17 Mar, 2022
This month is all about women and their achievements, and because we believe that women need to be celebrated every day, The Avenues Insider spoke to five inspiring women who decided to follow their passion, break barriers, and start something new in Kuwait.
We asked about their beginnings, their journey, keys to success, and finally, we invited the women to share a few words of wisdom in hopes to inspire all women trying to make it happen.
So, for all the entrepreneurial women with a dream and a vision, who just need a little nudge of inspiration, keep reading; we hope the stories of these incredible women inspire you as much as they’ve inspired us.
A doctor and current Psychiatry Resident at the University of Toronto, a Zumba instructor, and health and fitness coach, Hana Jaafar’s in pursuit to help people become healthy in every aspect, both mentally and physically.
As one of the first Kuwaiti women in both the medical field and health and fitness, we asked Hana to shed some light on her health and fitness journey and on using her passion to create a career.
Some people discover their passion at a young age, but this was not the case for Hana Jafar. “I used to hate exercise, and my diet consisted of fast food and Nutella, but I was blessed with a fast metabolism. Back then, I equated being thin to being healthy.”
However, she started gaining weight when went to university and that was her wake-up call, she needed to begin exercising. It was her mom who encouraged her to go to Zaina AlGhabra’s Zumba class, and it was Zaina’s welcoming nature along with the class’ non-intimidating nature that got Hana to continue going and exercising.
Her appreciation for exercising intensified when, as a doctor, Hana studied the benefits of fitness, “The number of benefits that exercise has on the brain and on your mood is uncountable.” She followed by explaining how exercise is proven as a nonmedicinal activity people can do to improve their mood, so much so that it is recommended by doctors for patients suffering from depression.
Even during her exams, she kept going to the gym and exercising, crediting it for helping her manage her stress levels during that period.
Becoming a Zumba instructor was not part of Hana’s initial plan, she was visiting her sister in Boston when she saw a Zumba instructor course and decided to take it to fill her empty schedule. Despite not planning on giving any courses, she saw an opportunity to teach Zumba at a local gym in Kuwait and decided to give it a go. Hana’s classes were very successful, and over time she began experimenting with different types of workouts, “I started becoming more interested in strength training, and decided to pursue other fitness certifications, and received my Strong Zumba and ACE certifications”. Since her clients were all women, Hana then decided to get certified in pre-and post-natal, “I wanted to help every single type of woman”.
“I definitely had a lot of fears before taking this step,” she explained. Before starting her online health and fitness business with her husband, Hana exclusively coached in gyms. But it was her husband who pushed her to become more independent as a coach because he knew that people attended her classes for her, and not out of convenience.
But it was during the pandemic, which she described as a blessing in disguise when gyms closed down that she took that step to create her online program, as she received many requests from clients to continue training with her. Between her busy schedule and creating daily workout programs, Hana found that going online was the most convenient option, as she’d be able to reach more women, and also accommodate busy women who don’t have the time to go to gyms.
Today, Hana and her husband manage their online health and fitness program, called hybrid training, where they offer virtual workouts, PT, as well as nutritional plans.
“Stay true to what your goal is and what your passion is, and always support people who are doing the same thing as you because, in order to be successful, you need to help other people succeed too.”
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