Hello beautiful readers! I’m Abeer Amiri, a 27-year-old full-time daughter, friend, government employee, and fitness enthusiast. I am also the Co-Founder of #theADmovement, a dynamic community platform for women to get fit and flourish.

Contrary to what many think, I wasn’t always into fitness and healthy living. I always knew that being active is good for us; from better energy levels, to healthier hair and skin, and an overall better quality of life, but I never felt like “it was for me”. Also the fact that I was quite underweight, I didn’t think I needed to go to the gym. After putting some weight on in college, I actually tried to go to the gym a few times, but found the treadmill way too boring to go back. Now that I think of it, another reason I wasn’t active was because I didn’t find a fitness activity that I found fun – until I came across a fun bootcamp class in 2013.

What I discovered in that bootcamp class was not only a way to be fit, but that fitness can be fun and social. I also got to discover things about myself I never thought of – like I can actually get stronger and improve my coordination!

As I was on my journey, I decided to share my story on Instagram, in hopes of meeting other like-minded Emirati women that I can train with. Although through my page I met so many women and discovered plenty of ladies-only classes around town, I was surprised to see a secondary effect of going public. I realized that my little nieces and nephews were being influenced by my journey, and wanted to join sport teams in school and classes like boxing and ballet.

We don’t realize the importance of our actions and how they influence the kids around us, until we see them behaving like us. Now imagine, by finding a form of activity you love and expressing your love for it, you can help shape the lives of the youth around you, and help them find what makes them happy, and healthy!

As the summer heat is taking over our lives and pushing us to stay indoors, it doesn’t actually hinder our fitness because we have so many options of staying fit in the house. My go-to at home activity on hot lazy days is a relaxing session of yoga; I follow Fightmaster Yoga on YouTube, she’s great for beginners. If you’re looking to really getting your heart racing, try a Tabata workout. Tabata consists of 20 seconds of hard work of a certain exercise movement, 10 seconds of rest, then repeat for 4 minutes. You can choose 4 different movements (i.e push ups, squats, planks, lunges) to make up a 16 minute workout session without any equipment. You can find plenty of Tabata workouts online or even make one up yourself, and get kids involved they have so much fun with this one.

Another aspect of healthy living, which is at the core of this lifestyle (pun intended), is eating good quality food that nourishes our body. We need to train our mind to move away from negatively thinking “I can’t eat this” and “I shouldn’t eat that”, to “I’ll eat this because it’s good for me” and get comfortable with experimenting with recipes while making healthy alternative switches to the ingredients, such as switching mayonnaise with avocado (yum!). The way I like to think of the food I put in my body is that meats need to physically look like something that used to fly, swim, or run (nothing processed), and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. I love to fill my plate with colorful vegetables (greens and root vegetables make my mouth water), with a side of protein. If you’re looking for delicious healthy recipes that use whole foods, check out Paleo recipes online, they tend to be very filling and super delicious. If you have to buy boxed ingredients, I would suggest looking at the ingredient list and as soon as you see something on that list that you don’t understand, simply put the box down and look for another brand without preservatives or anything processed.

Before all of that, the most important action we can take is to love our body, and be grateful for everything that it is and all that it is enduring. Every action we take towards our health should be done out of appreciation, and to support our bodies to flourish into old age.

Learn to enjoy every minute of your journey, stay consistent, treat yourself with love, and the results will follow. If you ever feel like discussing your journey (or maybe want to workout together), feel free to reach out to me on my Instagram page @girlsjustwannaclean

Happy training!