Meet the Expert: Dar Mallya, Fitness Director, Murad Inclusive Health

We’re talking a lot about transformation on the blog this month, so we figured now would be a perfect time to introduce you to Dar Mallya, the Fitness Director at Murad Inclusive Health. Dar is a certified personal trainer and has worked in the fitness industry for the past 15 years. He has a big following here at Murad, and we think you’re going to LOVE his inspirational story.

How did you get into the fitness industry?
When I first got into college, I started smoking. It was casual at first, but as time went on, it became part of my life. I was always athletic and I participated in the 200 meter run. I’ll never forget the one race that changed my life. I remember walking up to the start line with all the confidence of a winner. There was no doubt in my mind; I had this race! When the gun sounded, I was off the mark like lightning. Immediately, I took the lead. Halfway through the race, I was in disbelief as I started to slow down tremendously. My body stopped working and I could not catch my breath. Everyone passed me and I finished last. At that moment, I decided to get fit. That moment changed my path in life. I gave up smoking and started running. I never looked back after that. I went to the gym six days a week. I spent hours reading books on kinesiology, anatomy, physiology and exercise programing. That’s when my journey began as a fitness professional.

What’s your favorite part of your job?
The best part of my job is watching change happen. I use fitness as a tool to make my clients better from the inside out. It’s amazing when I tell my clients that they are the most important person in the world, and the time is NOW to start looking after that person. I can see it in their eyes that they agree. Through the weeks of training, I love to see them laugh more, become more outgoing and develop self-confidence to participate in activities they’ve always wanted to be a part of. I love going to work because I love that I get to develop bonds and laugh all day with my clients. I feel that this quote from author James A. Michener really captures the essence of what I do:

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he’s always doing both.” ~ James A. Michener

What is your main source of inspiration?
My father. He is a psychiatrist and worked in state hospitals. I remember as a child, my father would take me to the hospital to visit patients. I was scared. We would go say hello to them, and they were all very nice. But I could tell they suffered. My father was willing to help anyone who needed it. I can’t tell you how many people he helped support with college fees, a place to stay in our house and free psychiatric care. If you asked, he would do his best to help you. My father grew up very poor. His family had no electricity or running water. He was the youngest of 9 children, and often he didn’t have enough food to eat. He was very smart and worked his way into medical school in India. When he came to this country, he had $8, a wife and a small child. My father inspired me to be compassionate towards people in need. He inspired me to be grateful, no matter what. And he inspired me to live a life that gives others a chance to be better.

If you could pick one workout routine to do for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Wow, it’s so hard to pick my favorite routine! I am constantly attending training workshops to learn about the latest modalities in fitness. I love cross training in the summer, so you will find me paddle boarding in the ocean, or swimming laps at the pool, or running outside. In the gym, I love to incorporate a HIIT or TABATA circuit with battle ropes, kettlebells, TRX and the VIPR. Yoga is always a part of my recovery routine.

How have you experienced transformation through fitness?
I am a life transformer! Finding balance is the key to transformation, not just in fitness, but also in life. We should be working on our spiritual or inner selves, our physical health, our family relationships, our professional lives, our sense of adventure, and our financial freedom. Sometimes, we can become robots and forget about these core values. If we can spend a little time each day focused on these core values, a beautiful balance can be achieved.

What is your favorite Dr. Murad insight?
The fitness industry can sometimes be a lot of telling you what needs to be done: You can never have dairy, or stay away from refined sugar, or wake up and run five miles and eat 15 egg whites for breakfast! We don’t spend enough time listening to our clients. Dr. Murad and I were talking one day about how we can create success with my clients and his patients. After going back and forth about how to empower them to make changes, Dr. Murad graciously said we should listen to what they are capable of doing, even if it’s small… it’s still a change for the better. This changed my vision forever, as I realized that sometimes a person could succeed with 20 little steps, rather then changing everything they do all at once.

Do you use Murad products? If so – which one is your favorite?
I use the Environmental Shield® line because I am in the sun a lot. I remember I was on vacation in Cabo San Lucas with my wife and two small kids. I got a really bad sunburn in the first hour of our vacation! I had my wife apply Murad’s Active Radiance Serum three times a day with Essential C Daily Moisturizer. Within two days, my sunburn was gone. So I’m a big believer in those two products.

He transforms bodies and minds, and looks great doing it! No wonder your clients love you Dar. And we know that your dad must be really proud. Thanks for sharing your story… and those fitness tips rock! You are truly an inspiration.

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