woman at work
Wellness and fitness involve being aware and making healthy choices about diet, exercise, and staying positive. Fitness has been a growing interest among women in recent years in Pakistan. According to a recent study, women are more fitness conscious than men. The growing Pakistani fitness industry has come a long way. Earlier there were hardly any fitness trainers and people had to learn about advanced fitness methods through the internet. But today, Pakistan has many women fitness enthusiasts that are reviving the fitness industry in the country. Some prominent names are Mantahaa Maqsood, Nusrat Hidayatullah, Maryam Nasim, and Amal Sawar.
Gone are the days when personal fitness trainers were only for movie stars and celebrities, with changing lifestyle, personal fitness trainers are a norm now. There are a number of promising fitness trainers who are creating their niche in the field and one of them is Asma Kamran, who has been practicing as a personal fitness trainer since 2016.
Asma is a CanFitPro (Canadian Fitness Professionals) certified personal training specialist, children fitness coach and an active aging coach. She has completed her certificates from Canada. She is also a member of NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine) and currently studying for their specialty courses. She is also a certified nutritionist from both Canada and Pakistan. And she is based both in Toronto and Karachi. She is trained in taking virtual sessions and also have clients abroad. I take clients through references only. She can be contacted at [email protected] In a candid interview with You! Asma talks about the importance of keeping oneself fit and healthy…
You! Why did you decide to become a fitness trainer?
Asma Kamran: My own journey led me to believe that if I can help myself in becoming stronger and fit then I can teach fitness to others. My journey started when I faced health issues and strength training turned my life around. Since then, there’s no looking back. Since I hold a Master’s degree in Linguistics, so teaching fitness to clients came naturally to me!
You! Are women in Pakistan aware of the importance of fitness?
AK: The concept of fitness is gaining momentum in metropolitan cities but it’s going to take time for Pakistani women to truly understand its worth.
You! What’s the difference between a gym trainer and a personal trainer?
AK: While gym trainers are there to help their members in using gym equipment safely and follow the protocols, personal trainers are uniquely qualified to provide customised one on one sessions to their clients to achieve their goals.
You! What exercises are best for fat burn at home?
AK: High intensity exercises like burpees, high knees, mountain climbers, frog jumps etc or low impact cardio like brisk walk, jogging, step-ups etc. But one needs to be aware of their physical limitations before starting any fitness plan to avoid injury.
You! What essentials do we need at home; to get the same results as we would at the gym?
AK: Motivation to put time and efforts in consistently following the workouts. That’s all that is required to achieve results at home. Nothing fancy!
You! What does a typical home workout involve?
AK: A typical workout must consist of a warm-up and a cool down stretch routine at the end.
You! How would you structure a fitness class?
AK: All my clients have their sessions pre-booked according to their convenience and my availability. I train each client for 30 or 60 mins. I maintain separate files for everyone where I track their progressions and regressions and customise everyone’s plans accordingly.
You! How do you keep your fitness knowledge up to date?
AK: Since I am a member of CanFitPro and NASM, so I have to continuously update myself by taking more certificates and exams. It’s mandatory. It’s a great way to keep abreast of the ever-changing fitness industry.
You! What are your personal fitness goals?
AK: To have a strong and flexible body, a positive mind set, a good sleep routine, proper hydration and eat healthy nutritious food every day.
You! Who are your fitness idols?
AK: Kelsey Wells, Kayla Itsines, Alexia Clark, Jillian Michaels, Tosca Renu and Vince Sant. The list is pretty long, I guess!
You! What is the most common fitness goal of your clients?
AK: Working on their strength, stamina, flexibility and nutrition.
You! How do you keep clients motivated?
AK: During my intake sessions, I focus a lot on their goals and objectives and I connect with them on a personal level. This connection and understanding gives me an opportunity to motivate them to achieve their goals.
You! How important is nutrition to you? Will you strongly suggest your clients follow a better diet to improve their fitness goals?
AK: Nutrition is of prime importance if you are embarking on a fitness journey. It plays a crucial role if you are building muscles and losing fat. I give nutrition tracker chart to my clients and also give them a customised diet plan if they need it.
You! Do you recommend nutrition supplements?
AK: Yes, I recommend nutrition supplements to all my clients. I emphasise on daily intake of multivitamins and loading up on proteins if they are training for muscle hypertrophy. Other than that, I encourage them to go for routine blood work so they keep a check on their vitamin D and iron levels.
You! What are your thoughts on a vegan lifestyle?
AK: It’s a personal choice. A lot of my clients follow it because it suits them. I have a neutral take on it.
You! What is your main rule when it comes to your diet?
AK: Whatever I am eating has to be nutritious and within my caloric requirements.
You! What does a typical day of eating include for you?
AK: The three basic meals of the day and one or two healthy snacks in between.
You! How would you describe your philosophy on health and fitness?
AK: I have a holistic approach to fitness and health. Having high activity levels, eating and sleeping well, lots of hydration, proper sleep and having a positive mindset is what works for me every single day!
You! Who or what gives you the most inspiration?
AK: The progress of my clients inspires me to become better at my job and I strive to learn more about the evolving concepts of fitness and health.
You! To someone just getting started looking to live a healthier lifestyle and incorporate fitness, what would your advice to them be?
AK: Everything is possible if you are motivated and consistent in your efforts. Start by taking small steps every day and continue challenging yourself.
You! How do you keep balance between work and home?
AK: I plan and organise everything beforehand. I am good at multi-tasking.
You! What are your future plans?
AK: Working to expand my business both in Pakistan and Canada.
You! One fitness tip you would like to share with our readers?
AK: Don’t aim for a size zero or a chiselled body.
Be happy with yourself. Work on your health and fitness with a holistic approach.