No matter what: Real women on how they stay motivated and fit - GulfToday

No matter what: Real women on how they stay motivated and fit


Keeping motivated to exercise can be a big challenge at times.

Elaine Superio, Fitness Manager

In the world of fitness, things are starting to normalise now. With the lockdown removed and many gyms opening their doors again, health fanatics have the freedom of working-out back at their favourite haunts or simply breathing fresh, albeit hot, air by doing outdoor activities.

The past few months were challenging for all of us to say the least. Some choose the direction of staying at home and living a sedentary lifestyle (eating whatever is available, sleeping late and being inactive). Some people found their passion in cooking, photography, drawing, arts and crafts. It always put a smile on my face seeing some people discover the inner chef in them. This is a great way in turning challenges into positives and something to benefit us all.

Pano-cover-2 Cycling in the early morning or late evening is a great way to stay fit.

Elaine Superio, Manager of Fitness 180 in Sharjah, speaks to women on how they have managed to keep their motivation and fitness levels up during the pandemic.

Here we talk to women who kept it going despite the lockdown; women who learned how to modify their workouts and maintain a fit body no matter what. What they will share shows that there are no excuses for not taking care of yourself. May this serve as motivation to all of us that everything is possible. We just need to work for it and then we will see great results.

The following questions were put to the ladies:

1. How do you maintain your fitness level during this time of pandemic?

2. How do you balance work and working out?

3. What advise you can give to people who are their losing motivation to exercise?

Safina Majid,

Safina Majid.

1. The most important thing we can do for our mental and physical health is to regularly move our bodies. Physical activity has significant benefits for mental health, sleep and it’s great to boost our immunity and reduce depression and anxiety. There are a number of workouts that we can do from home but for lot of people, the struggle is actually doing it. I schedule my workout, so I make a plan for when I am going to workout and set goal that’s easily achievable. Forty minutes in a day even with no equipment is more than enough.

2. I am a homemaker, a wife and a mother of two children. During this pandemic many people like me are taking care of their children full-time, having to deal with the pressure of online classes and trying to help our kids the best way we can. On top of that doing all the chores in my home, being bottled up indoors with all kind of emotions. The only thing that keeps me sane is being able to workout everyday for at least 40 minutes. Instead of sticking to a routine, I make up my mind that I will exercise anytime in the day and most importantly eat healthy.

3. My advice during this time of pandemic is to lower your expectations. This is not the time to aim for personal records in your training but its time to exercise for your general health and well-being. Eliminate any distractions which keep you from working out. There’s a strong temptation to keep browsing the internet, watch TV or do whatever else that is more interesting than working out especially now that we are in the comfort of our homes. Just get started, there is no need to over complicate this situation.

Ann Barcelona,
Service Ambassador (Private Bank)

Ann Barcelona.

1. Being a Dragon Boat paddler, I am lucky to be a part of my team (Dragon Warriors Dubai) inspite of not having paddling sessions, we continue our weekly individual home workouts and also have monthly physical challenges to keep everyone engaged.

2. We follow a training schedule, our weekday workouts are scheduled after of office hours and we have morning weekend workouts, rest days are also there in between. Since the routine was already established it was not difficult to carry it over given the present situation.

3. Your fitness is your responsibility. Recall the days when working out helped you accomplish your first feats like being able to do a proper push up, a pull up or your first long run. If you think you need to be around people, find a team sport and join a group who shares the same values you have. This will open new doors for you like what it did for me.

Amna Alshamsi,
Head of HR Department

1. It might be difficult to change my exercise routine and workout alone at home. I am missing attending group classes as it keeps me motivated. It’s normal to feel less motivated but I try to keep myself moving during the day and eat less to maintain my fitness level.

2. Balancing my work and keeping  t can be difficult in the beginning. I wake up in the early morning and get my kids ready for school then spend seven hours at work, but I still have time for my gym workout. Managing my time and planning the day ahead is very helpful. Using digital means such as my phone and smart watch to keep track of my movement and reminders was very helpful to balance and stick to my day plan.

3. Being healthy is your first defense against any disease, keeping this in mind will have you motivated to keep maintaining a healthy and balancing lifestyle. Plan your day ahead, set a time for your workout either by going to the gym or working out at home; also eat healthy.

Trace Rogers,
Founding Coach – Growings Coaching

Trace Rogers.

1. I have swapped out my tri bike for a mountain bike so that I can cycle from home. I’m still running (although for the first few weeks, I did loops around my garden). I’ve also discovered how much fun playing badminton in the garden can be.

2. Balancing work and keeping fit comes down to planning for me. I write myself a training plan and then plan my workday around that.

3. Staying motivated during these times, means continuing to work towards a goal. The goal needs to be challenging but doable in the current circumstances. This could be anything from Everesting on your staircase to running a 10km around the garden. When lockdown first began, we kept our athletes motivated with a team social distance challenges which had them doing one exercise a day. We had lots of fun with this and the teammates kept each other motivated.

Safa Al-Najjar,
Excellence & Benchmarking Manager

Safa Al-Najjar.

1. I make exercise a part of my daily routine by taking advantage of technology including virtual sessions and classes; I started by YouTube as a great resource, then I registered in Les Mills on Demand. I’m trying to turn it into a social activity by including some of my family members (who are quarantined with me) to make exercising more fun and sharing some workouts with my friends.

Furthermore, I follow Fitness 180 live daily workouts and I bought main equipment such as dumbbells and a skipping rope.

2. Schedule a regular workout time (after the working hours and a quick nap).

3. By nature, humans need change and variety to stay motivated.

We also need to have fun, so take your fitness workouts as fun and enjoy a variety of exercises by including Zumba, Yoga, Body Combat; set a goal, work hard, have fun and remain healthy.

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