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Health & Fitness

The Gym is My Safe Haven

Caroline Wanjihia Head of strategy and insights
Caroline Wanjihia Head of strategy and insights, East and Central Africa Franchise, Coca-Cola. PHOTO | DIANA NGILA | NMG 

On a typical day, Caroline Wanjihia wakes up at 5 a.m and after going through her morning rituals, she ensures she is at her office in Upper Hill by 6.30 am. Or at least before 7 a.m, on the occasions where she opts to catch a few extra winks of sleep.

She is the head of strategy & insights for Coca-Cola East and Central Africa Franchise, overseeing performance and planning managers across 12 African countries.

At the end of a long work day, the fitness enthusiast heads out to the gym to get her sweat on.

She describes the gym as a safe haven where she finds refuge after a hard day’s work.

“The pressures from work can weigh one down, especially when it’s quite demanding. My work isn’t easy, but I love what I do. It’s a good stretch and it has stretched me to levels I never knew existed!” She says.

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“I usually have meetings all day, which can be emotionally draining if not checked. As such, working out serves in helping my mind to wind down and relax. It is also great for my mental fitness,” she explains.

Working out usually comes with looking good and Caroline’s exercise regimen has helped her shed a few kilos and toned her body too.

“I’m glad it’s paying off. I feel more energised and it has also helped me build mental endurance,” she says.

Caroline has also been spinning (a type of aerobic exercise done by cycling indoors on a stationary ‘spinning’ bicycle) for about a year now.

“Achieving that dream bikini body wouldn’t be a bad idea,” she jokes.

“I enjoy working out and have been actively doing so for about one and a half years. I plan my day so that I am in the gym every day between 6 p.m to 7.30 p.m. I ensure my last meeting is over by 5.30pm unless on special occasions,” she explains.

Working out is a constant even when she has to add in travel to her basket.

“When I travel, which is quite often, I always carry my kit with me so that I don’t miss out on my exercise regimen,” says Caroline. “This year I plan on running the Lewa Marathon, the half-marathon though,” she says.

“I have run the Ndakaini Marathon twice in the past,” she offers.

When not in the office or the gym, she also plays golf which, she says she enjoys because it allows her to enhance her networks. And what handicap is she? “Mine is a ‘social’ handicap,” she says as she bursts out in laughter.

The extroverted executive oozes with energy and it’s evident she loves life on the fast lane.

“I love travelling and have been to over 30 countries,” says Caroline who recently came back from Lagos. “In September, I plan to visit Italy. I’m a foodie and can’t wait to sample their food!”

Her love for food sends her to multiple restaurants while travelling. “My work requires me to travel a lot though I also travel when off duty. I try to visit one or two new places every year,” she says. “Greece is definitely on my bucket-list and I’m quite excited about the idea.”

“I also plan to visit the Holy Land with my parents,” she adds.

For one who’s been to so many countries, does she have a memorable destination, one wonders.

“Moscow!” she replies with such zeal about a place she describes as magnificent with beautiful architecture.

She had the opportunity to visit Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup and describes it as one of the best destinations she has been to so far.

“I got a chance to meet people from different nationalities and the night life was equally exciting,” explains Caroline.

When not travelling, Caroline enjoys reading business journals.

She unwinds by going out with friends or catching a good movie or series over the weekends and also sets apart some time on Sunday for personal devotion and attending church.

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