Recently named Player of the Year by Eurobasket.com, Chineze Nwagbo has achieved what few can only imagine. An all-star athlete while on the Syracuse University Women’s Basketball team, Nwagbo definitely has her ground covered when it comes to health, fitness and athletics.
Face2Face Africa caught up with Nwagbo, and she revealed her tips on healthy living, dietary supplements, and what she believes is the most important health care issue in her home country, Nigeria.
F2F Africa: Summer is almost here! What would your advice be for young women who want to get that perfect beach body?
- Chineze Nwagbo: If people can recognize that good health is important all year round, I think being able to fine tune and get that body toned just the way you would like it around summer time would be much easier. Practicing good habits all year round is perfect. Let’s say, specifically, to get a “beach body,” what do you have to do? You have to exercise. A lot of the time, people exercise and do the work, but they don’t want to change the way they eat, and that is impossible. Knowing that eating well and exercising go hand in hand to accomplish that “beach body” is the first step. We need to stop associating seasons with the way we eat because that just doesn’t work at all.
F2F Africa: For women who don’t want to necessarily lose weight, but would like to gain muscle, what type of regime would you suggest?
- Chineze Nwagbo: You might do something like circuit work. Circuit work is when you have a group of about 5 or 6 exercises and you’re doing it consistently, at a quick pace, and at high reps so that you can cut the body up and make it more lean. If you’re trying to build muscle mass you would do squats, but you would do closer to your max. A lot of girls will run and run and diet but no one ever incorporates lifting so you lose the fat but you can’t tone it up. Lifting is very, very important.
F2F Africa: To stay lean and muscular, what types of foods do you incorporate into your diet?
- Chineze Nwagbo: When I was doing my show for the figure-modeling event I had, to gain muscle, it was important to have a certain amount of protein. It was important for me to cut out the fatty foods and meats and the carbohydrates. I focused more on fruits and vegetables and getting my diet really, really clean and healthy.
F2F Africa: How do you feel about all of the weight-loss supplements on the market?
- Chineze Nwagbo: My whole outlook on that is: if you want to die soon you take them, because if there was a pill that could make you lose weight overnight everybody would take it. There would be no such thing as exercise. Let’s keep it real. Those types of things can be huge detriments to your health. Weight loss is not in a pill.
F2F Africa: May 8-May 14 was National Women’s Health Week. What do you feel is the biggest women’s health issue affecting Africans and African-Americans?
- Chineze Nwagbo: They say it is heart disease. African-American women are more likely to get heart disease. One thing that I do think goes hand in hand with that is obesity. There are a lot of cases of African-Americans, especially women, being overweight.
F2F Africa: If you could change one health-related issue in Nigeria, what would it be?
- Chineze Nwagbo: I initially thought it would be obesity, but my mom, who is a nurse, actually said it is diabetes. One of the issues she believes we have in Nigeria is the fact that people don’t go to the hospital. People don’t go to the doctor. People don’t take care of their health. They could be dying but it is not common to go see somebody. That’s where the issue lies and then things compound after that. We are not as educated about prevention as we should be.