Lisa Hancox | Ironman 70.3 Dubai | Fitness First ME Blog
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Fitness First Inspiration – Lisa Hancox ‘My 10th Ironman 70.3 Race!’

posted by FitnessFirst Team February 11, 2018 0 comments


Having raced in Ironman 70.3 Thailand in November 2017, my training during December was a little lighter; January comprised of a few random training blocks as I had the opportunity to attend both the Faris Al Sultan Tri Training Camp as well as a training camp with my coach and Pro Athlete, Pedro Gomes. Both camps were held at the Barr Al Jissah Shangri La Resort in Muscat, Oman.  It was a great opportunity to train in the hills and swim against the current in the lazy river which is both great for training, are challenging and fun (and I would do it all again!).

This threw the schedule off, and I did not feel I had done a consistent, solid training block for the weeks leading to the Ironman 70.3 Dubai race. I also had 2 consecutive work trips to Jordan to train the team.

Honestly, in the week leading into Ironman 70.3 Dubai I felt like a bit of a zombie and had no idea where my fitness was for the race. I was intrigued to see where I would be racing in the new age group though (maybe this is the one advantage of getting older?).

The Evening Before the Race

The evening before the race, after the bike was racked, I felt like there was something missing – I guess this is since these crazy races become a little more routine it does not seem as complex as it did before.

I didn’t find anything missing and went to race morning comfortable – was happy with where my bike was racked (opposite Ironman 70.3 Dubai winner, Alistair Brownlee) close to the bike exit.

Race Day

I put the nutrition and Garmin (bike computer) on the bike, checked the blue and red transition bags were still in place and got my bike shoes to place on the bike – with the rubber bands as practised in Pedro’s Transition Clinic!

Once all set, I went back to the car and got my wetsuit on ready to race; had my breakfast #2 which consisted of Argi+, Fast Break & High5 gel – yum!  A quick jog down the road got me both warmed up a bit and down to the swim start – with a couple of stops for social chats on the way wishing all a great race.

At the swim start, I tried to position myself as much as possible in the correct position according to my ability.  Once I got started I passed many people on the way out of the marina – so far so good for the race. Then we got out to the open water and the waves were rolling and choppy – as Pedro said, there has never been so much elevation in the swim of an Ironman race – I had no idea where the boys were so was just following other’s arms and legs. This lack of direction takes confidence, even if with less power/speed but I was comfortable – even though I was a bit disorientated!

I was able to follow the feet and see a few orange buoys on my right so knew I was headed vaguely in the right direction!  There seemed a bit of a current so I headed back towards the orange buoys whilst still following the people ahead of me. As I finally hit the beach there were a few waves to ride in a little, I aim to get as shallow as I can whilst still swimming before I try to stand as it is hard work to run through water (although riding the waves I got a cramp in my left calf!).

Lisa Hancox | Ironman 70.3 Dubai | Fitness First ME BlogRun up the beach – there are lots of Fitness First colleagues cheering so I figured I had best keep running even if a bit dizzy from being rolled around in the water. So T1 went smoothly; got the Blue Bag, emptied, decided it was warm enough to have no socks on the bike – a debate I was still having with myself until that moment (cold feet vs time to put socks on?). The decision was made because it wasn’t so cold and it is slow to put socks on when wet, then they need to be changed after the bike anyway since the socks are wet by the end of the bike from the ocean water still dripping off you, and you can’t run with wet socks (dramas of Triathlon racing). So this left only the race belt and helmet to deal with and to re-pack the bag.

Lisa Hancox | Ironman 70.3 Dubai | Fitness First ME Blog

Got on the bike and got shoes on easily – felt the power and was riding.

At this stage in a race, many male athletes pass me fast as I am out of the water quite early but don’t have the same bike power as them. It was nice to see some friends come past me and so far everyone seemed happy with the race.

I kept my power where it should be and it felt surprisingly comfortable. I was concentrating on making sure I consume the nutrition I had planned which consisted of High5 gels and PowerBar Powergel shots.

At approximately 30 kms a large pack seemed to form around me. I tried to not get engulfed and not get slowed down too much. I kept average power but somehow lost rhythm.  A couple of male athletes went past and then stopped pedaling – I might have let them know I wasn’t very happy about that!  The rest of the 90 kms was just about staying away from the other athletes, out of the draft and maintaining my watts!

Into the dismount line I see Kate, an Ironman referee, informing all athletes to dismount, surprisingly quieter and more mellow than normal – I had a little giggle to myself. I racked the bike and ran to the Red Bag.  Helmet off, socks on, shoes on, grab the gels and get out of there!

Lisa Hancox | Ironman 70.3 Dubai | Fitness First ME Blog

Planning an easy start to the run I was happy to be this far through the race and so far felt comfortable.  I was not too aware of many other female athletes in front at this stage other than the usual suspects with whom I no longer share an age group, but hadn’t really concentrated on this long enough to check either. I was happy racing my race as per my race plan. I saw a camera and found myself being playful bouncing around.

My quads soon gave me a nudge that they weren’t very happy but we had a chat and they went quiet…for now.

In my head I broke the run into 6 x 3.5 km phases so I knew where I was in the run as 21 kms is a daunting distance to a non-runner (a.k.a baby elephant)!

The run was 7 kms out and back, and then 3.5 kms back out the same way and then back down to the finish line.  I ran from aid station to aid station to get cold Coke and water for the sugar and caffeine to take me to the next supply, as well as some cold sponges to cool me a little. For the first 14 kms I really enjoyed seeing friends, colleagues and fellow athletes, unfortunately I wasn’t so sociable towards the end.

In the 5th section of 3.5 kms, the cramps in the quads came back but I was running following a tall man in yellow so focused on keeping up with him.

The support on the run was the best I have know it in Dubai – lots of cheers from supporters to motivate the athletes on the run, although by the final 3.5 kms the legs didn’t want to play anymore and I could only think about one foot in front of the other to keep moving forward to the finish line. I was slightly worried that if I stopped they would not start working again. Luckily, 3 kms isn’t too long and soon I was on the red carpet and at the finish line.

I was very happy to be there and the friends who saw me finish took a picture of my happiness!

Lisa Hancox | Ironman 70.3 Dubai | Fitness First ME BlogAlways great to be in the athlete’s village to chat with others and see how their race went, discuss what went well, what didn’t go so well and what’s the plan for the next race.

One of the other athletes I spoke with was my coach, Pedro.  He checked the results online and told me that I was 1st in my age group.  Then we discussed if I would/should take the slot for the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in South Africa on 1st September 2018.  He recommended that it would be a good lead into the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii which I qualified for in Thailand.  Now the training starts for these 2 races later in the year!

I was happy to receive 1st place for my (new) age group.

Lisa Hancox | Ironman 70.3 Dubai | Fitness First ME Blog

So now to make the plan to have fun at my #11 Ironman 70.3 Race in Colombo, Sri Lanka on 25th February!

Lisa Hancox
National Aquatics Manager
Fitness First Middle East & North Africa

Fitness First Member Tetsimonial

Dalal Hamad Bourisli – Fat to Fit

posted by FitnessFirst Team January 22, 2018 0 comments

My name is Dalal Hamad Bourisli and I’m 34 years of age!

I started my journey when I was 19 years old weighing 89kilos- #chubby I was! I remember I was teased for my weight but cared less because in my head I was fine. And if there is something out there for me to wear (keep in mind I never cared how it looked on me) then I was more then fine. Plus “there are larger people then me” is what I constantly told myself.

My story started when I was out with my cousin strolling in the mall. Picture this, I was an overweight girl who wore glasses with bad acne and braces. As I was standing in a chocolate shop I was body shamed in public! I ignored it and pretended I didn’t hear anything, took my chocolate box and brushed it off. You would think that this incident was the one that changed my life, but nope!

As days went by I was invited to a close school friends’ birthday party. After everyone had left, I stayed behind because the birthday girl and I were the biggest of the crowd (even though I thought I wasn’t overweight and only she was). Her and I  never ate in public or in front of anyone to avoid people’s judgments and looks. There are times when people feel like they can speak their minds very loudly- and this was one of them. Her mother walked in on us stuffing our faces and asked if we enjoyed the birthday party! Following this she asked us to stand up beside each other for comparison. It didn’t hit me until she said  “if you lose weight I’ll buy you a car.” And right there the ‘fat alert alarm’ rang in my head – this was my reality check. Girl, you’re big and you need to do something about it! You’re too young to look like you’re in you 30s .

That evening when I went home I remember writing in my diary a plan to lose weight, what to eat, and the kind of workouts I was going to do.

I started off running on a path behind my grandparents house. At first I thought I was going to die! Body aches which led to a high fever and vomiting at times when I would overdo it . But I was determined to lose that weight.

My first goal was to lose weight and that too as much as I could (keep in mind that I’m against surgeries of any kind). Within weeks I began running without chest pain or feeling like I was going to throw up. However, I still did not feel confident enough to go to the gym where all the girls seemed to be hot and skinny.

So I made another plan, cardio at 3pm, strength training at 5pm, finished with yoga which was introduced to me by a friend I used to meditate with. I went running for an hour every day at 3pm, then at 5pm used my own body weight for strength training. Within months my uncle and family started to notice the changes, and so I felt confident to go to a gym.

Since I was new to the area I didn’t know were to go so I asked my sister. Back then there was a salon that gave classes in their basement- these were like gyms that I could afford as a student. Then my dad gifted me my first treadmill and my uncle gifted me an elliptical trainer which I loved more then anything in the world at that time because it gave me the figure I always dreamed of! At least that’s what I thought.

Then one day my mother asked what I wanted for my birthday and I said a membership to the gym! Thanks to my mom’s support, she gifted me a yearly membership to any gym I was interested in. I have been to many different gyms, but I chose to join Fitness First for my growing passion for muscles.

I remember the first year I joined people came to me and asked me why was I there! They would say, “You’re super skinny you don’t need it!”

At that time this was true, I didn’t really need it; I weighed 47 kilos and had no figure at all. Then one day one of the Fitness First staff told me to try BodyPump since it helps to build muscle. But at the time I felt that muscles were ugly and masculine. But since she requested it, I attended BodyPump and loved it to the point I got a certificate as BodyPump instructor from Les Mills! I was introduced to muscles in my body I never knew I had!

This year my goal is to do the Spartan Race, get certified in Yoga Balance , RPM , Core-Active and many more!  This year is all about getting my foundation.

I still get a lot of people asking me why I come to the gym, and my simple answer is “It’s a lifestyle. I don’t come here to lose weight but because of how I feel after I workout. The happy feeling (endorphins) is what I’m addicted to!”

In addition to this, my body looks great and I feel regular exercise changes the brain to improve memory skills. Now my dream is to one day in the future, somewhere in the world, own my own gym with a healthy canteen with only organic food! Baby steps!

These are my keys for a successful fitness journey: Have the will power and determination, and push you self to see your limits!

Follow my journey on #lalafitnessdiary💋

Best of luck on your journey! – Dalal Bourisli Xoxo

Member of the Month - Fitness First Middle East

Member of the Month – 360 Mall Kuwait, Safa Abdulwahab

posted by Fitness First Middle East December 5, 2017 0 comments

The member of the month at 360 Mall Club in Kuwait, Ms. Safa Abdulwahab, shares her journey into the fitness world and how a close to death situation made her turn her life around.

“I’ve always been an overweight person, emotional eater and bullied. The moment I decided to take the first step to a healthy lifestyle was the night I stopped breathing while sleeping.

It was a huge wake up call. I was 25 years old then and I was 118 KG. I did my sleeve gastric surgery back in 2012, I lost most of my weight, plus I lost most of my body muscle, it left me with a skinny body and extra skin. I looked pale and I had depression.

My therapist advised me to workout and focus on my diet, and I really did.

Joining Fitness First changed my whole life. Having an amazing Personal Trainer like Rhea made me realize that workouts can be a very fun time too. I love the way Rhea encouraged me from the time I knew that the struggle is so real, she didn’t give up and I too didn’t give up because I know that in my journey to fitness I have someone to lean on.

Member of the Month - Fitness First Middle EastI gained weight which I know is a part of the process – muscle gain and lost body fat as well. Remember that the number on the scale doesn’t matter because I matter.

I love the way how my whole body is changing, I see how I changed size of my clothes. I embraced myself the way who I am and what I am in a more positive way and I will always be proud of my achievement.

And now, my husband joined Fitness First because we encourage each other to live a healthier lifestyle that soon will be passed on to our kids. Informed life choices about how life is beautiful when you are healthy and happy. More power to all.”


انا عائشة ومعاً #نقوى_سوا

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 26, 2017 0 comments

اسمي عائشة وأنا بالفعل واحدة من بين كثيرات ممنْ تفخرن بأن فيتنس فيرست الشرق الأوسط يمكِّنهن لكي تصبح الواحدة منهن عضوةً نشطةً، ومدرِّبةً، وأمًا، وقدوةً لبعض السيدات المترددات على فيتنس فيرست واللاتي ترغبن في إحداث تحول في أجسادهن

تبدأ قصتي منذ خمس سنوات مضت، عندما انضممت إلى نادي فيتنس فيرست كعضوة فيه بعد إنجابي لطفلي الثاني، وكنت أعتقد أن هذه الخطوة ستكون بداية جيدة لاستعادة شكلي السابق بدلاً من اتباع حميات غذائية قاسية. عندما كنت طفلة، لم أحقق أي نجاح قط في أي نوع من أنواع الرياضة، ودائمًا ما كنت أفتقر إلى عنصر التنسيق وروح اللياقة البدنية

 “أنا عائشة و معاً “نقوى_سوا

ونظرًا لأنني أعمل محاسبة بدوام كامل في مركز دبي المالي العالمي، لم تسنح لي الفرصة لأتمرَّن سوى في وقت استراحة الغداء، ولكي أكون صادقة معكم، كان الهدف الرئيسي في البداية هو أن أشغل أوقات استراحة الغداء وأستثمر وقت الفراغ الذي أكون فيه بعيدة عن طفليّ. وحتى ذلك الحين، لم أكن آخذ الأمر على محمل الجد، إذ أنني كنت أهتم أكثر بالهرولة إلى العمل وعدم إرهاق نفسي في التمرين لكي أبدو في هندامي بقدرٍ يتيح لي العودة إلى جو العمل في هيئة ملائمة. ولكن مع الاقتراب أكثر من مدربي فيتنس فيرست وبناء علاقات قوية مع فيتنس فيرست كمجتمع وليس كمكان للتمرَّن، أصبح التعود على ممارسة التمارين مهيمنًا على روتيني اليومي. فضلاً عن ذلك، دائمًا ما يدفعني التقدير والاستحقاق الذي أناله من مدربي فيتنس فيرست على التقدم الذي أحرزه في قوتي البدنية، إلى مواصلة التقدم، ما يساعدني على تحقيق المزيد من اللياقة والقوة البدنية يوميًا

بعد عام من الالتزام والتفاني في التمرين، قام المدربون بفيتنس فيرست بتمكيني لأصبح أنا نفسي مدربةً، وهو ما كان مردوه حينها أنني وجدت بداخلي شغف تام للتمارين الجماعية. ولكي أكون صادقة معكم، لم تكن عملية التحسن أمرًا سهلاً كما يبدو، ولا سيما أنني لم أحصل على أي دراسات أساسية في مجال التدريب ولم أكن رياضية في طفولتي. والحين، أتوجه بالشكر لمدربي فيتنس فيرست الذين قدموا لي ما يكفي من الأدوات والتوجيهات التعليمية بشأن ما يتطلبه الأمر لأصبح مدربةً جيدة، وأفكر في التمارين الجماعية من منظور آخر؛ وهو منظور العضو الذي يقابله تصور المدرب

وبعد عام من ذلك الحين، لم أستطع أن أبدأ يومي بسعادة بدون الذهاب في الصباح الباكر إلى فيتنس فيرست، تمامًا كما هو الحال مع فنجان القهوة الصباحي. لقد تغيرت أولوياتي، فلن أهدر وقتي مرةً أخرى في السهرات المتأخرة أو في تخصيص وقتًا أطول للنوم كان يمكن استثماره في التمرين. وحتى خلال شهر رمضان المبارك، وبعد أن قمت بتجميد عضويتي كما اعتدت على مدار السنوات الأربع الأخيرة، لا زلت أذكر أنني في اليوم الثاني من رمضان وجدت أنه  لا شيء يجعلني أخجل من  تغيير رأيي والعودة إلى ساحة الجيم للتدريب قبل الإفطار

أنا رياضية في الصباح، ومُحاسبة أثناء اليوم، وأم في آخر النهار، وطالبة تدرس اللياقة البدنية ليلاً. وأنا عضوة أصبحت مُدرِّبة. أنا عائشة و معاَ “نقوى_سوا

عائشة ياقوت
عضوة بفيتنس فيرست/مُدرِّسة مستقلة



I am Aisha and I #empowerme

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 24, 2017 0 comments

My name is Aisha and yes I am one of the many that are proud to be empowered by Fitness First Middle East to become the active member, coach, mother and role model for some of the Fitness First ladies that wish to have a body transformation.

The story goes back to 5 years ago when I joined Fitness First as a member after I had my second child, thinking it was a good start to get back in shape rather than just following strict diets. As a child, I was never a success in any kind of sports and I always lacked the coordination and the spirit of fitness.

I am Aisha and I #empowerme – Fitness First Testimonials

Working as a full time accountant in the DIFC, I only had a chance to train during the lunch break, and to be honest, the main goal started as keeping my lunch breaks busy and investing the free time that I was away from my two kids. Yet, I was not taking it very serious as I was more concerned to run back to the office, and not exhausting myself to look tidy enough to fit back in my business attire. Yet, getting closer to the Fitness First coaches and establishing strong ties with Fitness First as a community not just a place to work-out, the exercise addiction has dominated my daily routine. In addition, having progress in my strength recognized & validated by Fitness First coaches has always kept me moving forward, to improve in becoming fitter and stronger by day.

After a year of commitment and dedication, I was empowered by Fitness First master trainers to become a trainer myself, which back then all I had was a passion for group exercise. To be honest, the process of improvement was not as easy as it sounds, especially having no background studies in coaching & never being an athlete as a child. Yet, thanks to Fitness First coaches that has provided me with enough tools and educational guidelines of what it takes to become a good coach and think about group exercise from the other side of the stage, a member perspective vs a coach perception.

A year later, I cannot manage to start my day happily without the early morning visit to Fitness First, just like the morning cup of coffee. My priorities have changed, I would rather not waste my time in late evenings or getting extra time of sleep that can be rather invested in exercise. Even during Ramadan, after I froze my membership as I used to for the past four years, Ramadan day 2 I still thought it is nothing to be ashamed of to change your mind, and was back in the gym floor to train before Iftar.

I am an athlete in the morning, an accountant during the day, a mother in the evening and a fitness student by night. I am a member who became a coach. I am Aisha and I #empowerme.

Aisha Yaqout
Fitness First Member / Freelance Instructor


Noor Nasser

I am Noor and I #EmpowerME

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 5, 2017 0 comments

I joined Fitness First in 2014, thinking “who am I kidding?  I will join this gym just like I did with every gym I joined before, attend one month and then leave!”

I am Noor and I #EmpowerME – Fitness First Testimonials

Yes that is what I used to do, join a gym, leave it and look for something else.

I was overweight, frustrated and demotivated believing that this is how I am and will be for the rest of my life. But then I tried a class, had to pull up a lot of courage to force myself into the studio. I saw how beautiful and graceful the instructor was and told myself “I want to be as graceful as she is” and that was what inspired me. In fact, I was inspired by the Club General Manager herself, Ana, managing the gym, interacting with the members and attending to their needs as well as being the Group Exercise Instructor at the same time! That’s power and strength of personality!

Fitness First changed my beliefs about myself, I fell in love with fitness so much it became a lifestyle for me and I wanted to become a Group Exercise Instructor myself so I can inspire others and push my limits and become powerful.

Believe in yourself, unleash the power within and become an inspiration!

Noor Nasser
Fitness First Member and Zumba Instructor

Noor Nasser


Noor Nasser

أنا نور ومعاً #نقوى_سوا

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 5, 2017 0 comments

“انضميت إلى فيتنس فيرست فسنة ٢٠١٤ وكانت تدور في بالي هالافكار “انتي تضحكين على من؟ بتشتركين بالنادي وبتتركينه بعد شهر كالعادة

فعلا كانت هذه عادتي، اشترك ولا التزم وابحث عن نادي آخر

كنت اعاني من الوزن الزائد، محبطة وليس لدي دافع او حافز وقد استسلمت لفكرة “هذه انا وسأبقى هكذا لبقية حياتي”. ولكن قررت تجربة احدى الحصص الرياضية، وقد تطلب مني شجاعة لإجبار نفسي على دخول الاستوديو. وعندما رأيت كم كانت المدربة جميلة ورشيقة وكانت هذه بداية الالهام. بالفعل لقد الهمتني مديرة النادي حيث كانت تدير النادي، تهتم وتستمع للأعضاء بالإضافة لتدريب حصص جماعية، ذلك معنى ان تكون لديك قدرة وشخصية قوية

فيتنس فيرست غير فكرتي حول نفسي، احببت الرياضة كثيرا واصبحت اسلوب حياة بالنسبة لي وكان يجب ان اصبح مدربة بنفسي حتى الهم غيري واتحدى قدراتي واصبح اقوى

!آمن بنفسك، أطلق العنان لنفسك، واصبح مصدر الهام للغير

نور ناصر
عضوة ومدربة زومبا


Noor Nasser

Fitness & Training

The Huge Shift for Women to Lift!

posted by Adam McCubbin October 21, 2016 3 Comments

In the last 5 years, there has been a huge shift in women’s health and an embracement of resistance training for health benefits and aesthetics. A common misconception, women believed that by lifting weights, they would automatically develop huge, thick, unsightly muscles and thought that they would be better served spending their time on the treadmill to melt away fat! Finally, we have come to realise that this is simply not true and the very thing that we once feared has become the answer to unlocking true health and the body that women have always wanted!


It’s hard not to scroll through social media to see countless articles, Instagram selfies and videos of women, sharing and teaching other women to not fear weights, but to become strong and healthy. Hence the rise in popularity of the trending hashtag #strongisthenewskinny. Pop culture has started to move away from promoting waif thin and delicate body types to celebrating stronger, curvier women with toned muscles and a healthier, more attainable body image. (Billion-dollar industry (24 billion – 2014))

Like everything, there are extremes that can be unhealthy with resistance training, but with adequate education and the right mental approach, there are few women that wouldn’t benefit from a structured weight training program.

Putting to rest the misconceptions of weight training for women

If I want to lose weight, I should prioritise cardio over weights.

Switch it around and you’ll have it right! It’s true, doing cardio can help with the weight loss process, but it’s not nearly as effective as weight training. Classic steady state cardio can burn the calories just like weights can during the session. However the recovery from steady state cardio will be less demanding on the body and won’t keep your metabolic rate elevated like weights will. Running on the treadmill without direction and a planned resistance program is the fastest way to nowhere!

High reps and light weights are ideal for women to tone up.

Somewhere along the line, light weights and high repetitions were marketed to women as an effective way to target and tone certain parts of the body. Perhaps it was some sort of infomercial selling a thigh squeezer or butt clencher, either way, they were feeding you snake oil! To create a change in the body, there needs to be significant disruption to produce results. For example, if you lift 10 kg for 10 reps compared with 30 kg for 10 reps. Which weight makes you work harder? The higher weight causes a bigger disruption metabolically, thus has a cascading effect on how many calories you burn for your system to recover. If the calories you consume are the same or lower than what you exert on average, then there is little to no chance that you will put on weight and chances are you will drop unwanted body fat and replace it with firm muscle a.k.a. “toning”.


Weight training will make me bulky.

Despite what you may have heard, building significant muscle is actually hard to do for most people. Men spend countless amounts of money in the quest of building bigger muscles and they have 10x more testosterone (which is a crucial hormone for muscle grow) than women do. Muscle is a denser tissue compared with fat, meaning that it takes up less space than fat. For example, two people may be the same height and weight, however the person with the higher body fat percentage will wear the larger clothes. The fast food diet is going to be the main reason why your jeans don’t fit anymore, not the weight training.

Embrace weight training, keep educating yourself and learn from the growing epidemic of women that have successfully become fit, strong and healthy.

Fitness First has been committed to Breast Cancer Awareness for many years and now with the annual adrenaline pumping session of Zumbathon. This year’s ‘Party in Pink’ is happening on the 23rd October at Fitness First Meadows.

Come join the party and spread the message to raise awareness for Breast Cancer by registering for the event! SMS your “name” & “ZumbaMoves” to 4900.

Fitness & Training

What Women Should Do to Lower Breast Cancer Risks

posted by FitnessFirst Team October 17, 2016 0 comments

Thousands of breast cancer cases could be avoided, if we simply embrace an active lifestyle. The pain of chemotherapy, the uncertainty of its recurrence and its many psychological effects make it a dreaded disease. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and the region’s leading fitness experts at Fitness First are sharing some insights on what you can do to reduce your risks.

Be the first line of defense when it comes to breast cancer. Make way for lifestyle changes such as going alcohol and smoke-free, eating a balanced and nutritious diet and conducting self-examination tests. But controlling your weight through a fit and active lifestyle is most important because it can reduce breast cancer risks substantially. Your optimum weight could differ vastly from someone else’s, which is why it is essential you talk to your doctor, a nutritionist or a fitness-trainer to understand how best to keep your weight in check.

Fitness First experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week. This can be broken down into 30 minutes of exercise 5 times per week. To set the ball rolling, you could start off with these simple activities:

1. Brisk Walking

Walking and brisk walking can do wonders to your weekly fitness routine. Try and increase the number of times and amount of time you walk daily. For 30 minutes, try a combination of walking, brisk walking and jogging, adjusting your pace depending on energy levels.


2. Cycling

Dedicated cycling tracks and community parks allow us ample opportunities to jump on the bike. With minimal equipment and little planning, cycling is the best way to help you deal with your energy-spend and calorie-burn. Combine it with a fitness app or your very own MYZONE belt to track your progress and keep the momentum going.

3. Zumba/Aerobics

Dance to the beat and let the moves do more good to your body than just lifting your spirits. 30 minutes of Zumba or Aerobics three times a week will do wonders for your immunity, strength and overall fitness. That’s not all, a Zumba and Aerobics group class provides extra motivation and lets you enjoy the competitive feeling with like-minded people.


4. Water Aerobics/Swimming

Dive into fitness with swimming. If you need more action, then an expert led water aerobics session is where you’ve got to be. With no pressure on your joints and a full body workout, swimming and water aerobics are one of the best fitness routines to take up.

5. Body Weight Training

A variety of push-ups, squats, lunges and jumps are waiting to be explored. Speak to a Fitness First expert and discover which body weight exercises you can include in your fitness routine.


Fitness First has been committed to Breast Cancer Awareness for many years and now with the annual adrenalin pumping session of Zumbathon. This year’s ‘Party in Pink’ is happening on the 23rd October at Fitness First Meadows.

Come join the party and spread awareness!

4 Dietary Ways To Balance Hormones Naturally
Health & Nutrition

3 Dietary Ways To Balance Hormones Naturally

posted by FitnessFirst Team March 7, 2016 0 comments

Hormone Imbalance and Nutrition

There is a great correlation between healthy balanced eating and hormones within the body. Whatever you’re eating is either helping the production of hormones or hindering it.

Who doesn’t want a healthy reproductive system, healthy immune system, balanced hormones and glowing skin? The consumption of nutrient dense foods will open your hormonal production pathway.

The body doesn’t produce all the hormones needed correctly or sufficiently for the body on its own, therefore it create hormone imbalance especially in women which leads to a lot of complications.

Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

Some of the most common symptoms of hormone imbalance include:

  • Chronic Fatigue: are you always tired?
  • Acne: cookie faced?
  • Mood Swings: yoyo moods?
  • Diminished Libido: no mojo?
  • Weight Gain: big boned?
  • Memory Loss: who are I?

3 Dietary points to balancing hormones:

1.Clean Lean Protein (not fried) with every meal

Typical Others
Beef Quinoa
Fish Lentils
Poultry: Chicken or Turkey and Eggs Spinach

protein-meal2. Healthy fats (portion control)

Typical Others
Olive Oil Avocado: helps absorb and use nutrients
Nuts and Seeds Coconut Oil: contains lauric acid, helps with hormonal production and helps combat bacteria and viruses in the body
Egg Yolk: contains choline and iodine, important for making healthy thyroid hormones Raw Butter or Ghee

nuts-almonds3. Antioxidant rich veggies (don’t over boil)

Classification Examples
Dark green veggies Broccoli, spinach, cucumber and kale
Brightly colored veggies Bell peppers, tomatoes
Starchy veggies Sweet potatoes, beets, turnips, parsnips


Our bodies have an incredible ability to heal and be in balance, when given the nutrients they need to flourish. Your body is your temple therefore always strive to make it habitable.

Olufemi Olugbemi
Fitness Manager
Fitness First Abu-Dhabi Mall