Photo credit: Zachary Cephus
Photo credit: Zachary Cephus
Photo credit: Zachary Cephus

Meet 25-Year-Old Nneka Uchendu: An Inspiring Fitness Influencer and Medical Student


Nneka Uchendu’s life began in Lagos, Nigeria, but the 25-year-old currently calls Detroit, Michigan, her home. The fitness influencer, who also goes by the Durag Doctor, is a passionate health advocate on track to become an M.D. Uchendu‘s commitment to leading a healthy lifestyle kicked off during high school, and it has led her to share fitness and wellness content on Instagram, where she has garnered the support of nearly 12K followers.

If you scroll through her feed, you’ll stumble across high-energy workout videos and vibrant photos that capture her active lifestyle. When we were sifting through entries for this month’s photo contest, Uchendu’s photo—which featured her adorning bold red athleisure wear while suspended in air—immediately left us in awe when we saw it. So, it was no surprise that she racked up the most likes (496, to be exact) out of our June finalists. Keep reading to learn more about the inspiring fitness influencer. 

Tell us how your winning photo came about?

I had the wonderful opportunity to be a muse for Zachary Cephus. As a transplant to Detroit, MI, the Eastern Market was one of the first locations within the metro area that captured my attention. The aesthetic details of the graffiti hold the creative energy that Detroit is known for. Zach is excellent with lighting and reflection so when he said jump, I jumped. I did not expect for him to create magic like this but I honestly am consistently blown away when we work together.

Please briefly share your fitness journey with us.

I ran track in high school back in 2013 and continued on my fitness journey through my undergraduate degree, but have focused primarily on weight lifting and resistance training to build mass since then.

We believe fitness + friendship = FUN! What is your favorite group fitness workout?

My favorite group fitness workout is definitely yoga.

While working out is important, so is eating the right foods. What is your go-to pre-workout meal? How do you refuel after a workout?

I typically do not eat prior to working out because I workout hard and it can make me nauseous. I drink an electrolyte powder in my water as pre-workout and refuel with a large protein heavy meal after I workout.


What is one item that is always in your gym bag?

Definitely my wireless headphones. A workout is never the same without my surround sound trap music.

What are your top 3 fitness Instagram accounts to follow?

@chaneldelisser @msnicolefit , and @duragdoctor

What is one thing people would be surprised to learn about you?

I put habaneros in pretty much everything I cook. Food can never be too spicy.

What are your top three goals you hope to accomplish in life?

I want to become an M.D., specializing in dermatology, orthopedic surgery, or sports medicine (where God wants me to be). I want to become a prominent fitness influencer on IG and grow my tribe of women who are their own body goals. Lastly, I want to open a business!



What does PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT mean to you?

Fitness is beautiful in all shapes and sizes. As long as you are sweating for yourself, for your purpsoe and your own truth, you are beautiful.

Since PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT, what is your favorite deodorant?

Y’all know from my workouts, I am not afraid to sweat. My tried and true is the Secret Clinical Gel deodorant. Or the Gillette Clinical Gel for Men.

How can readers stay in touch with you on social media?

Feel free to DM me at any time or email me at

Favorite quote:

It’s a slow process but quitting won’t speed it up.

SWEATLEBRITY REPORTER | Olivia Hancock is is currently a junior at Georgia State University. The 19-year-old has loved writing ever since she can remember and her passion for it has allowed her to hold the title of PRETTY GIRLS SWEAT Teen Reporter for five consecutive terms. In addition, Olivia has had the opportunity to work with Her Campus, Aeropostale and Nordstrom as an ambassador. Her writing has been published on xoNecole, 21 Ninety, Her Campus, One MusicFest, and The Life Currency. In the future, Olivia plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and pursue a professional career as a writer at a lifestyle publication.