Dr. Emeka Okorocha is an internationally recognised media medic and frontline National Health Service (NHS) doctor and a brand ambassador to popular AI-based fitness and lifestyle coaching app Freeletics.
Currently serving in accident, emergency and Covid-19 wards in hospitals in the UK, Dr. Emeka positively leverages his platform as a doctor to create inspiring, educational, and entertaining content that encourages his viewers to take control of their own health and wellness. The 6’6” sports and fitness loving doctor was named as one of the top 10 TikTok Educators 2020 and is a regular guest on television and radio both in Britain and across the globe.
We sat down with Dr. Emeka and discussed everything from his fitness journey to how he keeps mentally fit in these challenging times.
Can you tell us a bit about your fitness journey?
My fitness journey began at a very young age. I’ve always been known as being quite athletic and I took competition seriously. I would compete with other people, myself, family members, everyone. And I think playing a lot of sports growing up was a huge contributing factor to my fitness story. I played a lot of football (national level), basketball, rugby, and more. All around, I was passionate about fitness and sports.
When I began working as a doctor, however, it started becoming more difficult to participate in team sports, training, and games due to the nature of my work and being constantly on call. And so, I had to develop personal fitness goals and compete with myself while working a busy schedule. One of the biggest struggles that I discovered during the first few years on the job was that I didn’t have as much time to spend in the gym. I had to find creative ways to workout whenever and wherever I could. I had to look internally for the motivation and drive to be my best self. This is why home workouts became a major part of my new routine.
Today, I am still a busy doctor but I always manage to fit in fitness in my day-to-day life. I strive to inspire people to do the same, especially people like me that might be short on time, to prioritize and put their health and fitness at the forefront–no matter what the situation.
What does fitness mean to you?
Fitness is definitely a fundamental building block in my life and has always been my go-to in so many different forms. I have used it as a way to have fun with my friends or get my head back in the game when I felt low and in a bad mood. Fitness has always been there. It also stems into other passions I have in life such as fashion. A lot of the clothes I wear are based on my physique, and being a six foot six (!) tall man with very long legs and arms, it is imperative that I stay in great shape in order to look good and feel good.
Has fitness changed your life and if so, in what ways?
I feel like fitness has changed my life in so many ways. Not only has it given me goals I can set but it has also given me a different mindset and drive that I have been able to translate into various aspects of my life such as medicine. It’s made me push myself, it’s made me organise my time well, it’s forced me to eat clean and focus on my regular health in order to meet my fitness goals.
Has physical fitness affected your mental health?
Fitness affects my mental health in many positive ways. I regularly release endorphins, am generally in a better mood, and above all, I feel happier. When I meet my fitness goals, the elation I get is different to any other feeling. Whether it’s a new running or jumping personal best, or one rep max on a weight, I feel like I am on cloud nine. I feel by improving my mood using fitness, I am able to keep my mental health as optimal as my physical health.
Has fitness affected your confidence level, and if so how much?
I would like to think I am genuinely a quite confident person. However, when you are looking good and you have a six pack or you have a big chest or big arms and you fill your clothes well, your confidence is naturally going to be through the roof. So by improving your fitness goals you’re going to improve upon your confidence even more!
If you could say anything to your younger self before starting your fitness journey what would it be?
If I could go back and talk to my younger self regarding my fitness journey, my main message would be to take it seriously. I feel if I had taken fitness as seriously as I do now, I would have seen many more results in all aspects of my life back then. However, I’d also tell my younger self to take his time and not compare himself to too many people. Comparisons should only be with your former self. Everyone’s fitness journey is different.
What is it about Freeletics that makes it the perfect solution for becoming the best version of yourself? Talk a little bit about the partnership with Freeletics.
The partnership with Freeletics is ideal for me. A huge part of my life in being a doctor is to advocate for good physical and mental health. Having the opportunity to work with a company like Freeletics whose mission is to make everyone a happier, healthier, fitter version of themselves is perfect. Using the Freeletics app fits in perfectly with what I already practice and preach and I know this partnership is only going to push me to improve upon my own fitness goals and overall wellness. The app is great because it allows you to put your health in your hands, which is something I strongly believe everyone should do.