The 42-year-old secretary general of the Muaythai Association of the Philippines is also a board member of the Philippine Olympic Committee and executive committee member of the International Federation of Muaythai Associations.
She was also appointed deputy chef de mission for the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Vietnam, and just recently joined the National Academy of Sports in the student-athlete support services division.
“Plus, I manage my two teenage boys with online schooling and a business on the side,” she told Lifestyle.
But she’s never too busy to work out. “It shouldn’t be optional or something we only do when we have the luxury of time. We need to make time for it. It should be as essential as breathing, eating and sleeping.“
Managuelod, who relocated to Nasugbu during the pandemic, works out five to seven times a week. “I’ve been a Batangueño since June. It’s the best decision, since my kids and I are closer to nature, and we get fresh air, the beach and more outdoor time.”
She’s been preparing for her next triathlon, as well. “I’m looking forward to my first race in October since 2019—the Ironman 70.3 in Subic Bay.”
In this week’s Fitness Diaries, she shares her routine, diet, motivation and other fitness secrets.
Have you always been into fitness? It was an on-and-off journey when I was younger, but I didn’t commit to it seriously until 2007 when I had my second son.
What inspired your fitness journey? When I gave birth to my second son in October 2008, I fell into postpartum depression. I was also struggling with other mental health issues because my partner and I separated and I had a toddler and a baby to take care of. A friend invited me to try Bikram yoga in 2009 and I was hooked. The overall transformation—physical, mental, emotional, spiritual—I felt were life-changing. Since then, I got into other sports.
My fitness routine: I’m into triathlons and marathons, so majority of my workouts are geared toward swimming, cycling and running. I incorporate weightlifting thrice a week.
My workouts are normally an hour. A typical week would look like this: Sundays are for long, slow distance. Then Mondays are for recovery so I either do yoga, take longer walks or just go in the pool or Jacuzzi to relax. Tuesdays-Thursdays-Satursdays, weight training; Wednesdays and Saturdays, bike and swim; Friday, running; and then Sundays, bike and run. I walk at least 2 klometers a day, which is convenient because I have to take my dogs out. I take advantage of the nearby beach so I go for open water swims and paddleboard with my sister or kids.
Favorite workouts: I love lifting. It’s so empowering, especially when you see muscle definition after. My favorite is leg day, so squats and dead lifts. I also love compound exercises. Given my tight schedule, I get to work out multiple muscle groups in a shorter time. Then for cardio, I love running but not when it’s really hot.
Workout frequency: Five to seven days a week if I were to count yoga for recovery.
Where do you work out? During COVID, I do my workouts at home and outdoors. I do indoor cycling on my bike trainer because I’m too scared to go on the road alone. Fitness essentials: I cannot live without my running shoes, bike, free weights, TRX, yoga mat and my Garmin watch. For apps, I use Garmin Connect and Sweat. I also subscribed to Zwift for indoor cycling. Also my Therabro massage gun! It’s a lifesaver and the best investment for self-care and recovery!
My workout playlist: Eminem, EDM and hard rock. I only use this when I lift, though. When I do indoor cycling, it’s usually a Netflix series or the Zwift app. I prefer running with no music. Just me, my breath and my pain. And enjoying the scenery. My diet: I love to eat and I have a big appetite but I do watch what I eat and try to stick to my macros, depending on my training. I also eat home-cooked meals; buy organic and fresh products; limit processed, sugary, oily foods. I eat as healthy as I can. I used to do intermittent fasting but I’ve plateaued and so I’m back to my normal routine.
What I usually eat in a day: Breakfast is usually toast with peanut butter and banana, muesli or cereals with fruits, oatmeal, yogurt, eggs and sometimes protein pancakes. Lunch is a sandwich, fish or meat with veggies, pasta. I snack on yogurt or smoothies or protein shake or toast with peabut butter, dark chocolate, nuts. Then dinner is salad with baked chicken, sandwich, dumplings, seafood, meat or pasta if my workout was heavy. And the occasional steak. Plus, lots of water throughout the day!
What’s off-limits: Nothing, really. I eat pretty much everything but in moderation. I’m particular with the nutrition labels of the products I buy. So, low in sugar, low in sodium, no ingredients I can’t pronounce. I follow a very simple rule with nutrition: Eat what you expend. Meaning, match your caloric intake with your level of activity for the day.
Do you have cheat days? Yes! I live for cheat days. It’s once a week, usually on a Friday when my kids have their pizza movie night, or Saturday. My happy hour starts at 5 p.m. I eat whatever I want—pastry, ice cream, dessert, burgers (still homemade), chips and alcohol.
What keeps me motivated: I have fun when I work out. It’s never a chore for me. It’s already part of my lifestyle. I love the feeling I get after my workout, knowing I’m healthier and stronger with each day. It’s also a great stress reliever at the end of a hard day.
I also like going for runs when I need to clear my head. I do my best thinking after a workout.
My children are also my motivation. Being a single mom, I have to be a good role model and I want to live a long and healthy life to see them grow up.
There are days when I don’t feel like working out, but I take it as my body needing to rest … I don’t beat myself up for missing full workouts so I go for longer walks instead or do a 15-20 minute workout or stretching. I like what Jim Rohn said, that motivation gets you started but it’s discipline that keeps you going.
How did the pandemic affect your fitness routine? The biggest challenge was not being able to train with my triathlon team. We used to go cycling in Clark and run at the University of the Philippines every week. Now, I have to train on my own. The pools and gyms were also closed so I had to make adjustments with my home workout routines. I miss the machines at the gym so I make do with free weights, kettlebells and my TRX. There was a time I joined the Ironman virtual races last year but that got old pretty fast. Nothing beats live experiences.
Other fitness secrets: I mix up my workouts so it doesn’t get boring. I schedule my workouts at the same time every day. I also buy nice workout clothes so I feel nice when I work out.
Tips for people who want to get healthier: Find an activity that you truly enjoy. It’s easier to stick to it when you have fun. A workout buddy can also be helpful so you have someone to push you.
Then find classes that you like and fit your schedule. There are so many free classes and workout programs on YouTube and the web. It can be as short as 20 minutes. What’s important is that you’re staying active.
And lastly, let’s change our mindset about exercise and working out. It shouldn’t be optional or something we only do when we have the luxury of time. We need to make time for it. It should be as essential as breathing, eating and sleeping.
As for nutrition, it’s about mindful eating. Most often, the extra calories we eat are out of boredom or emotional eating. So be more aware of the reasons we reach for those cookies or have that extra serving. When we see food as fuel for our body and sustenance, it will really change our relationship with food.