My name is Reem, I am a Lebanese wife and mother of two children named Caroline and Carl. I am turning 50 (AAH!) at the end of this month and have been in the fitness industry for well-over 15 years. I am certified in Group Fitness and Personal Training by the American Council on Exercise. I am also certified in 4 programs of Les Mills International; Body Step, Body Attack, Body Vive and Body Combat.

I discovered the world of Les Mills when I moved back to Lebanon in 2001. It was only then I realized that being certified by Les Mills International would take my group fitness teaching career to a whole new level. Their programs are pre-choreographed and refreshed every 3 months. Being part of the Les Mills tribe has helped me not just to inspire people to get moving, but to fall in love with fitness.

I can probably mention 50 different reasons why fitness is vital in one’s life. For me, committing to an active lifestyle has made me feel good about myself physically and mentally, it has built my self-confidence, it has helped me focus on making better nutrition choices, and it is the most constructive way to release stress – to name a few.

I am sure you are constantly bombarded with gimmicks and shortcuts on how you can “drop 10kgs in 10 days”, “get a 6-pack in a week” or anything absurd like that. In my opinion, nothing worth having comes easy in life. When it comes to achieving your fitness goals, it is important to incorporate a sustainable, healthy lifestyle into your everyday lives, rather than just focusing on the number on the scale.

Here’s some stats for you guys: When it comes to going to the gym, location of a fitness facility ranks at number 1 on the priorities list, with great exercise classes ranking at number 2. Group fitness classes are attended, on average, 3 times per week whereas the average gym-goer makes it there 1.9 times. Group exercisers are 26% less-likely to cancel their gym membership than gym-only members.

Now I know I’m starting to sound like an advertisement, but I genuinely believe in the Les Mills brand and strongly recommend their classes to just about anyone, with any fitness goal. There are currently 11 programs in total, ranging from cycling to weight training, high-impact cardio, yoga-based classes and even kids program. I personally believe in these trainings and endorse them because they’re results driven. They allow participants to cross-train and overcome any plateau they may face on their fitness journey. I know that different people connect to different types of workouts – some like to be challenged with high-intensity training, others prefer to dance, lift weights, etc. and so my suggestion to those of you who are trying to find an exercise schedule that is consistent and actually WORKS: Keep an open mind! Try every type of class available and you are bound to find something that you love and want to commit to. Enjoying the experience is the top incentive that promotes exercise adherence and self-motivation.

Although exercise is vital in achieving and maintaining good health, I also must emphasize that fitness and proper nutrition go hand-in-hand. Being a Les Mills instructor, I not only dedicate myself to teaching my classes, but also to encouraging my participants to come to me for nutrition tips. I find that when people have a sense of connection to their instructor, a sense of trust is built and the social aspect to fitness is then integrated, which fuels their desire to commit to being active even more.

Finally, I would like to encourage those of you who are considering incorporating fitness in your lives to take baby steps in the beginning – Exercising too much, too soon will most likely set you up for injuries or burn-out. Your fitness journey might feel like an uphill climb at first, where you’re barely seeing results and it feels like more of an obligation than fun. But I assure you that with a commitment to group fitness, you will reach the top of that hill sooner than you think and start to enjoy the ride down the slope with your hands up in the air, yelling “woohooo!”.

Remember, movement is medicine. You have one life, one body, one smart choice – and that is to be active, healthy and strong. With Les Mills classes, you are more than likely to succeed in realizing your fitness goals, and maybe even feel motivated to become a fitness leader yourself!

Signing off now! If you are based in Abu Dhabi, I welcome you to join in on any of my classes. I currently teach classes at Inspire Sports (Ladies Only) in Al Bateen Academy, and in September will resume my mixed class at Primal Gym on Reem Island. And please don’t hesitate to introduce yourself!

Thanks for reading!

Reem Kassab