CX7 Champion brings you a thrilling new Adventure Race which is the ultimate ‘brain and body’ challenge, taking place from Sept. 25-27 at the picturesque, 5-star InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort. District-W spoke with Irma one the CX7 Challenge founders about her views on fitness and her goals for hosting this event.
1. Where did your passion for fitness and health originate?
I grew up in a small village in Lithuania, Eastern Europe where physical work and organic local food was a natural way of life. If you wanted strawberries in the summer, you did not go to the shop to buy them, you had to go to the fields and pick them yourself. Our milk was raw, our honey was wild and our food grew naturally in the Lithuanian countryside. When I left Lithuania at a young age, I was surprised to see how people’s diets and lifestyles were so vastly different to what I understood it to be and how people’s health, energy and shape was on a downward spiral. This realisation made me clear about the career path I wanted for myself which was to help people regain control of their lives and health and return to their natural physical state.
2. Why is maintaining and seeking true health so important?
A healthy lifestyle is something almost everyone seeks out at different stages in their lives. Feeling good and looking good is important to us all. The problem with most of us is that we use the lack of ‘Time’ as an excuse for not maintaining our health. For me, this is an unusual and backward concept. Our health should be our number one priority and whatever you don’t have ‘Time’ for it should not be health. It should be spending time on Facebook, watching TV or even putting in extra hours at the office. Whatever it is, making time for eating well and exercising should be on the top of everyone’s daily ‘to do’ list. I always ask people who tell me they don’t have time for the gym or to eat well, ‘Would you stop brushing your teeth in the morning if you don’t have time?’ and of course the answer is no. When I ask ‘why not?’ they respond with ‘Because my teeth will rot’. So what do you think happens your body if you stop looking after it everyday? True health is the cornerstone of everything we do. Self-confidence, physical fitness, energy, lack of disease and so on. The benefits of staying fit and healthy effect more areas of your life than you can imagine and it’s with this understanding that I am driven in delivering people the results of a healthy lifestyle we all deserve.
3. What advice would you give to someone seeking optimum health?
When people have to alter their lives too much to be healthier they simply won’t stick at it for any longer than a short period of time. Health must be a long lasting thing and not a quick fix. Fad diets simply don’t work in the long run and in many cases, cause more harm than good. This understanding is the cornerstone to a system I have developed called ‘LIFE’. The LIFE system stands for ‘Learn | Intense | Food | Enjoy’. I focus on educating people about their bodies and real health so they can make informed decisions. Training ‘Intense’ to active the muscle groups for a healthy and fit body. Eat the ‘Food’ that is both good for you and tastes good at the same time. There is no point in you eating an avocado if you hate it, regardless of the health properties it has. You will simply not do it for long before reverting back to old habits. Finally and probably the most important is ‘Enjoy.’ You must enjoy the process of being healthy so you can adopt it as a lifestyle with long lasting effects. You can learn more about my LIFE system at irmafitness.com.
4. Are there certain health foods you can recommend for those interested in obtaining a more youthful appearance?
There are many foods that can help give you a more youthful look but again, there is a trick in this. People think that by eating a few nuts that are high in omega 3 oils everyday that it will automatically make them look younger. And while in theory this can be true, we need to be careful again we don’t set out looking for easy answers or the quick fixes. You should not eat a handful of walnuts because they are good for your skin and then drink 4 cans of soda a day. To do this you are simply missing the point and holding on to a mind-set that simply has no lasting effect. If however you can adopt a healthy lifestyle, then this approach of eating unprocessed natural foods and regular exercise will by default make you look younger and maintain a youthful appearance. Foods that are high in omega 3 fats such as fish, avocados, green tea and walnuts and some of the many foods that can help you maintain a healthy look.
5. How do you hope the CX7 Challenge will influence people?
Adventure racing puts the ‘fun’ into fitness. It gives people an insight into how fitness and physical activity can be challenging and exciting at the same time. We truly hope that it inspires more people into maintaining a healthy lifestyle and what better place to do it that the beautiful island of Koh Samui.
This is not a normal race. This is a race full of challenges, adventures and exciting moments. Because you have to run in teams of two people, it helps build team spirit also. Accomplishing something together is always more exhilarating then doing it alone.
5. What advice can you give to those who are participating in the CX7 Challenge?
Don’t come with any expectations. You have to experience adventuring racing to truly understand it. It won’t be like anything else you have done before. This is not a marathon, not a fun run and not a triathlon. This is something different.
You do not need to be super fit to do the race. You can do it at whatever level you are at. It is up to you and your team partner to give it as much or as little as you want. The main thing is to have fun and experience the exhilarating experience the CX7 Adventure Race can offer.