Fitness model debunks myths and talks home workouts in quarantine

Although Nassar is five months pregnant with her third child, she still workouts in the morning with her two and a half-year-old son.
by Ghadir Hamadi

28 May 2020 | 13:16

Source: by Annahar

  • by Ghadir Hamadi
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 28 May 2020 | 13:16

Photo shows Maya Nassar working out at her home during quarantine. (Photo courtesy of Maya Nassar)

BEIRUT: COVID-19 has prompted people around the world to self isolate and practice social distancing when necessary.

Since most people are spending more time at home, they have resorted to eating more than they usually do out of sheer boredom.

People have taken to social media to complain about their weight gain, while gyms remain closed in the country.

Maya Nassar, international top fitness model, and Start Living Right Gym owner, insists that staying at home does not necessarily mean more weight gain.

She argues that doing simple home workouts can change their fitness score drastically.

“Today there are plenty of home workout YouTube videos, tutorials, and online classes that one can sign up for,” Nassar said.

She believes that the best way to kick off a new lifestyle is to “set a schedule so it becomes part of your daily routine, and trying a time that’s convenient for you so you can stick to it,” she said.

If someone isn’t a morning person, for example, Nassar advises them to avoid morning workouts.

“There is a common myth that working out in the morning is healthier, however, it doesn’t really matter. Consistency is what gives results rather than the time of the workout,” she added.

She suggests people resorting to going up and down the stairs for a short and safe cardio workout.

“Going up and down five to eight floors, twice a day, is an effective way to stay active if you don’t want to leave your building due to the pandemic,” she said.

Many mothers have been complaining that their young children, teenagers, and college-aged kids are spending their newly found time at home glued to the screens of their mobile phones and tablets.

“The best investment the youngsters can make is investing in their health. Exercise makes one happier, improves their studies at home, increases productivity, and improves their focus,” she said.

Nassar advises exercising with family members as a source of motivation.

“If siblings are in quarantine together, or if the parents and their kids are up for it, they can work out in small groups together,” she suggests.

Although Nassar is five months pregnant with her third child, she still workouts in the morning with her two and a half-year-old son.

Her nephews who are staying with her for the time being sometimes join the workouts too.

“In the beginning, it was hard to exercise at home with six kids around me, but as the days went by, I actually enjoyed their noise around me,” she said

Inspiring her young boy and nephews to leave their online gadgets and participate with her in her morning pregnancy workout routine improved their bond.

“I would find kid-friendly moves for them to do and help them stay active,” she said.

Nassar states that pregnant women might not strictly need to exercise in order to stay fit or lose weight if they have the right nutrition.

“Pregnancy is not a time to push and exhaust yourself, it’s a time to listen to your body and see what it’s telling you,” she continued.

Yet, she encourages light cardio, three times a week. She urges moms to think of the health benefits their growing babies would have when they exercise.

“Walking in nature while practicing social distancing and avoiding crowded places, can go a long way. Research has proven that the babies of moms who exercised during pregnancy have healthier organs and more brain development,” she said.

Online dietitians are also easily available nowadays and Nassar recommends them along with pregnancy workouts and yoga sessions.

She debunks the myth that pregnant women can eat as much as they want because “they’re eating for two.”

“If a woman is healthy, she doesn’t need any extra calories in the first trimester, she needs 300 extra calories in the second trimester, and 500 calories in the third trimester,” she said.

Simply put, Nassar believes that it’s all about the way you view things.

“Change your mindset, and tell yourself that working out is not something you’re forced to do, rather look at it as you giving yourself a gift; the gift of a healthy body,” she told Annahar. 

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