Iranian civil engineer Yadi Ajdani was in his early 50s when he suffered a series of major health issues due to poor diet and lack of exercise. He then rebooted his lifestyle, got into mountain climbing and encouraged his children, including Sam, to go to the gym.
“Today, at 67, my father works out three times a week, and doesn’t get sick. I am amazed at how a change in outlook and lifestyle can bring results,” said Sam Ajdani (pronounced AJ-dani), Mr. World Philippines 2016.
Speaking at Watsons #GetActive Campaign press conference, Ajdani, an Iranian-Filipino model and aspiring fitness trainer, told the audience that you can always exercise at home if you don’t have time for the gym. He suggested classic cardio workouts such as skipping rope (which burns 10 calories a minute), exercise using body weight or weight resistance with water jugs, or doing arm dips and sit-ups on a chair.
Less than half
Watsons’ marketing director Viki Encarnacion quoted research as saying, “66 percent of Filipinos feel they know enough about health, but less than half exercise,” she said. The study cited that 57 percent don’t work out regularly to keep fit.
The insight is that Filipinos believe that being healthy is a must, but their busy schedules and traffic make them too tired to work out at the end of the day,” said Encarnacion. “We recommend other things you can do without spending two hours at the gym. You can eat right, climb stairs, walk and take deep breaths in the middle of a stressful day. It’s paying attention to nutrition, exercise and supplementation. Each person will have a nutrient gap. Your doctor can tell you what you need.”
Krista Tan, Watsons’ marketing manager, added, “We want to show the Filipinos that they can take small steps to maximize their health.”
The store encourages shoppers by offering discounts on select vitamins up to a certain time. “They can ask the pharmacist for vitamins, depending on age, gender and preferred forms—soft shell, tablets or capsules,” said Encarnacion.
Tan noted that consumers, particularly millennials, are more concerned with precautionary measures. “People used to equate health with drugs. For the younger market, it’s preventive health care.”
Encarnacion pointed out the trend of 20-percent increase in vitamin sales. “Vitamins C, E and multivitamins are the top performers. People are willing to take single vitamins, aside from their multivitamins,” she said.
She added that Watsons helped people in their fitness lifestyles by providing yoga mats, gym balls and Watsons water. The site Watsons Health provides information about diseases, tips on how to keep the brain sharp and weight management.
To inspire consumers, Watsons is offering 20-percent discount on select vitamins and supplements for a certain period. Cardholders of SM Advantage, SM Prestige, Primo and BDO Rewards can have a chance to win prizes. For a minimum P500 single-receipt of select products and vitamins, one can have the chance to win an economy-class ticket on Philippine Airlines to Bali, Guam or Sydney, or an iPhone & or iPad until June 28.
During the press conference, Barni Alejandro-Rennebeck, co-owner of the Sexy Chef, the diet delivery service, demonstrated two no-cook meals filled with nutrients.
The Greek salad contains chickpeas that lower cholesterol; violet cabbage for vitamin C; cucumber for hydration; romaine lettuce and cherry tomatoes with their cancer-fighting lycopenes; black olives; and feta cheese, which has less fat than regular cheese. The lemon dressing is sweetened with mustard and bacteria-fighting honey or coco sugar for diabetics.
Rennebeck described her dessert, chocolate, banana, oats and strawberries, as fatfighting. The base was made of rolled oats, a superfood which contains omega-3 fatty acids that prevent the storage of belly fat. It was soaked overnight in low-fat milk (almond milk for the lactose intolerant), cocoa powder and cashew butter. Potassium-rich bananas and vitamin C-rich strawberries topped the oats for aplomb.
On balanced nutrition, Dr. Mitzi Reodica, a nutritionist and pediatric gastroenterologist, recommended eating five to six kinds of fruits and vegetables and drinking 2.5 liters of water daily (3.3 liters for men). Since the body may not produce enough vitamins, she recommends B complex, vitamin E as an antioxidant, vitamin A for wound healing and zinc to protect the cells from environmental stress. Vitamin C boosts the immune system and calcium is essential to bone health. She also recommended taking some vitamin D from natural sunlight.
Asked how one can maintain an active lifestyle, Ajdani replied, “First, get into a circle where people share what you want to do. When your friends are pushing themselves, this will encourage you to do your best and stay inspired. Second, develop momentum. People think exercise is hard. It’s all about momentum. If you do it for a few months, over time, you see results, and the more you get motivated.”
Ajdani, by the way, is an endorser of Cosmo Body, a fat-burning capsule. He takes it before his workout and notices that it increases his energy. “It shed off some fat and got me ripped,” he said.
Aside from pumping iron, he plays football, swims, does CrossFit and circuit training.
“For me, being active is a passion. Once I’ve reached my goal, I set another goal, then another. It’s satisfying,” he said. —CONTRIBUTED