The scientific evidence continues to mount verifying the fact that exercise works as medicine. Physical activity is often as effective as drugs when it comes to preventing death from diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The realisation about how significant physical fitness is to having a healthy lifestyle and ward off fatal diseases has been getting stronger in Qatar as well. As the country keeps promoting sports and physical activities, people have more choices to stay physically active and fit.
Ana Catarina Trindade is a young Portuguese expatriate and a physical trainer and fitness coach. Since her arrival in Qatar five years ago, she has been training and coaching young school kids and university students on how to stay fit. She motivates particularly women to stay active and fit. The fitness performance coach in a recent interview with Gulf Times shed light on how she became the trainer and what she has been doing in Qatar.
Ana has been into sports and exercise since her childhood and has made it her professional career. “I come from a sporting family. My grandfather was into football and cycling. My father was a professional footballer and taekwondo player. I used to cycle and follow my grandfather. When I was six year old, my father put me in a taekwondo class.”
As she grew older, she studied physical education and made it her profession. “I got a university degree in Physical Education and Sports Science. I coach for physical performance, athletics, and losing weight especially for women. I have worked in Spain and for some time in UAE. As I wanted to get out of my country, my company in Spain gave me an option either to work in Kuwait or Qatar. I chose Qatar without a second thought. Initially, I trained students for physical and sports skills from KG to Grade-VI at Al Khor International School. Now, I am the gym instructor for female students at Qatar University. I have also been organising training and coaching sessions.”
The taekwondo player has been enjoying coaching and training students and people from different backgrounds and countries in Qatar. “It is like teaching or training the world here. I have been training students on how they can have a healthy lifestyle by being physically fit. It has been a very good stay in Qatar so far. It is my second home. People are very friendly. It is a safe and secure place to live.”
Ana believes exercise acts like medicine and plays an undeniable role in being healthy and fit. “I believe in the phrase that exercise is medicine. It is a preventive medicine. By being physically active, we can escape many health issues and serious diseases. Nowadays, people tend to spend more and more time watching the screen. When there used to be no TVs, computers and mobile phones, people were involved more in physical activities even to socialise.”
The fitness enthusiast lays more stress on the need of children and women being active. “This year, children are like addicted to mobile or tab screens. They need to be active or they can become unhealthy. They are our future and we need to protect them. We need to bring them out of house and get them involved in physical activities regularly.
“Women in particular need to be physically active. Even if they are in house, they need to find ways to be active with children. They can set up an indoor gym. They can do gardening or get involved in physical household activities.”
When asked how an individual can motivate oneself for the regular exercise, Ana said: “It depends on an individual. It varies from people to people. If you feel something is not good about your body, get started. For example, if you can move around swiftly or cannot touch your feet, it is time to start exercising. Start now and do not wait for tomorrow. Even age does not matter. It can be important for some sport activity but every age is okay for physical activity.”
The Portuguese coach is upbeat about the growing enthusiasm for fitness in Qatar. “People are getting more and more involved in fitness activities. What I have witnessed during the Covid-19 lockdown was amazing. People became more conscious of their health and physical fitness.
“With major sporting events soon coming to Qatar, the sport and fitness frenzy is growing here. We need to be fit and happy to welcome the visitors to the FIFA 2022 Football World Cup.”