The first thought that comes to mind when people see her is that this is a tall and typically thin model, who is fragile and is one of those delicate beauties who is all peaches and cream and never ventures out in the sun.
Little do they know that this beauty, who is one of the best examples of beauty with brains and grit, is a regular finisher at most marathons and runs through sun, rain or humidity almost every single day, and is also an inspiration and mentor to those who are trying to get fitter and healthier.
While most of us commute to places, Alka Rao Yadav easily and happily runs from one corner of the city to the other to enjoy a cup of coffee on a ‘lazy’ weekend morning, and then runs back all the way home, to the opposite corner of the city!
Meet Alka Rao Yadav, mentor, inspiration, a guide to many and a Premium Fitness Consultant with SQUATS, an online fitness portal.
What was your fitness and nutrition score as a child? Were you always interested in health and fitness?
I was very skinny as a child and people gave me nutritional tips every now and then. Then came a time when I gained some weight and again there were people who started pointing me the other way. This is when I got confused and curious to know the right body mix. Influenced by fashion models, I used all the right and wrong techniques to fit into the public opinion. Since then I started exploring health and nutrition.
Did you always want to get into the health industry?
I was interested in studying health and nutrition, but back then, there were no such profession or options like we have today. People who were interested in health and nutrition had only one option – to become a doctor – and I wasn’t inclined towards it.
Have you worked in some other role earlier or was this your first foray in work?
I’m a management graduate and worked with few corporates before, but somehow, I felt that I didn’t belong there.
When did you first get serious about nutrition and health?
Frankly speaking, even as a teenager I was conscious of my health and nutrition, so I can say that this subject has been a part of my life for quite a long time now.
How did you start learning more in the field?
Nutrition has always been my interest area; I had a keen interest in knowing about ancient foods and lifestyle. So I gathered knowledge from various books on health and nutrition along with interacting with my grandparents. I have even observed village lifestyle and food habits closely.
For anyone who is interested in getting into the health and nutrition field, is it important to take some course or an academic degree?
Yes, it will surely help, as this will not only strengthen your basics but also give you subject clarity and direction.
How do you help people as a nutritionist?
The role of a nutritionist has evolved over the period and now it’s much more than only nutrition or weight. One needs to take a holistic approach and consider the nutritional, mental and physical well-being of an individual. This is the reason that I consider myself a fitness coach.
What are some of the best and most challenging moments you have faced in your role as a fitness consultant?
This is a noble cause and for me, the best moment is when someone gets comfortable in his or her own skin and any health issues they are facing get better as a result of the fitness and nutrition changes they try out. At the same time, there are a set of people who want magic to happen without putting in real efforts. This sometimes becomes a stressful experience.
You are a big help and inspiration to many, how do you take care of your own fitness and health?
There are no shortcuts to good health, one needs to find time for self. I make sure that I don’t compromise on any of my health regimes. I work on the mantra that if you are healthy and happy, only then you can spread happiness and be a health ambassador.
Since you run so many marathons, what would you advice anyone who wants to get into Marathon running for the first time?
Irrespective of the goal, first and foremost you should have faith in yourself that you can do it. Make a nutrition and training plan and follow this religiously. Keep running and clocking your miles.
Who all can benefit from consulting a nutritionist?
Nutrition is a vast subject, in fact, each and every person at every stage of their life needs the right nutrition. So everyone can actually benefit from the right nutrition, and a nutritionist can help guide you better.
Do you think more and more people are becoming aware of the importance of better nutrition and are open to consulting a nutritionist?
It’s the need of the hour – call it the side effect of our modern lifestyle. People are getting forced to become aware of the importance of better nutrition and are open to taking guidance. But this isn’t the only solution, we also need to change the approach towards lifestyle as a whole.
What would you suggest those who want to become professional nutritionists?
If you are passionate enough and really want to bring change in people’s lives, go for it. It’s an amazing profession from all angles.
If you’re looking for any inspiration to add health and fitness to your regular days, Alka Rao Yadav could be your health mentor too!
DISCLAIMER: While we have taken steps to check the accuracy of information & practices shared here; it is not a replacement for a doctor’s opinion. it is important to first always check with your own doctor before trying any medication, practice or suggestion from this site.