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Ana Freitas

By Yara Boraie

Published: Monday, September 26, 2016    



This month Yara Boraie chats with Zumba instructor and all round health guru Ana Freitas about her amazing journey in fitness

Where are you from and what’s your profession? do

I’m a certified group exercise instructor from Porto, Northern Portugal. I hold a degree in physical education.

How did you first get involved in the fitness field?

I was always into sports growing up and was often told that I had the physique for it – but never thought to pursue it as a career though initially.

I have now been in this field for a decade, and started off by giving fitness classes where I grew up; classes that comprised of muscle-shaping such as GAQAttack, Corb, and Step & Tone.

I also gave dance classes to children, something which I love doing. Then I went on to become certified in Zumba because the energy it creates brings a new element to the fitness community that will hook you and have you coming back for more – it is intense cardio but great fun.

What brought you to Al Ain?

I moved to Abu Dhabi a little close to two years ago, looking to become part of the rapidly growing fitness industry in the UAE.

I independently worked as a personal trainer for seven months before joining Fitness First Middle East in the same position. Then I decided to switch to Group Instructor because I loved the collective energy of the students, and this change led me to the gym’s Dubai branch.

However, ever since I moved to the UAE, I’ve wanted to work in Al Ain because it is a peaceful and hospitable area, where my personality belongs. I fell in love with the vibe here, it reminds me of home! So when the opportunity arose for me to make a move to Fitness First Hili Mall, I immediately took it – which I recently left as I’m currently in pursuit of other job opportunities.

What is your favourite part of being a fitness guru?

Seeing the students’ eager faces, ready to take a challenge! It was my responsibility to reoccupy their minds and have them leave their worries and woes at the group exercise studio’s door. And once the music started, everyone’s spirits and mood instantly lifted.

It never ceases to delight me seeing the change and progress in people’s health and lifestyle. Especially the part when they follow my advice to achieve their goals.

How important is our nutritional choices affecting our fitness?

One should always eat enough to keep one going, as long as it’s rich in proteins and fiber. What is the use of not eating sufficiently if it’s not giving you energy enough to exercise regularly? Starving yourself with a generic ‘weight loss’ diet is just as bad as poor eating, so I would recommend consulting with a professional nutritionist – one who would personalise your diet plan by weighing in every health factor instead of just pulling things off of Google.

Your classes are always buzzing with eager women of all ages – what’s your secret?

I think part of it had to do with the fact that I really enjoyed my job. I would come in with a positive mindset and fully pumped up, and start my classes off by energising my students too, explaining what we'll be doing.

I also did my best to promote self-confidence in my ladies, encouraging them to do their best, and telling them that they can do it and more. Ensuring a more accepting environment where no one would feel incapable of doing something and that has always been a definite guarantee to my students’ comeback, because I was there here to teach, not show off!

What are popular trends in the fitness world that annoy you?

The fact that people more often work out for the sake of looking good as opposed to health. I had women coming in and saying they want to have the perfect abs, the perfect butt; picture perfect, and not have to work out too hard for it.

It is something a lot of the beginners struggle with too, the actually having to work hard aspect, the commitment.

What is your philosophy in life?

To live out my days like they are my last. To never give up until my dreams have been realised, to persevere. To work hard at bettering myself and the world around me.

What does the future hold for you?

I’m currently independently available for fitness consulting and personal training. My future plans include going back into teaching primary kids – with a focus in on special needs children – as I did back in Portugal.

You can contact Ana and find what she’s up to at www.ana-fitness-leisure.webnode.com
 
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