of the best things you can do to strengthen your body and improve metabolic health.
• Make fruit and vegetables an essential part of your diet. They contain hidden antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
6) Life motto?
If you work hard at anything you want to achieve, some result is bound to show up.