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Kim Atienza shares his fitness routine for a healthier lifestyle

The TV host had a stroke in 2010, followed by a life-threatening disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome in 2013. These incidents pushed Kuya Kim to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.

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A fitness routine is essential to good health. An activity as simple as walking, when done frequently, can have tremendous benefits to the body.[1] Some benefits of a regular fitness routine include weight loss or maintenance, the improvement of physical functions, and the strengthening of bones and muscles. It also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and several common cancers.[2]

Kim Atienza, popularly known as Kuya Kim, is a fitspiration to many because of his physique. His fitness journey, however, had a rocky start. The TV host had a stroke in 2010, followed by a life-threatening disease called Guillain-Barré syndrome in 2013. These incidents pushed Kuya Kim to lead a healthier and more active lifestyle.

Today, Kuya Kim runs, cycles, and swims. He has competed in several triathlons and races in the Philippines and abroad. When he’s not competing, he swims and runs twice a week early in the morning. He also does Crossfit.

While he has a rigorous routine, he believes that health doesn’t have to be complicated. According to Kuya Kim, “Good health is an accumulation of small but meaningful changes. A sport or a workout is helpful but something as simple as changing how you move can lead to better health,” says Kuya Kim.

The TV host shares some elements in his fitness routine:

Starts the day with stretches

Kuya Kim starts his day with stretching, especially when he can’t squeeze in a workout in the morning. Stretching lengthens the muscles and reduces tension, increases blood flow to improve mobility, and brings on feelings of positivity.[3]

To help keep his fitness in check, Kuya Kim does “intermittent fasting” or “IF”. In simple terms, this diet allows 16 hours of fasting, and eating what you want for the remaining 8 hours of the day. Because of this, he only gets to eat breakfast occasionally. But when he does, it’s still on the healthy side. 

“There’s truth in the saying that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I make sure to have a nutritious and filling breakfast that can power me throughout the day,” says Kuya Kim. He eats a balanced breakfast that has protein and fiber, such as eggs, Greek yogurt, and oatmeal. For the rest of the day, he minimizes sugar and eats mostly vegetables.

Uses the stairs instead of the elevator

Elevators and escalators may get you to your destination faster but there are more benefits to taking the stairs. Climbing stairs can strengthen the muscles and increase body resistance, burn body fat, and improve heart and lung function.[4] Kuya Kim shares, “I take the stairs when I can, especially when I only have to go to the second floor.”

Walks or bikes to a nearby destination instead of taking the car

“I walk or bike when the opportunity presents itself,” says Kuya Kim. That means leaving the car at home when running simple errands like doing the groceries or going to nearby locations like a favorite restaurant or a friend who lives nearby.

The TV host adds, “Walking is one of the easiest ways to stay fit and can be done by anyone, anywhere. You don’t need special clothes or any kind of equipment.”

Ends the day with a quiet meditation and stretches

Kuya Kim ends his day the way he starts them: with more stretches and meditation. He finds a comfortable spot at home, closes his eyes, and watches his breath. Frequent meditation reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, and strengthens the immune system.[5] The TV host reveals, “I want to end my day on a good note, and a few minutes of meditation improves my mood so I can readily face future challenges.”

Helping Filipinos with their fitness journey

Kuya Kim, who is an ambassador for the Watsons Brand Vitamin B Complex, trusts the leading health retailer for his fitness journey.

Watsons is committed to being the Filipino’s partner by offering a complete and wide range of products, such as fitness equipment, multivitamins and overall wellness items, health drinks, and supplements for digestive detox, and immunity and energy.

Filipinos can access these through Watsons’ network of over 1,000 stores in the Philippines, all of which offer expert care through in-store pharmacists, specialists, and staff.

They may also download the Watsons app to browse prescription and over-the-counter medicines and personal care products. For added convenience, customers can purchase online and pick up their orders from their selected store in 30 minutes or less, or have them delivered to their doorstep within three hours.

Download the Watsons on  iOS and Android for access to products that can help you with your fitness journey. For more information, please visit https://www.watsons.com.ph/.


[1] 5 surprising benefits of walking. (2022, Aug 25). Harvard Health Publishing, Harvard Medical School, https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/5-surprising-benefits-of-walking. Accessed 29 March 2023.

[2] Benefits of Physical Activity. (Last reviewed 2022, Jun 16). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/pa-health/index.htm#:~:text=Regular%20physical%20activity%20is%20one,ability%20to%20do%20everyday%20activities.. Accessed 29 March 2023.

[3] The Special Benefits Of Stretching In The Morning. (2022, May 12). Bustle, https://www.bustle.com/wellness/stretching-in-the-morning-benefits. Accessed 30 March 2023.

[4] Benefits of Stair Climbing. (2020, Jan 6). Centre for Health Protection, https://www.chp.gov.hk/en/static/90006.html. Accessed 30 March 2023.

[5] 10 Science-Backed Benefits Of Meditation. (Updated 2022, Oct 20). Forbes Health, https://www.forbes.com/health/mind/benefits-of-meditation/. Accessed 30 March 2023.

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Pru Life UK agents, customers, executives celebrate Year of the Wood Dragon

The insurer maintains its top position in New Business Annual Premium Equivalent & total Premium Income from Variable Life Insurance products according to the Insurance Commission’s Life Insurance Sector Quarterly Statistics for Q3 2023.

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With a strengthened commitment to providing better financial protection for every Filipino, Pru Life UK celebrates the start of the Year of the Wood Dragon. Over 200 Pru Life UK leaders, agents, clients, and employees joined and wished everyone PRU Love during the festivities held at the heart of its Escolta branch in Binondo Manila.

The insurer maintains its top position in New Business Annual Premium Equivalent & total Premium Income from Variable Life Insurance products according to the Insurance Commission’s Life Insurance Sector Quarterly Statistics for Q3 2023.

Pru Life UK’s products are made accessible through its over 42,000 digitally-empowered agency workforce and like-minded partners.

The Company recently launched PRULove for Life – an affordable, limited-pay, whole-life participating plan for as low as Php 87 per day* with lifetime coverage up to age 100 and flexible payment terms of 5, 10, 15, or 20 years to pay. To know more about PRULove for Life, talk to your Pru Life UK agent today or visit Pru Life UK’s website.

Pru Life UK is also committed to driving up financial awareness, literacy, and inclusion in the country by leading industry discussions and programs for the community. Its PRUBabies campaign seeks to protect 175,000 newborns with free insurance coverage against select infectious diseases such as Dengue, Typhoid, Measles, and Malaria.

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Eating too much protein is bad for your arteries, and this amino acid is to blame

Consuming over 22% of dietary calories from protein can lead to increased activation of immune cells that play a role in atherosclerotic plaque formation, driving the disease risk.

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University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine researchers discovered a molecular mechanism by which excessive dietary protein could increase atherosclerosis risk. The findings were published in Nature Metabolism.

The study, which combined small human trials with experiments in mice and cells in a Petri dish, showed that consuming over 22% of dietary calories from protein can lead to increased activation of immune cells that play a role in atherosclerotic plaque formation, driving the disease risk. Furthermore, the scientists showed that one amino acid – leucine – seems to have a disproportionate role in driving the pathological pathways linked to atherosclerosis, or stiff, hardened arteries.

“Our study shows that dialing up your protein intake in pursuit of better metabolic health is not a panacea. You could be doing real damage to your arteries,” said senior and co-corresponding author Babak Razani, M.D., Ph.D., professor of cardiology at Pitt. “Our hope is that this research starts a conversation about ways of modifying diets in a precise manner that can influence body function at a molecular level and dampen disease risks.”

According to a survey of an average American diet over the last decade, Americans generally consume a lot of protein, mostly from animal sources. Further, nearly a quarter of the population receives over 22% of all daily calories from protein alone.

That trend is likely driven by the popular idea that dietary protein is essential to healthy living, says Razani. But his and other groups have shown that overreliance on protein may not be such a good thing for long-term health.

Following their 2020 research, in which Razani’s laboratory first showed that excess dietary protein increases atherosclerosis risk in mice, his next study in collaboration with Bettina Mittendorfer, Ph.D., a metabolism expert at the University of Missouri, Columbia, delved deeper into the potential mechanism and its relevance to the human body.

To arrive at the answer, Razani’s laboratory, led by first-authors Xiangyu Zhang, Ph.D., and Divya Kapoor, M.D., teamed up with Mittendorfer’s group to combine their expertise in cellular biology and metabolism and perform a series of experiments across various models – from cells to mice to humans.

“We have shown in our mechanistic studies that amino acids, which are really the building blocks of the protein, can trigger disease through specific signaling mechanisms and then also alter the metabolism of these cells,” Mittendorfer said. “For instance, small immune cells in the vasculature called macrophages can trigger the development of atherosclerosis.”

Based on initial experiments in healthy human subjects to determine the timeline of immune cell activation following ingestion of protein-enriched meals, the researchers simulated similar conditions in mice and in human macrophages, immune cells that are shown to be particularly sensitive to amino acids derived from protein.

Their work showed that consuming more than 22% of daily dietary calories through protein can negatively affect macrophages that are responsible for clearing out cellular debris, leading to the accumulation of a “graveyard” of those cells inside the vessel walls and worsening of atherosclerotic plaques overtime. Interestingly, the analysis of circulating amino acids showed that leucine – an amino acid enriched in animal-derived foods like beef, eggs and milk – is primarily responsible for abnormal macrophage activation and atherosclerosis risk, suggesting a potential avenue for further research on personalized diet modification, or “precision nutrition.”

Razani is careful to note that many questions remain to be answered, mainly: What happens when a person consumes between 15% of daily calories from protein as recommended by the USDA and 22% of daily calories from protein, and if there is a ‘sweet spot’ for maximizing the benefits of protein – such as muscle gain – while avoiding kick-starting a molecular cascade of damaging events leading to cardiovascular disease.

The findings are particularly relevant in hospital settings, where nutritionists often recommend protein-rich foods for the sickest patients to preserve muscle mass and strength.

“Perhaps blindly increasing protein load is wrong,” Razani said. “Instead, it’s important to look at the diet as a whole and suggest balanced meals that won’t inadvertently exacerbate cardiovascular conditions, especially in people at risk of heart disease and vessel disorders.”

Razani also notes that these findings suggest differences in leucine levels between diets enriched in plant and animal protein might explain the differences in their effect on cardiovascular and metabolic health. “The potential for this type of mechanistic research to inform future dietary guidelines is quite exciting,” he said.

Additional authors of the study are Yu-Sheng Yeh, Ph.D., also from Pitt; Alan Fappi, Ph.D. and Vasavi Shabrish, Ph.D., both of the University of Missouri, Columbia; Se-Jin Jeong, Ph.D., Jeremiah Stitham, M.D., Ph.D., Ismail Sergin, Ph.D., Eman Yousif, M.D., Astrid Rodriguez-Velez, Ph.D., Arick Park, M.D., Ph.D., Joel Schilling, M.D., Ph.D., Marco Sardiello, Ph.D., Abhinav Diwan, M.D., Nathan Stitziel, M.D., Ph.D., Ali Javaheri, M.D., Ph.D., Irfan Lodhi, Ph.D., and Jaehyung Cho, Ph.D., all of Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis; Arif Yurdagul Jr, Ph.D., and Oren Rom, Ph.D., both of the Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center; and Slava Epelman, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Toronto.

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IRONKIDS Cebu in Lapu-Lapu partners with RLC Residences

This April will be the first event of the partnership as the brand extends their support for the budding young athletes. The aquathlon will see participants from ages 6 to 15 years old complete the race happening at The Reef Island Resort in Mactan.

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The IRONMAN Group Philippines and RLC Residences have announced in 2023 a new partnership—as the residential brand of Robinsons Land Corporation, RLC Residences becomes the title sponsor for IRONKIDS Lapu-Lapu and IRONKIDS Davao for 2024.

This April will be the first event of the partnership as the brand extends their support for the budding young athletes.  The aquathlon will see participants from ages 6 to 15 years old complete the race happening at The Reef Island Resort in Mactan.

RLC Residences Head of Brand Management Mr. Dan Carlo Torres shares his enthusiasm towards the event. “We are very excited to see this partnership unfold. We’ve been very supportive of IRONMAN, especially IRONKIDS because we also believe in the importance of promoting an active and purposeful lifestyle at such a young age and we hope to continuously be part of IRONMAN as we create more vibrant opportunities for our future triathletes,” he added.

“As we aspire to live our best lives, we work to inspire the wider community,” said Ms Princess Galura, Regional Director of the IRONMAN Group Philippines.  “For 10 years, the IRONKIDS has been a part of the Cebuano youth’s stepping stone to either a future in sports, representing the Philippines in international events, as well as planting the seeds of a healthy, sporty lifestyle.  Our partnership with RLC Residences allows us to do so and we are excited to hold the festivities for our youth once again in Lapu-Lapu this April,” she added.

The IRONKIDS event in Lapu-Lapu will feature age group categories for the 6 to 8 years old, 9 to 10 years old, 11 to 12 years old and 13 to 15 years old.  Relay categories are also available for mixed team relay for 6-10 year-olds and 11-15 year-olds. 

Swim and run courses, the transition area and finish line will be at The Reef Island Resort, which is conveniently located in a gated community.  Families who are checked in during race weekend can enjoy amenities of the resort –  including the beach, lap pool and game room.  The resort’s restaurant is operated by Cebu-based top tier chain, Abaca.

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