The busy person’s guide to getting in shape
Top tips from Dubai-based nutritionist and personal trainer Sirin Abu Zene
There’s a reason health and fitness are kept on the side-lines in many business people’s lives – most of them are just plain busy. But according to Dubai-based nutritionist and personal trainer Sirin Abu Zene, getting in shape doesn’t necessarily require a lot of time. Plus, a study conducted at Stanford University reveals that physical activity is directly linked to better mental skills and increased energy levels. So without further ado, here are Abu Zene’s tips to making regular exercise a part of your busy day: Start your day earlier than you typically do: And exercise. This way, you tick off exercise from your to-do list first thing in the morning and also set yourself up for the busy day ahead, advises Abu Zene. “Have a cup of black coffee on your way to the gym as a pre-workout snack to help accelerate fat loss and increase performance,” she says. Choose simple, less time-consuming workouts: “There’s no need to work out for 2 hours every day to see results. Aim for 30-45mins sessions and complete two 30-minute resistance sessions per week. You can even use your lunch hour for this,” says the professional. She recommends adding a 60-minute walk or 40-minute cardio workout during the weekend, “You can do this with friends or family members to make it a fun workout.” Plan your day: “Failing to plan is planning to fail.” This approach applies both to business and fitness, according to Abu Zene. She recommends preparing and planning the following factors: your meals for the next day, your sleeping hours, and your training hours and routine. “Have a personal trainer develop a workout plan for you. You can also sign up with a healthy catering company if you are short on time to make your own meals,” she says. Set goals: And let everyone know what they are. That way, you’ll become accountable for them. “But be realistic,” Abu Zene warns. “Have a reasonable time frame for your goals. This will diminish the chance of falling back into unfit habits. Visualise your goals at the start of each day and go back to check if you have achieved them by the end of the day,” she says. Make healthier choices: Because the little things add up and make a difference. Making minor changes to your daily health choices include getting a goodnight’s sleep, drinking more water, and taking the stairs at work instead of the elevator, advices Abu Zene.