Time to put down the holiday goodies, take up those calorie counters, and dust off those gym shoes. For what? Those new year fitness goals. Are you already making your resolution to get in shape?
With the New Year comes a popular resolution: getting in shape. Gyms get an influx of memberships, moms begin their early morning yoga sessions, and the sidewalks see more runners trekking along to their favorite music. For one, two, maybe three months, we stick to our resolutions with vigor.
Then, we slowly watch as our goals slip away. Sports practices, play dates, chores, and jobs get in the way. Maybe an injury sets us back and discourages us. We might feel guilty, lower our self-confidence, or feel like a downright failure for not accomplishing our crazed fitness resolutions. What pumps us up both physically and emotionally is now bringing us down. So, how can we achieve these slippery fitness goals? For women in the Middle East, the answer is a simple, seven-minute exercise program.
A MIDDLE EASTERN FITNESS CRAZE
This fitness craze is no different in the Middle East. But with a few added limitations. Juliana Sfeir points out, even when women have fitness goals, the limitations make working out difficult. “Sometimes, it can be the shame in our culture to exercise after a certain age. At other times, it’s circumstances and lack of funds to join a gym; [still] there are those who can barely think of their next meal, yet they still want to be healthy.”
The fitness craze isn’t limited to certain people. Refugee women with little resources have similar goals too. Finding enough to eat and providing for their families is hard enough. But finding time and money to work out? It can feel impossible.
When Juliana visited refugee families in Northern Lebanon, the need was apparent. “Meeting the refugee ladies at a learning center in North Lebanon was an enriching experience. Chatting with them in a very intimate way has granted me access to their aspirations and needs. They themselves reiterated their need to lose the belly and the derriere…and insisted that there’s no way to go out to do sports…”
That is why Haraka Baraka, or Fitness Craze, was created as seven-minute episodes available on television. Juliana’s experience inspired presenter Magdoline Nader, a professional ballerina and fitness expert, to make this program a reality.
“I was inspired by what Juliana shared about the woman who needed fitness classes, and this is where the idea of the show emerged, to grant women at home a simple way to encourage them to work out using simple exercises at their disposal.”
Let us all, regardless of borders or life-experiences, be limitless in reaching our New Year resolutions. Instead of that mile run, make it a walk around the block. Rather than go to the gym to lift weights, get a quick early-morning program that tones those muscles before the day begins. Just because our lives may be busy, it doesn’t mean our fitness goals have to slip by for yet another year.
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© SAT-7 2018