Health and wellness had always been embedded in the heart of this ‘information powerhouse,’ Kim Atienza. He regularly went to the gym, lifted weights, spearheaded an aerobics class and ate healthy food, so a lot of people were shocked when news broke out two years ago that Kim Atienza had suffered a stroke. Indeed, his life changed -- if only for the better. Now, more than ever, the former-politician turned TV personality is more committed to lead a healthy lifestyle and share its importance with others too.
“A part of my brain was affected -- the area that stores memory and knowledge,” he recalls. “That was a really difficult time for me, considering that my work involves a lot of talking and sharing of information.”
Married to Feli Hung (president and founding member of the Chinese International School Manila Foundation) and a doting father to Jose, Meimei and Eman, Kim was once a voice dubber for a Japanese live-action TV series prior to becoming one of the hosts of Umagang Kay Ganda where he was given the moniker Kuya Kim. His educational TV program, Matanglawin, further endeared him to his young audience. “Being a kuya to kids who look up to me is responsibility enough and I love that through this role I can lead, teach and inspire.”
Striking back at stroke Conceivably, one of the things that inspired many was his quick recovery from stroke. It was tough, but Kim was tougher. He was back on his feet a few weeks after the health scare. Upon his doctor’s advice, he went on 30-minute daily walks which eventually turned into walk-run exercise, a prelude to joining his first 3K run.
His regimen now involves a swim-bike-run routine in addition to a strict diet based on foods that have low glycemic index since diabetes is also in his genes. His food choices include black coffee, whole wheat breads, barley juice, sweet potatoes, muesli, pasta, bagel, fruits, corn, peanut butter sandwich, brown rice, fish, lean meat and green leafy veggies.
There is no room for processed foods in Kuya Kim’s diet; no items that are cholesterol- and transfat-rich and yes, he says, “the best foods are the simplest and affordable ones like kamote tops, malunggay, fresh fruits. The list goes on.”
Refusing to slow down, Kim takes his bike for a 50-100 km ride, throws in some laps in the pool then sweats it out again with 10 km runs all spread during the week. While Saturdays are strictly for rest and relaxation, Kim steps out again on Sundays on a run that can stretch for up to 20 kms. He is all set to compete in his first Iron Man this year!