Emmanuel Nkuranga, the cofounder of Inema Arts Centre, is a visual artist who makes a living by painting, selling and exhibiting his pieces.
He is also muscled up and explains that maintaining his body is harder than achieving it and how to have a ‘James Bond Kind of calm’. Collins Mwai explored Nkuranga’s health routine.
Are you naturally muscled up or do you exercise to achieve that?
I exercise at least three times a week, I do a lot strength routines like cardiovascular exercises and jogging. I also swim often. I have a routine where I run for one-and-a-half hours and then work out for an hour. I have always engaged in physical exercises as I used to be a basketball player and had ambitions of playing professionally.
We also have yoga at our art centre so I engage in it for its mental, physical and spiritual gains. It provides me a chance to meditate, good for respiratory and cardiovascular system. It gives you that ‘James Bond kind of calm’. Exercises are good in building one’s confidence and enable you to sleep well at night.
Are your exercise self-administered or do you have a trainer?
My sessions are self-administered. I watch training and exercise sessions of athletes I look up to like LeBron James or Usain Bolt. I used to go for boxing classes but have held back a bit. At times when I am out of the country I train with some health clubs and that enables me to become my own trainer.
Any exercise you wish you could take more often?
It would probably be bike riding and swimming. Swimming because it exercises the whole body. I also wish I had more time to take advantage of the hilly landscape and walk around. That’s exercise on its own.
As a muscled up guy, which is easier; having the body or maintaining it?
Maintaining the body is harder than achieving it. You can easily have a good body but keeping it that way with the food you eat and burning calories you take in is the harder part. At times it is hard to stay away from certain foods.
So what foods do you stay away from?
Fatty foods, fast foods, red meat and foods rich in calories. There are many healthy and natural foods with less calories and are even good for brain development. I ensure that I take natural foods which are common around and lots of vegetables and fruits.
How do artists handle their drink?
A glass of wine occasionally is good for you but keep count of your glasses, smoking will put you down. I would be hesitant to recommend anyone to take beer because of the quantity of calories contained and when not burned could cause one to have a prominent belly.
Since you have had a chance to travel the world, what unhealthy habits have you observed?
Smoking is a universally unhealthy trait all over the world and there is probably no positive side to it. Alcoholism and excessive drinking too is common in most places around the world.
Another common trait I have observed is unbalanced diets and junk food which could easily lead to obesity.
How do you handle exhaustion and fatigue? Energy drinks?
At times I work late into the night and to stay away I have a cup or two of coffee but nothing excessive. I don’t use energy drinks as they are not good for your kidney since they are purely artificial.
I also don’t and have never used steroids or protein shakes; they have side effects later on. Under normal circumstances, I think it is important to sleep for about seven hours to avoid fatigue and for the body to function well.
As a travelled Rwandan, what habits do you think should be embraced locally?
It is common to see most people preferring fast foods or junk food to the natural food. We should consume fruits and vegetables more. At times you can see people selling the good stuff like fruits to buy snacks and unhealthy bites. We should take advantage of the natural food available.
Health tips you live by?
Don’t be too busy for your health, as much as you have to pay bills, ensure you have time for exercise. Don’t get carried away by life’s demands that you don’t have time to stay healthy.